After giving us a glimpse into his fabulous acting chops in Udta Punjab, Punjabi heartthrob Diljit Dosanjh is all set with his second outing in Bollywood — Phillauri, where he plays Anushka Sharma’s love interest. Clearly, the singer-actor plans to do more in Hindi cinema. But, he says, he is not willing to compromise. Excerpts from an interview
While we know you are playing an artist in the film, what exactly is your character graph in the film like?
My character is that of a beegada hua kalakar, not negative, but, in a nutshell, I am playing a spoilt artist.
Were there any aspects of your character in Phillauri that you could relate to?
No, nothing at all and that made playing this character a little difficult. I don’t even know anyone like that. I don’t speak like my character, nor have I ever done anything like him in my life. So, that was a little problematic. I am playing an artiste but there is also a romantic angle to my character, and I have not really explored the pure romantic genre as an actor yet. So it was exciting. There is romance, humour and lots of emotions involved with my character… layers that I had not explored before.
Speaking of romance, your subtle chemistry with Anushka Sharma in the trailers looks very good. How did you manage to bond with her and create this believable on-screen chemistry?
To be honest, it just happened. I am the kind of a person who takes time to open up to people and because Anushka and my track is set in the old world, where love used to happen only ‘ankhon-ankhon mein’, it didn’t require me to open up too much with Anushka. The romance in the film is typical, old-world, Bollywood-style, with provocative glances and subtle hints and because we didn’t really connect before the shoot it worked really well for our characters. Had I gelled with her prior to the shoot, it may not have looked so good on-screen.
Your co-actor Suraj Sharma says you follow a certain rhythm while performing…
(Laughs) I don’t really know what he means. I used to play the tabla and that’s when I first came across rhythm in life. This rhythm has helped me in all walks of my life, whether singing, singing in a studio, singing live and even in acting. Rhythm is important. Sur toh uttar sakta hai kayi baar, par agar aap rhythm se bahar hogaye toh chubta hai. So the rhythm I learnt while playing the tabla has helped me in all my careers.
When I listen to the script, that’s when I decide how I am going to approach the role. After that, I don’t give it much thought. However, the problem I faced with this character, is that people here do workshops before the film. Suraj is a well-trained artiste. He has worked so well in Life Of Pi, so he knows the ABCD of a workshop. I don’t.