File image of actor Sonu Sood
Actor-producer Sonu Sood has been lauded for his charitable efforts during the pandemic. He says he encourages everyone to find themselves through service. In an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol, he talks about his television debut as an anchor, his views on OTT content, his work and more. Excerpts:
In the last few years, many Bollywood actors have really owned the small screen. This is your first time on television as an anchor. What are you looking forward to?
Through the years of connecting with people, and especially through the various waves of COVID, I've seen an incredible amount of pain and suffering, but I've also seen one thing in common with every person, regardless of circumstance and that is the undying spirit to live and go on with joy, the genuine will to help others and support each other and of course, the impulse to do things that make the world a better place in whatever capacity they can. This is what my show Desh Ki Baat Sunata Hun on Good News Today stands for. I love the idea of bringing these stories to our country. The genuine kindness, innovation and the community feeling that exists in India is something that should be celebrated to its fullest extent.
From hard core Bollywood to the small screen is a big jump but now with the advent of OTT and multiple channels, the earlier perception of small screen has changed…
TV is different from films because of its reach, and how instant it is. The chance for more regular connection with audiences, and instantly communicating to a large number of people with the message you want to convey is really special.
What inspires Sonu Sood?
What really inspires me are the smiles of the people - the ones that come from relief, from joy, from finally getting the help they need.
With cinema releases on hold for the pandemic, television and OTT are enjoying tremendous popularity. What is your take on this?
Of course, I will always say that nothing beats the feeling of a movie theatre, and that sense of community you feel when you can sit in a packed hall, watching something with people and sharing the same emotions, but television and OTT are also very powerful means of storytelling. In fact, at a time when people were feeling so helpless and alone, having access to a steady stream of content really gave them a sense of comfort. Moreover, a lot of older works of art and cinematic gems can be seen by a whole new audience, which is good for the film fraternity as a whole. There's also affordability and accessibility that plays a big role, many of these OTT platforms are providing content for low prices, in multiple languages which is great for an increasingly digital India.
You have worked with international super stars (like Jackie Chan). What is your dream project as an actor?
I have done a lot of movies in different languages. But what I have experienced in the last six months...is there is nothing bigger than a common man. A common man is also a superstar and I work with him every day.
Do you ever see yourself behind the camera? Directing?
I am sure I'll be behind the camera one day. I do a lot of movies and ads. I direct a lot of ads too that you see these days. I enjoy being behind the camera also but I think it is too early to take that call.
Tell us about your latest upcoming Bollywood films and the role you loved most.
There is Prithviraj in Hindi. Then I am starting a home production which is starting soon. It is an action movie. Then there is a Telugu movie Acharya starring Chiranjeevi.
Desh ki Baat Sunata Hoon is on Good News Today every week night at 9pm