'There was a period when filmmakers would not like to offer positive roles to me,' says Sonu Sood as he talks about Samrat Prithviraj and his humanitarian work

The actor also talks about his plans ahead

Lipika VarmaUpdated: Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 07:35 PM IST
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Photo: Instagram/Sonu Sood

Sonu Sood, who has previously starred in period dramas like Shaheed-E-Azam and Jodhaa Akbar is back with another historical movie, Samrat Prithviraj. The actor plays the role of poet Chand Bardai in the Akshay Kumar-starrer. The movie, directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi, marks the Bollywood debut of Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar. Here, the actor talks about the prep he underwent for the role, his humanitarian work, and more. Excerpts:

What kind of preparation did you do for the film?

I started with films like Shaheed-E-Azam, in which I played Bhagat Singh, and Jodhaa Akbar, so I have been associated with historical films. I felt blessed when DR Saab told me that he wrote the script with me in his mind.

You don’t choose films, they choose you. You always want to be part of good films and some roles are written for you. My mother had shared the story of Chand Bardai when I was a child. Now, I feel at that time only this role was reserved for me. When DR Saab (director Chandraprakash Dwivedi) wanted me to play the character, I was excited. However, there was a sense of responsibility too. It used to take me three to four hours to get ready. As you start slipping into the costume, you automatically get the feel of the character. And, Dr Saab is like a walking history book.

You are the hero of Aam Aadmi, what kind of offers are you getting now?

I am doing positive roles in the films I have now. There was a period when filmmakers would not like to offer positive roles to me. This was because they felt the audience would not like to see me in positive roles. Now, whatever negative bits I have done they edit it and show me in a positive light. I think only the audience can make and break your image.

Are you open to taking up negative roles?

Frankly, I have not been offered any negative roles. I am doing positive ones. This is my second innings. Next month, I will start shooting for Fateh. It’s a wonderful script. We have been working on it for almost six years. Let’s hope for the best as we are giving our best.

You have been given tags like a messiah, bade dil wala, etc. What's your take on them?

I feel humbled but I don’t deserve that. Everyone wants to work for the good of people, but it is short-lived. No sooner do they reach home they get involved in their personal life and forget it. It is difficult to continue with the work. Many actors appreciated my work and also wanted to join hands. But they were not ready to give their time. They were ready to dedicate only an hour and a half or so. However, I thoroughly enjoy this work — Being associated with and knowing the problems of people. My happiness working for social causes is way beyond films. This cannot be compared to films.

Where are you next planning to open schools and orphanages?

In Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, I am opening a school. We are also planning to open an orphanage in Shirdi, Maharashtra. There is a tribal area in Jharkhand, we are planning to open a school. There's one already set up in Telangana. Then there are two old age homes — one each in Siddipet and Anandpur Sahib. I am contemplating building a hospital comprising 78 beds. I have to follow up with doctors because they need to agree to be stationed in Mumbai. It is a huge responsibility and many have cautioned me to be careful about it. This is a new world for me — learning and planning infrastructure.

You are an inspiration for many...

It feels great as it is becoming a chain. In Telangana, there is a meat shop. The owner saves 20% from his funds and helps people. We inspire each other...It's mutual.

What do your wife and children think about your changed avatar?

My wife and sons are overwhelmed. They receive several messages asking for help, which they forward to me and I try to help. My sons keep following up on the same. My milkman also gives forms, fills them up and tries to help everyone in and around the society. This has brought him so much respect and changed his life.

Are you documenting the work you have done so far?

We have documented every single individual and what we have done. We also do skill development and maintain records.

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