Diljit Dosanjh who made his Bollywood debut in ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016), is currently working on his forthcoming film ‘Soorma’, which will be his first biopic, based on the hockey hero Sandeep Singh.
Speaking to Mid-day, Dosanjh shares that up until the point of landing the lead role for ‘Soorma’, he had no interest in sports or any knowledge of hockey for that matter. “I have never been interested in any form of sport,” says Dosanjh, adding, “For me, the focus was always on music. Forget following a game, I had never stepped foot in a stadium before this offer came my way.”
Following months of mentoring Dosanjh has grasped the the understanding of the game. “I have an understanding of at least one game now.” The singer also explains that he spent adequate time with Singh to help him get into character. “As soon as I gave my nod for the film, I began spending time with Sandeep paaji. We lived together throughout October. I remember, the first time that I met him, I gave him a good, hard look. I carefully analysed the man I was set to play.” Further adding, “We would spend several hours together so that I could observe his mannerisms. But, it was really learning his game that was the uphill task. Yet, I was determined to give my best shot. I have seen many actors strum guitars and play pianos on screen. As a musician, I know that the way they do it is wrong. So, I was certain that I wanted to get the techniques of the game right.” Though he quickly pointed out that he would be nowhere near as polished as Singh.
“I can’t match his perfection. He has a world-record for the drag flick,” Dosanjh said with pride. Also there to lend support was Singh’s brother Bikramjeet Singh, who is also a hockey player and will also make an appearance in the film.
Dosanjh who has been training hard for ‘Soorma’, shares the pain his hands have endured, “They bleed often,” but not only this, he noticed the strain on his back too, due to the nature of the sport, though it made Dosanjh appreciate Singh’s dedication to the sport. “This made me realise what Sandeep paaji must have gone through. He even battled a back injury after he was shot. And still overcame it to return to the field. In hockey, a player is constantly bending. He had to do it after being shot in the back. I have immense respect for him.”
Of course as well as physical preparations, Dosanjh also had to overhaul his diet, which he wasn’t too keen on. “I was told that I would have to lose weight and acquire a lean look. I realised that dieting is tougher than playing hockey.” Eating a lot brown rice, boiled eggs and cucumber isn’t his ideal of food heaven. “It’s difficult to resist food. So, I have made it a point to be around people when they are tucking into delicious fare. That way, I am at least connected to food in a way, even if that involves merely stealing a glance at it.”
Finally, the film wouldn’t be complete without music and the makers of ‘Soorma’ have the advantage that Dosanjh is a singer, who will be singing a romantic track in the film. “Sandeep paaji is a romantic person. I’m thankful for that trait which enabled me to sing in this film.”
The picturisation will be on Dosanjh and Taapsee Pannu who are being paired together for the first time.