Diljit: “Punjabi cinema has helped me to reach where I am”

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Diljit Dosanjh is the most popular star of Punjabi cinema. After starring in successful Punjabi movies like ‘Jatt & Juliet’ (2012), ‘Sardaar Ji’ (2015) and ‘Ambarsariya’ (2016), the actor made his Bollywood debut with the controversial film ‘Udta Punjab’ (2016) and walked away with the Filmfare Award for the Best Debutant Male. The calm and composed actor is now all set to woo the audiences’ hearts with Anshai Lal’s ‘Phillauri’, which hits screens this weekend. But before the film enters cinemas, BizAsia caught up with Dosanjh for a freewheeling conversation where the actor speaks about his experience while working on the film and much more.

Your second Bollywood film is releasing. Has it caught you all up in jitters?
I am feeling very good. I think we have to keep promoting the film more in coming days.

How were you approached for the role?
The director Anshai Lal came to me with the script. I liked the script at one go. Also, the climax part was the best. I just loved a lot. So, I just went ahead with the script.

This is the first film of director Anshai Lal. Were you nervous about the results?
The director and production house had done a great job. So, there was no question of any kind of apprehension. He is very honest and has worked with great actors in the industry. It’s but obvious that when he has chosen the script it was because of his past experiences. I never knew he was the director and its only after he narrated the script I understood that he is the director. After I saw his work I understood that this guy is serious about this film.

The film is about ghost. Do you believe in them or have you had an eerie experience ever?
Yes, I do get this feeling when I am alone. I feel there is someone who is not visible. Rest assured it’s a positive feeling as if like someone is there to support me.

What kind of differences have you found in Punjabi cinema and Hindi cinema?
We have limited screens and because of that Punjabi movies don’t do much business. When theatres are more, the reach is far and more.

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You are quiet a name in North and with the film ‘Udta Punjab’ your popularity has only doubled. With ‘Phillauri’ happening now, what kind of response are you expecting?
If the film works everything works. It all depends on the film and actors.

You’re a singer and also an actor. Do you want to explore anything else?
I would love to do fashion. It interests me a lot. I would love to design my clothes and wear them. I want it to become a style statement.

Which is that quality that you admire in your co-star Anushka?
I think she is very talented. It’s definitely not a cakewalk to produce and act in films without any film background. In addition to that, she has her own production house also.

Do you think that Punjabi cinema has been the driving force behind your entry into Bollywood?
Definitely it is. I would also give the credit to all my Punjabi fans. It’s because of the Punjabi film industry that people are aware of the artistes and also the distribution plays the major role. So yes, it has helped me reach where I am now.

You have worked with one of the finest heroines Kareena Kapoor Khan and now Anushka. Who all are the other actresses on the wish list?
No one. I think I don’t deserve to work with the top heroines. Whatever good work comes my way I will accept it. I just concentrate on the script.

‘Phillauri’ hits cinemas worldwide on Friday 24th March 2017.

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