News Column

'It's all about the chemistry'

November 21, 2013


Nov. 21--Action man Sunny Deol insists his new film is a different take on the oft tackled people-versus-corruption theme in Bollywood

IT'S HARD TO dissociate Sunny Deol from his action hero avatar, especially if you grew up watching him in memorable films like Arjun, Ghayal and Tridev. Now he's all set to return to the genre he's most famous for, with yet another tale of a common man fighting injustice, Singh Saab The Great, which releases today in the UAE.

The 57-year-old is paired opposite 19-year old debutante Urvashi Rautela in the film, which reunites him with Gadar filmmaker Anil Sharma.

In a chat with City Times, Sunny outlined what made Singh Saab The Great different from other films of its ilk and why it's chemistry, not age that matters in Bollywood.

Tell us about your role in Singh Saab The Great and what attracted you to the story.

Singh Saab The Great is the story of a common man, one who takes pride in his honesty. He leads a simple life and believes in his values. I play the role of an honest collector of a small city in Uttar Pradesh, who fights corruption and injustice. The story is driven by love and strength. In short, it's a story about change.

When Anil Sharma came to me and narrated the story I loved it. I told him that we should develop this plot. The story is very different, and I loved the way it was narrated to me. It's about an honest man who fights for his family, who fights for truth. It's a family story and that's what inspired me a lot.

Urvashi Rautela makes her Bollywood debut in your film. Does age make a difference where co-stars are concerned?

Not really. Urvashi is a new girl but is very talented. I don't think age makes too much of a difference when it comes to co-stars. Generally actors who fit into the role are cast opposite each other; it's all about the chemistry between co-stars. If two actors can create magic on screen then age doesn't matter.

From the synopsis, the film seems to focus on the common man's fight for justice in a corrupt system. This theme has been portrayed in many Bollywood films. What makes your character -- and this film -- different from the rest?

As the tag line suggests, it's not about revenge, it's about change. In most films that I have seen, the actor takes revenge for the bad stuff that happened to him and his family, but in our film, Saranjeet Singh wants to bring about a change in the mindset of the society, not just take revenge.

Do you feel Bollywood stars have a social responsibility in real life, especially when they take on such meaningful roles?

I think not only Bollywood stars but every single human being has a social responsibility. It's just easy to put stuff on an actor's shoulders when it comes to responsibility. I do my bit by making good films and following it as much as I can, but why only single out actors -- I think every individual should take up responsibility and stick to it and give it his/her 100 per cent.

You are part of an acting heritage that dates back almost fifty years. Was this something you always wanted to pursue, watching your father (Dharmendra) in films? Do your children intend to join the film industry?

Yes, I always wanted to be an actor. My papa has inspired me since I was a kid. I have seen all his films and I am a huge fan. I still don't know if I can act as well as him, but I try to give my best. Yes, right now my elder son Karan is gearing up for Bollywood, but it's too early to talk about it.

You are most remembered for your action films. How has the action genre in Bollywood changed over the years? Do you feel that because of special effects, some essential element of raw action is missing now?

Things change, and one should accept this. Yes, today special effects have taken the place of some raw action but that's what audiences demand now. People want to see some larger than life stunts, like jumping from the 50th floor or jumping over ten cars.

Having said that, the risk factor that we used to have back then is also reduced now. But in case you are missing something from the old days, I am back with some raw action in Singh Saab The Great.

Is there any particular film from your career that you would like to see remade? Who among the current crop of actors do you admire?

I am against remaking a film; I mean if the film is made already why do you have to make it again, try something new instead. I don't mind sequels but a remake is a no-no for me.

To answer your second question, I don't watch many films, so I think it will be unfair on my part to comment on such things.


(c)2013 the Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

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