A diet of success

In conversation

A diet of success

Sonu Sood is seated on a pinnacle, following the smashing success of mainstream commercial blockbusters including Dabbang, Happy New Year, Action Jackson...Yet there is absolutely no time to bask in the glory amidst the supersonic applause. The strapping star has been busy shooting round the clock for the television show Comedy Superstars. And has just returned from his hometown Moga, Punjab, where he brought in his 40th birthday with his father.

Fresh take

Of course, the towering actor has been creating ripples wherever he walks in. Whether on the stage at awards nights or stunning viewers with a full view of his enviable abs. “I will be wearing golden jackets for the better part of the shoot schedule,” he says with a straight face, his sense of humour in full glow, a sparkling exponent of his involvement in Comedy Superstars, centred on his comic bone. I prod him further and he reveals, “I like blues and whites, just for the record, and these colours abound in my closet,” he laughs. “As for the show, I play a celebrity judge, along with Sushmita Sen and Shekhar Suman. I feel it is the right time to be on television, as the audience reach is absolutely unbeatable,” he says, quite excited at the prospect of his first outing on the telly. “The format of the show is interesting as well. We get to interact with hundreds of talented people from across the country during the shoots. I am enjoying myself as some of the performances are absolutely brilliant.”

It is a packed house for the actor as he is also beefing up further, training in jujitsu and krav maga for his action-oriented roles in his upcoming movies down South. A rigorous training schedule in martial arts is on the anvil in the coming weeks, with a special trainer from Los Angles flying down to work with Sonu. His hunger for body building is famous in Bollywood circles and beyond, with Sonu zealously guarding his daily two-hour workout time as his “me-time”. He is known to pump the iron even at 2 am post a shoot.

Staying fit & fine

“Can I offer you a Nutella sandwich?” he asks with a smile, laying to rest rumours that he forces all who visit his home to tuck in bland soups and salads in a manic clampdown on calories. I do a double take in mock horror, and ask him what he lives on. Any paranthas on the menu for the star hailing from Punjab? “Unfortunately, no. I eat soups, salads, brown rice...the only indulgence is makki di roti with sarson ka saag when I visit my family back in Moga. That is made specially for me, and I absolutely relish it with all my heart,” he shares with an honest smile.

Though a diet of aloo parathas and lassi belongs to the past, now eating mostly greens is a way of life for the hot bod star. “I have never eaten meat. I have never experienced the urge to,” he confesses. “It is a misconception that you can’t build your muscle tone if you are a vegetarian. I defy that,” he says candidly. I nod in mute agreement. Fitness is a way of life for the star, and his stunning physique is a testament to that.

“I believe that discipline is making a choice between what you want now and what you want the most.” A succinct replay of his days as an electronics engineer in Nagour, where he met his better-half Sonali. A couple of portfolios, print and ad film shoots later, Sonu was in Mumbai, struggling to make headway into Bollywood. It has been a tough climb, with no godfather in the industry. But his perseverance and proficiency has always held him in sound stead. Slowly, Sonu began to star in leading films both in mainstream Bollywood and down South.

Over the years, Sonu has earned a massive fan following in Telugu and Tamil film industries as well, with box-office successes smashing records of sorts. It is a busy year ahead as well for the actor as his films Madha Gaja Raja and Saahasam unspool in Tamil and Nataraju Thane Raju, Rana and Police Tiger in Telugu as well. Into his 40th year, it seems like Sonu has more than enough reasons to celebrate...

As of now he is busy enjoying teaching his sons Eshaan and Ayaan how to play cricket in the compound of his building. “I’m a family guy, and nothing means more to me than being with my loved ones. Sonali is perfect for me. She is caring and compassionate,” he says simply. “She is the anchor of our family.”

A fine actor, a simple guy, rooted firmly to the ground, filmstar Sonu Sood simply shines.

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