Sonu Sood Curated

Indian Film Actor, Model, and Producer

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This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Sonu Sood have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Sonu Sood's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming actors. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • Finally, is there anything which you would like to change about Bollywood?

    I think everything is fair. We have the most disciplined actors and directors. There's lot of fun happening here.

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  • How do you see this trend of biopics being made in Bollywood especially when it comes to sportsperson?

    I think sports biopics are more inspiring, They inspire people to work hard and achieve new goals. These films are stories of common man becoming a hero. I think they should be well-told.

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  • How much did films influence you during your growing years?

    I was a complete movie-buff. My mom too used to love watching films. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. I am glad that today I am in a profession which I grew up watching, admiring and worshiping. It's one of the most toughest profession to stay and survive in and that's what makes you stronger every day.

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  • Do you have a process as an actor? For example, there are a couple of actors who internalize their own emotions when they play a character, while there are the others who make use of external factors. Where do you fit in?

    I come on the sets like an open book. The director has to write in it whatever he wants to and I do whatever he tells me to do so. I am totally a director's actor. Then, I also share my inputs as an actor. If everything falls in place, then those characters become memorable. I think it's the team effort and obviously when you are on the same page, then the real magic happens.

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  • Social media is a boon today. At the same time, it also brings trolls with it. A poster of Paltan went viral and that had largely to do with your appearance on it.Does it bother you in any way ?

    I just laughed it off. When they showed me the poster, even I pointed that out to them. Actually, everyone had shot for stills where they were looking into the camera and away from it. I think they couldn't find my creatives where I was looking away from the camera and ended up using the other one. People saw the poster and loved it. I am glad at least, some kind of talk that happens wherever something like this occurs. Nothing is bad as long as people are loving you in it.

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  • If you had to pinpoint the biggest takeaway from Paltan, what would that be?

    It has to be the respect for nation. There are times when you think about the nation only on 15th August and 26th January. But after working in a film like Paltan, you think about it 365 days for your nation.

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  • Playing a soldier is quite an emotional experience. Was it difficult for you to let go of the character once you finished shooting for the film?

    You have an immense respect for soldiers while playing one. But after you finish the shoot, you feel for them because while you wrap up a shoot in few months, these guys stay in those tough conditions for years and years. Your respect for them immensely grows after the shoot.

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  • It is fair to say that you have reinvented yourself and found tremendous success. Tell us how you ensured that your make- over got you where you are today.

    I think its an evolution more than a makeover. There were many years of great struggle. Its an ongoing process of learning and growing that I think will always continue and never stop. But I am happy with who I am as a person today and look forward to many more challenges.

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  • How do you maintain your physique.

    Discipline. Determination! There’s no way out. I follow a strict regime, I believe a lot in work outs and never miss going to the gym. I avoid junk food and unhealthy food. I love running and if I have the opportunity, I would love to run out in the open spaces – or even on many of my outdoor schedules, I would run from our hotel to the sets and so on.

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  • How do you keep away from the trivialities of show business. You have a wife and family, does a stable family and home go hand in hand with success and fame in Bollywood?

    I have a very simple and straight forward personality. There is no such problem. My wife and kids are very supportive and the fame in Bollywood does not affect my family life. I’ve known my wife since my days in Nagpur, so I’m Sonu, much before being a celebrity for her.

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  • How much do awards matter to you and how much does commercial success?

    Box office success is most critical of course because that’s the audiences awarding you. They tell you they liked your film. If you have that, then receiving a critics award is like icing on the cake.

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  • In Jodha Akbar, how difficult was it to get into the role of Sulamal?

    Mr Gowarikar made my day when he said, “I can see only you doing Sujamal and no one else.” While shooting for Jodha-Akbar, I committed myself exclusively to that film for one year. My mother, who taught history, got me books on Mughal history which I was fascinated by. And then ofcourse Ashutosh ji also had his tips and there was my own take of the character. By the time we were ready for the first shooting schedule, I knew Sujamal very closely and then, everything just fell in place.

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  • You’ve worked with a lot of finest directors in Bollywood. How does that make you feel?

    It is a very humbling feeling ofcourse. When someone you respect also respects you for the work you do, its a great feeling.

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  • How does your Bollywood experience compare to your experience in the South Indian film industry?

