Sonu Sood: I want to do roles that give me sleepless nights

That’s the kind of parts the actor is looking for in Bollywood. And that’s why we don’t see too much of the south villain in Hindi movies. Sonu Sood talks about what makes him tick as an actor and his forthcoming film Maximum

After making a long-lasting impression in public memory as the wicked Cheddi Singh from Dabangg, Sonu Sood is back in action on Bollywood big screen with a cop drama. Kabeer Kaushik’s Maximum will once again see the actor, who is popular for villainous roles in the South film industry, play the protagonist in the hard-hitting plot based on the life of a top cop.

In the past the former model-turned-actor has played the lead role in Dhoondte Reh Jaoge and Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi, but both films tanked at the box office. Doesn’t failure of past movies make him nervous about his forthcoming project? Sonu – dressed in jeans and a tight tee – calmly says, “Not really. In fact I am looking forward to the film. Maximum is a very interesting story about two cops and their struggle for power. And what the characters go through in their professional and personal lives.” Apparently, the film’s story is inspired from real life encounter specialists like Pradeep Sharma, Vijay Salaskar, Praful Bhonsle, Daya Naik and others.

Director Kabeer Kaushik, who has written and helmed the project, hasn’t had a successful track record at the BO. All his films – Sehar, Chamku and Hum Tum Aur Ghost – didn’t make the cash registers go kaching-kaching. That too didn’t bother Sonu. “I had seen Sehar which is a brilliant film. Also Kabeer is a great technician,” says Sonu and adds after a pause, “The amount of research he has done for Maximum is unbelievable. He wrote 48 drafts before starting to shoot the film. So I was sure the story was perfect!”

While hard-hitting plots like Shanghai are critically appreciated, the movies that make loads of moolah at the box-office are larger-than-life entertainers like Rowdy Rathore and Bodyguard. “Everyone likes big numbers, but sometimes critical acclaim is also important. I think Maximum has the potential for both – wins praises for a well told story and make money at the BO.”

Speaking of the latest South remakes, during the chat Sonu revealed that a lot of his Telugu and Kannada films are being adapted for the Hindi speaking audience. But the reason the former model-turned-actor doesn’t want to do them is: “As of now I haven’t been convinced by anything offered so far. Also, I want to do roles that will give me sleepless nights, gets me excited and offers me something new.”

And so his next role in Hindi film is onscreen impersonation of mafia don Dawood Ibrahim for Sanjay Gupta’s Shootout At Wadala. It also boasts of an ensemble cast starring John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Kangna Ranaut and Tusshar Kapoor. Most of Sonu’s roles, starting from Yuva to Jodhaa Akbar to Dabangg, have got him loads of bouquets. Yet, the south actor is handed over characters roles in biggies or lead roles in small budget movies.

One of the reasons the good-looking actor thinks he’s not made it big (read lead roles in plum projects) in B-town as per the conventional definition of the word is, “It’s difficult for outsiders to break into the industry. Also, you don’t make it big overnight, it’s a journey.” After rummaging a little more on the thought thrown at him, Sonu says, “I am not the kind of person who will stay in touch or send feelers just for work. I do wish people whom I know on special occasions, but that’s a personal rapport I share with them.”

So clearly Sonu’s playing maximum bets on his work. Let’s hope it pays off for Kabeer Kaushik’s film, which releases on June 29.