After doing a bang as Chedi Singh, the opponent to Salman Khan in Dabangg (2010), Sonu Sood is back to playing a diehard villain in Simmba, this time taking on the young superstar Ranveer Singh. Thanks to his ripped body and tilt physique, which is evident in the promos of the film, there are memes on how such a fit Sonu can be downtrodden by the Padmaavat actor! Sonu has a fitting reply, “In the entire movie, for two hours, I will be beating up the hero. In the last 15 minutes, if I get overthrown by him, it’s okay; rest two hours, I enjoy the space of being a stronger and powerful character. Also, you have to see the movie to know what happens, because it is not always about being beaten up.”
Here, Sonu talks about his love for playing the villain, working on a Rohit Shetty film and, of course, his fitness control.
Your character in Dabangg was a hit. Why didn’t you cash in on its success?
Dabangg was an extremely significant film for me, but it is also important that I choose my roles right and not classify myself in a particular set of roles. I was making films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Mandarin Chinese, playing positive as well as negative roles. If your film and character is a hit, chances are you’ll get typecast in that space. It was a purposeful decision to not do all such films that came my way. Post Dabangg, I did films like Ramaiya Vastavaiya and Happy New Year, in which I played positive characters with line of comedy. They did really well. I made some right decisions.
So, Simmba will see you returning to Bollywood ordinary villainy after Dabangg?
Yes, it is a Rohit Shetty movie, full of action, drama and larger-than-life characters. It is completely in the commercial space. My character’s name is Durva Ranade — for the first time I play a Maharashtrian and I am pretty excited about it.
Did you know Marathi or have you learnt it for the film?
I did my engineering in Nagpur and had a lot of Maharashtrian friends. I was influenced with the language and at that time I didn’t think I would be an actor. But, unknowingly, I learnt the language and got a hold of it. Nothing can be better than playing a Maharashtrian character in a Rohit Shetty film. But I had a special teacher during the dubbing so that the accent was right.
What do you like about playing an opponent?
In negative roles, there are more layers to represent. In Simmba, my character has a family — wife, kids and mother. The way Rohit has done the covering makes it special. So, when people watch the film, they will not just see the negative part, but also the layers to it, which are well-defined and well-written. Nothing is more important than the script or the role; I completely enjoy playing a villain, too.
You are known for your fitness and physique. Heard even Kapil Sharma has sought help from your trainer.
Fitness has been a part of my life even before I became an actor. I always share my trainer with others. Whether it’s Kapil Sharma, Kangana Ranaut or Farah Khan, I don’t mind sharing my trainer. I tell him, skip my work out, but not theirs. I tell him to be regular with them and push them to spend some extra hours in the gym. It is important to spread awareness about fitness. I am glad Kapil is getting fit. When he met me recently, he said ‘Paaji I want to get back on my toes and become fit’. In a few months you will see a new Kapil.
Last but not the least, whenever you go on reality shows, one sees you taking off your shirt…
(Laughs) Taking off my shirt has become a part of my life, whether it is at award ceremonies or reality shows. As long as people enjoy it, why not? A lot of actors used to tell me, ‘If we had a physique like yours, we would never wear clothes ever!” That’s a compliment, but if it helps the ratings of a show or gives them a promo moment, why not remove my shirt? They tell me, if you come on our show, it has to be a mandate that you go bare-bodied or show your ABS. It is good because it keeps me on my toes and I have to always be ready to showcase my physique.