From Border in 1997 to Gardar: Ek Prem Katha in 2001, Yamla Pagla Deewana in 2011 to Singh Saab the Great in 2013 — our Sunny bhaji has been the most handsome sardar on screen, hands down.
For our little soirée, the actor decides to ditch the turban, but continues to defy his age (57). Ask him the secret and he says, “They keep talking about my age or me being cast opposite younger actors; it doesn’t affect me. I think of myself as a 35-year-old. Your age is dependent on your mind. If you feel young, you are young.”
In city on Sunday to promote his film Singh Saab The Great, he says, “It’s an emotional film. I won’t say it’s similar to papa’s film Satyakam, but it is somewhat like it. It’s about an honest person and what that honest person’s family goes through in today’s world. It’s an out-andout commercial film, which will cater to the masses. You are not going to leave the hall without shedding a few tears.”
About director Anil Sharma’s statement on Sunny not being in favour of promotions, he says, “I haven’t promoted the film aggressively, but I did whatever little I could do. Earlier, we hardly used to promote our films on TV; print media was the only medium. Now, media is everywhere—cell phones, social networking sites. I would just give a few interviews and visit a few TV channels. Things like going to a mall for promotion don’t make sense to me.”
In the career span of around 30 years, things seem to have changed for him. “We have to adapt and go with the flow. Everything has a positive and a negative. I have seen the period when things were very different; now an actor is more of a product. He’s making more money outside of films. I don’t believe in that. But, one has to adapt.”
Sunny then goes on to talk about the unnecessary pressure on the actor’s head these days. “Whether the film would be successful or not also falls on your shoulders. When you build it up so much, you want it to be a hit. When it doesn’t do well, it ends up affecting you. Earlier, we only used to shoot, not bother about box office returns.”
Critics and reviews are another aspect of the film industry today that Sunny doesn’t agree with. “I don’t even read what critics write. About 90% percent people end up following what others say. When they come out of the theatre, they say the movie wasn’t good. I think critics just run us down by giving us stars; that’s what the audience has come to judge a film by. Let people make their own choice.”
What about the much-awaited Ghayal Returns, we ask. “Ohnu nazar lag gayi, honestly. I came up with a trailer, we had plans of shooting it and releasing it by January in place. Nothing could possibly go wrong. I started another story, but again, something went wrong. Raj Kumar Santoshi’s Fateh Singh also didn’t commence. I’m trying for the third time now; I would only talk when things materialise.”
Another upcoming film that awaits release is Mohalla Assi, which sees Sunny playing the role of a Sanskrit teacher. “It has been shot; the the producer isn’t releasing it.” Though his ‘cute love story’, I love New Year, is releasing soon.