‘Diljit Dosanjh’ in an exclusive conversation with ‘Divya Solgama’
(Source – Bollywood Times)
Diljit Dosanjh made his debut in Hindi films with ‘Udta Punjab’ and is the most popular name in North India. Our Bollywood guide ‘G9 Divya Solgama’ had an exclusive privilege to speak to him regarding his latest film ‘Phillauri’, his childhood memories related to Hindi films, his take on latest songs, controversy with Harshvardhan Kapoor and a lot more.
Diljit, what are your strongest childhood memories related to Hindi films and songs? Did these films and songs inspired you to become a singer?
Diljit Dosanjh – The strongest childhood memory I have of Hindi films is of the movie ‘Sholay’. The main reason for me to remember and cherish this movie was due to Dharmendra. Along, with Dharam ji I also loved Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan as Gabbar in that movie. ‘Sholay’ is one such film which as a child, I must’ve seen it several times. In terms of music, all these films and local folk songs inspired me to fulfill my love and passion for music. I started playing tabla, followed by harmonium and that’s how I started growing as a musician, which eventually got me my first Punjabi pop album and rest is history.
Diljit, how did a musical person like you land up into films?
Diljit Dosanjh – With the grace of god, most of my music albums were doing quite good. The popularity of these albums gave me an opportunity to meet director Guddu Dhanoa. He offered me a lead role in his film. Now at that time almost every pop singer was trying their luck in films as a hero. So, even I thought that let me try my luck as a hero, and again with the grace of god, few of my Punjabi films managed to work well at the box office. Well ‘Udta Punjab’ was a great offer and I was totally excited to do this movie. I was not scared over the fact that it was my first Hindi full length film as an actor. I had a done few music videos due to which I was familiar with this industry. But at the same time I was tensed with ‘Udta Punjab’, as the movie represented Punjab and had a burning topic attached to it. I was wondering how will the movie be made and all such technicalities. It was like a responsibility on me as the movie was based on a topic related to Punjab and I being from there had to see that my act matches up to the expectation level. I just went ahead with the orders from the director and surrendered myself totally to his vision. I was lucky enough to work with great actors like Kareena, Alia and Shahid. It was indeed an honorable opportunity for me to be part of this great film with great people attached to it.
Diljit, how tough is to balance as a singer and an actor?
Diljit Dosanjh – It’s tough, but at the same time it goes together. Look at many good actors like Alia Bhatt, Sonakshi Sinha, Shraddha Kapoor and others are singing in films. Anushka Sharma rapped in our film. Priyanka Chopra managed to make her mark in international music. In our film industry, everyone is trying to balance between these both professions. While I tried my luck from singing to acting, hero, heroines out here are doing the same by trying their luck from acting to singing. So it’s not that tough as it looks.
Diljit, you have a great fan following in North India and after the release of ‘Udta Punjab’, the following has doubled. Despite of all these attentions, how do you manage to keep yourself grounded?
Diljit Dosanjh – I don’t feel that I am down to earth of that humble as people say. The reason to say so is that the only down to earth singer I have met in my life is Gurdaas Maan. Despite of being so popular and that too for decades, he is still down to earth and most humble human being I have ever met in my life. I don’t treat my fans as fans. For me they are like my family. They take out time and tweet for me, come to see my performance and all such gestures they do. It’s a big thing for me and I always keep thinking about them. I always fear that I should never let my fans down and cannot make them embarrass. All the fans who have tweeted and supported me in my tough times, I remember all of them personally by their names and their face.
Diljit, kindly walk us through your character in ‘Phillauri’ and the whole experience of working with Anushka Sharma?
Diljit Dosanjh – My character in ‘Phillauri’ is of a spoilt artist from an old era. He could be termed as a spoilt rock star, but from the old era. The songs of this movie ‘Dum Dum’ and ‘Sahiba’ are romantic and sweet, but my character is nowhere similar to these songs and the sweetness attached to it. This is what I love about working in films as you are able to do different type of characters. Every person has good and bad side and by doing such role you can unleash the bad side inside you. You just need to focus more on that side and perform your character. As I said I am a directors man and in the case of ‘Phillauri’ too, everything right from my character to the songs were finalized much before I became a part of the movie. I did not give any additional input in terms of music or film making and went ahead with the directors’ vision. Again, I feel blessed to work opposite such talented and beautiful actress like Kareena Kapoor and Anushka Sharma. I would have never got an opportunity to even meet or see these actors and today I am lucky to work with both of them.
Diljit, the music in our Hindi cinema is going through a rough phase. So as a successful singer what’s your take?
Diljit Dosanjh – I cannot comment over the fading music scenario of Bollywood, as only the hit and good songs from Hindi films used to reach in Punjab. So, whatever we heard was either the best or most popular form of music from recent days. Yes the old songs had a different type of melody and are still loved by every person in Punjab. These old songs, especially, most of the songs sung by Kishore Kumar, Mohd.Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and others managed to reach Punjab. Only selected songs from the latest times manage to make their mark in Punjab. ‘Ay Dil Hai Mushkil’ has some fantastic songs composed by Pritam. These songs along with other music directors like Amit Trivedi, Sneha Khanwelkar, Shankar Mhadevan and few more manage to hit their chord with every person around.
Diljit, how did you manage to keep your cool when Harshvardhan Kapoor had tweeted all those negative tweets related to you winning a Filmfare award?
Diljit Dosanjh – I am a big fan of Anil Kapoor. Long back Anil ji called me at his home for a role in his home production. He offered me Lassi and was so sweet with me. I remember those times. I don’t have any grudge against anyone. I am proud of Sonam’s achievement and also happy that Harshvardhan is part of Vikramadity Motwane’s next film. Vikram sir and his banner were the first ones to launch me as an actor in Hindi films. So, it’s all part of a giant circle and I don’t have any grudges for anyone.
Lastly, Diljit what are your upcoming films?
Diljit Dosanjh – My next film is a super hero Punjabi film named as ‘Super Singh’. It’s a first Punjabi superhero based film and I am proud to be part of it.