His is the quintessential ‘small-town guy makes it in the big city’ success story. Actor Sonu Sood, who hails from Moga in Punjab, has been a part of the film industry for more than fifteen years and counts major successes like Happy New Year, R Rajkumar and Jodhaa Akhbar in his repertoire. On the occasion of his 42nd birthday, HT speaks to the fitness freak about ageing, the film industry and more.
Q. How do you manage to stay so fit? You look younger with each passing year…
A. When it comes to fitness, it is the little things that matter and luckily I have had the right habits since I was a teenager. The six-pack trend might be a recent one in the industry but I was sporting one way back in college when it wasn’t that ‘in’! For as long as I can remember I have eaten right and have been very disciplined when it came to working out. I try to hit the gym 365 days a year. Also, I am a vegetarian as well as a teetotaler. I think all these factors have come together for me to give me a body I am proud of.
Q. As you turn 42, is ageing something you are skeptical about considering you are part of a glamorous industry?
A. Oh, not at all (laughs). I firmly believe that it is your work and your craft that speaks for you. Also if you share a strong rapport with the audience and they want to see you on the big screen you never really ‘age’.
Q. Having been a part of the industry for so long, which is the one movie that has been creatively most satisfying?
A. I consider myself lucky to have been a part of not one but two such creatively satisfying movies – Happy New Year (2014) and Dabangg (2010). During both these movies, I thoroughly enjoyed the filmmaking process and they proved to be major turning points in my career as well. I am proud of them and will always cherish them.
Q. Starting from a small town, that too relatively late and without a godfather, what would you say is your success mantra?
A. I don’t know if there is a mantra per se but I’ve always been conscious of my responsibilities and have tried to make the most of all the opportunities that have come my way. I firmly believe that my success has been due to the prayers of my parents and loved ones who have constantly stood by me through everything that life has thrown at me. Also, I have always felt a very strong connect with the people of Punjab and their good wishes have been propelling me forward ever since I started out.
Q. Talking of the future, what can your fans expect from you in the coming year?
A. I feel I am at a very exhilarating juncture in my career. My audience, which has so far known me through the characters that I have played on the big screen, will finally get to know the real Sonu Sood a little better. I am set to join television as a judge on ‘Comedy Superstars’ and this is a project I am really looking forward to. Also, I have a couple of South Indian movies lined up. I am also super eager to be a part of Punjabi cinema. It’s rather ironic that I have been a part of Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada movies but haven’t done a single Punjabi movie! I want to change that real soon.