'Crossing 100 crore mark is no big deal'

'Crossing 100 crore mark is no big deal'

'Crossing 100 crore mark is no big deal'

His Maximum hasn’t been received very well at the box-office but it hasn’t shaken his confidence. Very little does, apparently. He has literally risen from the grassroots and has made a name for himself both in Bollywood as well as South Indian cinema with panache.

Meet Sonu Sood who has repeatedly proved his mettle from time to time. He was first noticed as Abhishek Bachchan’s elder brother in Yuva and won accolades for his performance in Jodhaa Akbar as Sujamal bhaisa, Rani Jodhaa’s brother.

In Maximum, he plays a tough encounter cop, who is fighting for maximum power along with veteran Naseeruddin Shah. What was is it like –sharing space with someone like Shah? “Naseer is like an institution and it is always great to work with someone like him. It’s an actor’s dream to work with him. I have eme­r­ged as a better actor working with him and I must thank Kabeer for giving me this opportunity,” he says.

In his previous film too, Sonu had played an ACP but will be playing a gangster in his next. Is there a special connection – first cops and now underworld? “These kinds of scripts are more action-oriented and different from the usual and it would be a good change as an actor and challenging as well to play an underworld gangster after playing a cop.”

His character in Maximum was based on the encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma from whom he drew a lot of inspiration. “I read a lot about him but he is certainly not the only cop we’ve spoken to. We had just drawn a sketch of how encounter cops worked and he was a good source,” Sonu says.

Mumbai cops have been the subject of many films in Bollywood but what is the most special thing about Pratap Pandit? “This guy is a man of few words,” he says, “with lots to emote. He is a good husband at home and a tough cop outside. This was a complex character, not someone who would not use many lines to express himself and therefore very challenging to play.”

What were his expectations from the film? “I almost knew that this film would be liked by only a few. You know, these kind of films are ahead of their times. After some time, people will say that ‘Wow, yeah, what a film this was. Just like Yuva was talked about as a film that won’t do well at all but is still remembered today. There will be a time when Maximum too will be underst­o­od by people,” he says.

How important is it to get into the 100 crore club? He feels it is hardly important. “It depends on the budget of the film, actually. A film with a budget of 60 crore makes 100 crore, that’s not even double. But a seven crore film makes 20, that’s justified. Its not a big deal, I think, crossing the 100 crore mark,” he says.

And which is more exciting, Bollywood or the South? “Well, I enjoy working in both,” he laughs. “You also get to work with different directors in different languages so you get to learn a lot,” he says.

His next project is Sanjay Gupta Shootout At Wadala. “I prefer going one film at a time,” he ends.

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