    I loved my experience both in the South and in Bollywood. I still do Telegu movies with Hindi movies. There can be no comparison between the two,as both are equally good. Eventually a good story is a good story, no matter what language.

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  • You are a qualified engineer by profession. What made you change your career path and such a very different one at that- from academics to creative art?

    While I was studying engineering, I participated in the Gladrags Mr. India contest and ended up in the top five. After that ad film and film audition offers began to come my way, and I felt I’d like to give it a shot. My mother always encouraged me to follow my dreams and take up acting as a career. I moved to Mumbai and started my acting career, doing Telegu Films.

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  • You are a qualified engineer by profession. What made you change your career path and such a very different one at that- from academics to creative art?

    While I was studying engineering, I participated in the Gladrags Mr. India contest and ended up in the top five. After that ad film and film audition offers began to come my way, and I felt I’d like to give it a shot. My mother always encouraged me to follow my dreams and take up acting as a career. I moved to Mumbai and started my acting career, doing Telegu Films.

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  • Who would you say your role models were growing up?

    My role models while growing up were my parents. They gave us the values and the template for life that I still follow. Among stars I admired Amitabh Bachchan and also Sylverster Stallone.

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  • Tell us a little about yourself; briefly tell us about your background?

    I’m from a town in Punjab called Moga. My mother was a teacher, my father a businessman. Among the three children, I am the only son. After school, I did electronic engineering in Nagpur. It was while I was studying there that I was selected as one of the top 5 in a modelling contest and people started to suggest I do ads and films.

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  • Does critics’ verdict affect you?

    They write in few lines about something they didn’t like in just 10 minutes, when you know that it takes years and years in making a movie. Sometimes you make good movies, sometimes you make bad. I think they are doing their job. They were always there and they will always be there, but that shouldn’t affect you, though you can learn lessons from your mistakes. You just have to be sincere and give your best and leave the rest to God.

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  • Cinema has changed drastically over the years and has become more content driven now.What is your take on it?

    It is very tough to get people to the theatres, so you have to make films that are content oriented, scripts have to be nicely shot. Everything has to be nicely put. Word of mouth is the in thing right now. People want to know the right report and then go to the theatres. So it is high time for producers, actors, directors to get the subject right and try to give their best. No matter how expensive the movie is, it will not work if the content in the movie is not right.

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  • Out of all the films that you have done till now, which movie has been the most satisfying?

    I think it was the whole process that really helped me reach here. Starting from my first film Bhagat Singh to working with Mani Ratnam for Yuva or Happy New Year, Dabangg. You grow as an actor every day, you grow by working with all the directors and all co-stars. So I won’t say that there was just one film that did wonders for me. I think all films got me to the other one and this is how I survived all these years.

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  • From being a small town common man to working with the popular stars of B-Town, how has your journey to stardom been?

    The journey has been tough, but all thanks to the wishes of my parents that today I am sitting in front of you. From working with Shah Rukh to Salman, Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Chan, it was not possible for a simple guy from Moga with a lot of dreams to make it till here. I started my journey from Delhi, and I remember those inspirational letters that were written by my mom. She always said no matter what, you have to achieve your goals and we are praying for you. And one day it happened. So I think somewhere sitting up there, they are making this happen.

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  • Today’s youth looks up to you as their fitness guru, what is your secret mantra behind staying fit?

    Fitness is a lifetime commitment; you can’t eat wrong. You have to be religiously dedicated to a fitness regimen. It is very important to get a strong zipper on your mouth and you can’t eat something wrong. In a place like Delhi and Punjab, where you get the best of foods, it becomes very difficult to control. I always believe that it is 80 per cent of diet and 20 per cent of gym time.

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  • How was the experience and especially the fact that you brought Jackie Chan to India?

    It was tough because I am not a studio with 300 people working for me! But it was a learning experience.When he left, Jackie held my hands and said that it had been a great trip. He had been travelling around the world but the India leg was pretty special.

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  • You have made a debut as a distributor. What was the main intention behind this move?

    I want to do justice to what a film demands, because so many films get lost with poor release strategies. Someone has to take care of a movie like it is your own. I thought that if I come on board, I can do something that a film deserves and it will be in safe hands.

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  • How do you wish to help other strugglers?

