She has many talents to her name including acting but this weekend’s Punjabi release, ‘Love Yoou Soniye’ will be seeing her do just that and that too opposite her husband, Karanvir Bohra. The film promises to add a little Bollywood spice to an otherwise out-and-out Punjabi film and this is what makes it stand out. BizAsia had the wonderful opportunity to catch up with Sidhu during her few days in London recently.
Looking at your career-graph, ��you’re the kind of personality who seems to have done it all. How would you describe your journey?
(laughs) Oh no, I wouldn’t say I’ve done it all. I’m basically a broadcast journalist with TV and radio. I’ve been doing it for quite some time, hosting lots of shows on TV and radio, and with ‘Love Yoou Soniye’, Karanvir said that I should maybe step out of my comfort zone. I don’t know whether it’s all women or just me but I don’t like to do things which I’m not good at! (laughs) I tend not to try too much new. I love hosting shows because I know I can do it so well. He told me to try acting, said I’ve got a great personality and he thought I’d be good. Karanvir recommended that I do a TV show first because in that that’s when you really learn acting. I did this soap for Ekta Kapoor, Balaji. It was a Punjabi serial and it did really well in the north and it was really good practice because when you shoot for 14-16 hours a day, you also learn the technical side of how shots are set up, where to stand, how to give reactions… there’s so much more than saying you want to be an actor. I got that experience and then after that we’ve made a movie. So far, as an actor, my journey is pretty new but it’s been great so far. It’s been a fabulous launch and I don’t think I would’ve wanted to do it with a newcomer because then we would’ve been two new people trying to figure our ways through movies. I wanted Karanvir to be a part of my movie. He’s a fantastic actor. Every time he does a role on TV, it becomes iconic. I think he deserves to be on big screen. I told him I’d make him a Bollywood Punjabi hero and he was a little apprehensive but I told him people will love him. One thing about Punjabis is that they have really big hearts and with enough space to love everybody. He already has a national audience and the Punjabis already know him. I said I’ll take care of the language, he can take care of the acting and between the two of us I was sure we could make this movie.
When you first moved to Mumbai from Vancouver over a decade ago, did you somewhere in your heart always see yourself on the big screen?
Not at all. I only actually came for a year. I thought I would get some experience and I could say on my CV that I worked abroad. In my first year I was working on radio and then I was a VJ on Channel V, then I was back on a different radio station, then I hosted a travel show. Every year I was doing something different but every year I also planned to go back. When I met Karanvir, I had to make a decision to stay or not. If we had shifted abroad, there’s not a very big industry out there, especially for Karanvir who is an actor. In Vancouver, there’s not really much for actors to do, especially Indian actors. I then said that I’ll move to India. I liked it in India and I’m always up for an adventure. So I just ended up staying longer than I intended to. I didn’t overstay my welcome but I definitely overstayed my original plan! Acting was never a part of it. It’s been exciting learning something new but it’s also been frustrating. Working with someone who is so good at his craft who knows everything there is about acting, Karanvir has been doing it 10 years. It’s the best launch for me because my own husband can’t keep me out of the film! (laughs) I know that I will improve and I learnt so much just watching him.
Did you see it as a challenge to recreate the chemistry you have from real life to reel life?
When you know each other so well in real life, you become a little conscious. To be honest, I was so worried about whether I would deliver my lines ok and do things properly that I didn’t really think about chemistry. Karanvir just makes everybody so comfortable on set. He’s so real and so natural and it’s so easy to react to him. Honestly, it’s like we well in love all over again. It was not difficult at all to recreate chemistry. It was really a lot of fun.
The music of the film has various different influences. How far do you think this compliments the global feel that the film is aiming to capture?
We’ve kept the music very youthful, fresh and vibrant. Rishi Rich and Juggy D have been my friends for 10 years and we had a conversation 10 years ago back when they started the Rishi Rich project, sitting at my apartment in Bandra. We wondered where we would be 10 years later. When this idea about the movie came up he remembered we always used to talk about where we would go one day. He said he’d love to do a song for it. I didn’t want to ask myself because you don’t get friendship involved in professional work. He said he’d only do the biggest song of the film which would be the title track and I agreed. I know that he’s done remixes for Britney Spears, Ricky Martin and for the biggest of western influences so he knows. He knows globally what would work which is exactly what I wanted for the movie. I wanted Punjabi music with an international feel. This is the kind of stuff my younger brothers and sisters would listen to. All of the talents in the soundtrack have got fresh sounds. As a result, the soundtrack doesn’t sound like typical Punjabi film music.
What do you want audiences to take away from the film?
First of all, I would like the audiences to just give us a chance. When newcomers come on the scene sometimes you don’t know whether they’ll make a good film or not. However, we’ve worked a lot on TV so we’ve garnered a pretty decent fanbase. When you have that, the fans trust you to a certain extent that you’re going to give something good. We want them to walk away with the feeling that we’ve given them even better than what they expected. That’s what we’re hoping it can do. I think this movie is going to give their money’s worth.
What would you say to the fans about ‘Love Yoou Soniye’?
I would say to them to definitely come and see it. Fans have said they’ve wanted to see Karanvir and I work together and see us on the big screen. So we’ve come together in a movie on the big screen in a really fun romantic comedy kind of role. There are light romantic moments and also really funny moments in the film. I think the fans will love us more after this one. They’ll really get a chance to see who we really are through this film.
BizAsia would like to thank Teejay Sidhu for taking the time to talk to us. ‘Love Yoou Soniye’ is running in cinemas now.