Actor Sonu Sood, who is returning to the world of historical dramas after Jodha Akbar, says he was excited to essay the role of poet Chand Bardai in Samrat Prithviraj as he has grown up on the stories of warrior king Prithviraj Chauhan.
Sood said he approached the drama, fronted by Akshay Kumar and directed by Chanakya actor-director Chandraprakash Dwivedi, with a sense of responsibility.
“When a script like Samrat Prithviraj came to me, it excited me instantly as I have heard a lot of stories of Chand Bardai from my mother (late Saroj Sood). I was excited to bring those stories to the screen but I also felt a sense of responsibility. We have left no stone unturned to do justice to this role,” the 48-year-old actor said.
“When we used to listen to stories of Chand Bardai, we would feel very inspired. I never thought I would get the opportunity to play Chand Bardai in a film. I wish my mother was alive to see this as she would have been able to see whether I did it correctly or not,” the actor said.
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Sood, who is also known for his performance in films like Dabangg and Simmba, is hopeful the audience will be in for a treat to watch the onscreen friendship between Samrat Prithviraj and Chand Bardai.
Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan, is known for writing Prithviraj Raso, an epic poem that depicts the life and time of the famous king.
“The way the film has shaped up, it will be very exciting for people to see the relationship, the friendship between Samrat Prithviraj and Chand Bardai, which is something that people have only heard or read but not seen. I hope when people see it, they can feel our relationship and friendship,” he added.
Having played characters like Bhagat Singh in the 2001 biographical drama Shaheed-E-Azam and Prince Sujamal in Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan-starrer 2008 movie Jodhaa Akbar, Sood said it is essential to present things in an authentic way in historical dramas.
The actor said he felt he was in safe hands under Dwivedi’s direction as the filmmaker has great knowledge about history.
“History has so many versions as there are different materials written by different writers based on their own individual research. So, it is debatable which version is correct. It is the duty and responsibility of an actor to portray things correctly, which begins with diction and body language.
“It is important for an actor to do their homework right and not just come on sets, wear the costumes and say the lines with the dialect. Today, the audience is very smart and very well-read. It is important to be responsible when you play historical characters.” The key challenge in playing Chand Bardai for the Moga-born actor was to get the look right.
The actor – who used prosthetics to be seen in a bald avatar – said he would take three-four hours to get ready and it was tough to do action or a horse-riding sequence while retaining the look.
Up next for Sood is Kisaan, directed by E Niwas and Zee Studios action-thriller Fateh, helmed by Abhinandan Gupta.
“‘Kisaan’ is an important film about a farmer, the difficulties that he faces and how he overcomes them. ‘Fateh’ too talks about an important issue like digital scams. We have a research team working on it.” The actor will first begin work on Fateh, which will go on floors in August.
“I am doing films or picking up subjects that are about the problems faced by ‘aam janta’ and how a common man fights for the issues,” Sood, who catapulted to national fame for extending a helping hand to migrant workers during the COVID-19 lockdown, said.
The actor said he may be successful today but he believes the struggle of survival never ends for anyone.
“People salute or celebrate success but the struggle of survival will always be there like it will be a bit difficult for outsiders and a bit easy for insiders but how long can you hold it (success). Everyone wants to hold on to their success but not (do) the hard work. Only those will survive who will work hard with honesty,” Sood said.