    As a producer, I am accessible to strugglers because mere paas koi nahi tha. Even if you enter my society, you won’t find a barrage of security guards stopping you. My doors were and are open to people even today. Even after becoming a known face, I have remained accessible to others because that keeps me grounded.I don’t want any newcomer to ever face what people like me with no background in cinema faced when we came in.

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  • What are the factors that influence your movie choices?

    My decisions have always been dominated by the roles offered to me. At one time, all the roles in the films with popular stars excited me. It was a coincidence that they came my way in quick succession. After that, not everything offered to me in recent years has excited me. I also haven’t seen a film, which makes me feel I wish I had done it.If you are seen in every film, you will become a blind-spot, and there won’t be anything about you that will stand out.

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  • What is your take on South Indian movies and how has it helped you in bollywood?

    It’s a matter of timing. There have been times when I have shot simultaneously for films in Hindi as well as South Indian languages, but the release plan sometimes makes it look like I had to take a long break from one to dedicate time to the other. Yes, films from the South have helped me choose my movies wisely in Bollywood. I am not in a space where I have to take on just about anything that comes my way.Today, I can afford to wait for roles that excite me, South films have created that cushion for me.When you don’t have work, you’re forced to take on projects even if your heart isn’t in it. But if you have a buffer, you can afford to turn down projects. Even the filmmakers have respected my decisions and my honesty.

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  • Do you ever feel insecure about your place in the industry?

    I had never thought that I will achieve what I have today. In fact, in my mind, I was clear, engineer hoon, papa ka business join karke wahin kuch kar loonga. Main Moga sheher ka aam ladka tha, maine kabhi nahi socha tha ek din Jackie Chan ke saath kandhe se kandha milake kaam karunga. Things like these are usually out of bounds for people like us. Now that I am here, I just have to work hard and make every single day count. So, there’s no reason to feel insecure.

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  • What did you do to get noticed by casting directors in the city?

    Today, aspirants can email their pictures to agents and things can move ahead from there. It wasn’t so systematic in those days. Two decades ago, we would go from office-to-office handing out our pictures in the hope of getting work. I remember that at the first office that I went to, the receptionist did not even look at me. She just asked me to keep my photos and leave. I would roam around in fitted T-shirts, thinking body dekh ke hi sahi, koi cast kar lega. Then I realised, all these tricks don’t work. I learnt the art of making small talk and would start with asking for a glass of water. On some days, I’ve had to drink 40 glasses of water. Even though I wasn’t getting a chance, I decided to stick around. I’ve earned my place in the industry with a lot of hard work and there’s no alternative for that.

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  • How do you cope up with failure of a movie ?How does it impacts you ?

    Sometimes it affects you, but that keeps you moving and stronger. So, when a movie doesn’t work, you have to come out stronger. You have to just work hard for your next one and that’s what I have been doing all these years.

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  • How would you describe your journey in bollywood?

    I think the journey has been good.Not been bad at all for an outsider but there are still miles to go.

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  • What kept you going during the tough times of struggle in the industry?

    I knew I had to take a step forward and come to this city and make my parents proud. I came to this city not just for my dreams, but with an ambition to make everyone proud.

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  • How were the initial days for you in Mumbai? What were the challenges you faced in the city?

    I faced all the difficulties in the world — from travelling in local trains to trying to get an entry into office and trying to even get an appointment to show my photographs,all had been really tough. I knew it would be a tough journey when I came to Mumbai.

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  • Is the fashion industry a platform for models to get into Bollywood?

    Yeah, it is definitely one station closer to Bollywood. I started as a model just to survive. I did not even know a single soul in Mumbai. I had no connection in Bollywood, never knew anyone, so where to start from… So, I thought modelling was the best option to pay those monthly rents and daily expenses. Acting has always been my passion. Modelling just happened by chance. Acting was always the first and the last target.

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  • What were the difficulties you faced in the industry ?

    When someone comes to Mumbai, he or she is clueless about how this city works. I came here for just a year. I thought agar nahi hua toh ek saal baad chala jaaonga. It took me 18 months to just figure out the roads and buildings that mattered.Initially, I used to live in a rented house. It was a one BHK, but often, there would be a dozen of us crammed in. Outsiders face a lot of difficulties.

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