Utkarsh Sharma is reprising his role as grown up Charanjeet ‘Jeete’ Singh, Tara (Sunny Deol) and Sakeena's (Ameesha Patel) son in Gadar 2. Directed by Anil Sharma, it will release in theatres on August 11. The Free Press Journal caught up with him for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
Ever since the trailer was released the audiences have been commenting on the similarities of Gadar-Ek Prem Katha and Gadar 2. Your comment?
Since it’s a franchise people have a lot of expectations. The conflict of Gadar (2001) was during the partition. Then the situations were different. The story of the film now enters the 1971 conflict. The characters have also grown. It was a different time period for India. It has the look and the feel which is very raw as we have to present the feel of 1971. It is a colourful film. The trailer highlighted the action, father-son bond and family bond. Other scenes also still have the core of the movie like sensitivity and what a member of a family can do for their entire family; that’s the core idea of the film.
What are your expectations from the film? What did your folks and friends have to say?
The scripting phase started only when we could find a script worth in comparison to the level of Gadar. We weren’t particularly looking for a story, we were doing something else. It was during the lockdown the writer Shaktiman came with this one liner for Gadar 2. Hearing his narration, dad got very excited and decided to get on to Gadar 2 immediately.
Then he went to Sunny sir and within a day the project was greenlit. We worked on the script for another one and a half years, even after the idea was approved. We wanted to make Gadar 2 larger than life. We have depicted it realistically and the emotions are larger than life as well. Hoping all goes well.
Do you also have action scenes?
I do have a little bit because I am playing Tara Singh’s son. Beta thoda toh baap par jayega hi. Our action styles are different. Sunny sir’s style is raw mine is also raw but agility based action style. More hand to hand style. There will be a little bit of differences in characters because of age. I am doing more with speed, Sunny sir is playing more with power.
Don’t you think Gadar 2 should have been your adult debut film?
Yes, my debt film is Genius (2018). Unfortunately, that didn’t go well. Yes, I agree this should have been my debut film but we were not looking for a sequel. Ideally this should have been my debut. But with Genius I learnt a lot like marketing and release decisions and also about the business end. I have tried to implement this in this film. I am trying my best to leave no stone unturned.
You are paired opposite Simrat Kaur. Has your father Anil Sharma signed a three-film deal with you both?
Simrat’s audition was no less than a story itself. We were tired as we had auditioned about 500 girls and we had no time to groom anyone. We wanted a fresh face so that it doesn’t predict which side this character would lead towards. Simrat’s casting was interesting. Me and dad had returned from a busy shooting schedule. She was waiting in Palampur for two days. Her audition was taken with a mobile. My dad asked me to audition with her. Coincidently, we did this audition in the same frame. We auditioned for an improvisation scene. Surprisingly, I ran out of lines. She was very good. She is a good actor and looks the character.