By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, June 13 (IANS) With two Bollywood films and the upcoming Punjabi rom-com “Shadaa”, singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh is quite occupied in his professional life. But he says neither his approach nor his discipline has changed towards his work after he tasted success.
Asked about the kind of freedom that fame and success brought to him, Diljit told IANS here: “Nothing. I start my journey from zero on every Friday. We are in a profession where we are almost starting our career with every release. We actors and singers have to perform well and maintain consistency with every show, with every film.
“People are always interested to know about our present work and future plans, so I have to prove myself. And with success and growing opportunity, I have to maintain the regularity.”
Diljit’s journey as an actor began with the film “The Lion of Punjab” in 2011. He came into focus as an actor with the National Award-winning film “Punjab 1984”.
He is not a trained actor.
Asked if after 20 films across the Hindi and Punjabi movie industries in the last nine years, he is now comfortable facing the camera, Diljit said: “Every time, I am playing different characters. So every day is a new day. I am not easy with it like that… Every time I am doing something new, so it is the same feeling of that of a newcomer.”
In the film “Shadaa”, he plays a wedding photographer who has himself crossed a marriageable age.
“It was quite an interesting role for me to play. This is the first time I am playing a photographer. I have a friend who is a photographer and I spent a lot of time with him, so getting the certain body language and nuance was quite easy,” Diljit said.
The film is a reflection of the society and the lifestyle of youngsters today.
Why does a majority of youth in Punjabi desire to settle down abroad?
Diljit says the answer lies in unemployment.
“That is why they are moving out of Punjab to Canada, Australia and various places in Europe. Who wants to leave their family and go… It is only the job opportunity that is taking them away… Yes, it is a real issue,” he said.
“Shadaa” will have a nationwide release. Diljit sees a potential for business of regional films across India, even though he is concerned about less number of screens for the movie.
“Of course we will not get that many numbers of screens in cities like Mumbai or Delhi, the way we have a wide release in Punjab. Having said that, we want to reach out to people… and it is only natural that regional cinema will earn better business in its own region. We are releasing this film with subtitles so that people can enjoy it.
“I personally prefer watching a film with subtitleS rather than a dubbed version because sometimes the essence does not come across if you dub a Punjabi dialogue in Hindi,” explained the actor.
Diljit made his Bollywood debut with “Udta Punjab” in 2016 and ever since, he hasn’t looked back. In the last three years, he has done several films for the Hindi audience. The titles include “Phillauri”, “Welcome to New York”, “Soorma” and the upcoming “Arjun Patiala” and “Good News”.
Whether it is in his music or choice of film, Diljit has always believed in maintaining a fine balance between creative satisfaction and commercial success.
“As an artiste, I would continue doing experimental work and not all the experiments have to be commercially successful. Last year, when I did ‘Sajjan Singh Rangroot’, the film was not commercially superhit but it was a story worth telling,” he said, adding that he equally enjoyed shooting a rom-com like “Shadaa”.
“The idea is to make films so that producers can earn money and I can keep doing my experimental work side by side. I also enjoy doing such comedy, light-hearted commercial films.”
Directed by Jagdeep Sidhu, “Shadaa’ also features Neeru Bajwa, and is releasing on June 21.
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])