Utkarsh and Simratt, the co-lead pair of Gadar 2 are currently basking in the success of their film. In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, they open up about their anxieties before the release, how it was a huge responsibility on their respective shoulders, their bond with Sunny Deol and more.
When asked about how they feel to fill in the big shoes of an established franchise, Utkarsh shares, “Gadar was an emotion for many, with Gadar 2 it was the same emotion. When the first part was released back in 2001, we didn’t have social media so we never really got to know the real time reactions of the audiences but we gauged the severity of the people’s love for the film which we could gather with print media and trade verdicts. We knew that Gadar 2 was in demand and people wanted to see it. They have been extremely impatient.”
“I used to wonder how we will make Gadar 2 since the first one was a complete film. During the lockdown, when I got to know the story of part 2, I was blown away. It was very emotionally strong. The core idea was the father-son bond told in a simple way. Sacrifice was the integral part of the story, be it romance of family ties. We never wanted to encash on the popularity of the franchise. We all collectively felt that part 2 will take the legacy forward rather than spoiling the name,” he adds.
Debutante Simratt Kaur Randhawa, who plays a Muslim girl from Pakistan and the love interest of Urkarsh in the film says, “I had to record my audition without knowing that it is for Gadar 2. My casting agent never revealed to me about it. I visited Palampur where Sunny sir (Deol) was already shooting for it. I always thought they might be casting me for a secondary role since Tara Singh and Sakina are already the leads of the film. Since Anil (Sharma) sir was busy and there was no apt lighting so Utkarsh took my audition on a dummy scene.”
“Anil and Sunny sir saw my audition and looks tests. I wasn’t nervous around all the senior actors. I missed watching Gadar in the theatres as a child but I knew it is an iconic film. Also, I was a bit concerned that if I didn’t do well, audiences won’t spare me at all. I was so scared at the eve of film’s release, couldn’t slept the whole night,” she further states.
As an actor alongside the character in the film, Utkarsh has also traveled with the movie for over two decades. He tells, “With Sunny sir, I just was a 4-5 years old while I shot the first part. He was very protective about me on the sets. While shooting for part two, I got to spent more time with him and our bond grew a lot more. I got to experience first hand training with him as an actor. There’s a reason why he is a superstar, he knows his method to stardom. I feel, at times we give too much respect to the arthouse actors but massy actors like him have so much knowledge of the industry and audiences.”
On a concluding note, Simratt explains that she never plans, be it real or reel life. “I am a very go with the flow actor. I don’t want to plan anything since despite planning at times, things take their own turn. I don’t want to be disappointed so I have kept myself neutral. Though, I want to do films based around sports and patriotism,” she signs off.