- "Sandeep sir himself taught me hockey," said Diljit
- "Sandeep sir and I spent four months together," he added
- "It's a very inspiring story," added Diljit
Q: Your film Soorma is a biopic on the hockey legend Sandeep Singh, is that a big responsibility?
Diljit Dosanjh: "Oh yes, it's a big responsibility. That's why we worked really hard and gave it our best. Sandeep sir himself taught me hockey, before the shoot and during the shoot. He was a part of this journey right from the start to the end. Shaadi Ali our director, worked hard to give me the right look. A lot of people are talking about the look, I would give all the credit for that to Shaad sir."
Q: How did you go about learning hockey and then shooting the film?
Diljit Dosanjh: "I watched all the matches of Sandeep Singh and also some interviews that were available. Then once I was on the field, I realized that's another challenge altogether. I was also wondering how I will do this. Sandeep sir and I spent four months together, before the shoot and while shooting. We were both on the sets on Diwali as well; we didn't take an off because we didn't have the time. I saw him putting in so much, and that inspired me to work hard as well."
Q:Udta Punjab had four actors so that seemed like a shared responsibility. Soorma is on your shoulders, does that add pressure on you as an actor?
Diljit Dosanjh: "Oh my god! Media keeps saying and that's when I realize these things. I was not feeling the pressure, but questions like these make me scared. When I sign a film, all this doesn't matter. I have worked hard, and I am ready whatever the outcome. People have liked the songs and the trailer that's a good sign. Shaadi Ali, Gulzar, and Shankar Mahadevan who have contributed so much and made this film are legends in the field, that does help."
Q: There is enough buzz about your film on the social media, is that a sign that it will do well?
Diljit Dosanjh: "There is the right buzz on the Internet and social media but will people go to the ticket window or log on to the app and book the ticket, we will have to wait and watch. Marketing has to be right; it's as important nowadays as making a film."
Q: For those who don't know the story of Sandeep Singh, can you share something more about his story?
Diljit Dosanjh: "It's a very inspiring story. He got into hockey because of love. He got shot and then he was paralyzed. Doctors must have told them one thing, and he would want to believe something else. How many nights what he must have been awake in those days and must just be thinking of the days he was on the field, running and playing. That's why the film is called Soorma. Everyone goes through a time in life when they break down. Then you feel nothing is going to work - it's a relatable story. All these thoughts were at the back of my mind."
Diljit Dosanjh: "He used to get emotional sometimes like the time when we were filming the shootout scene and then the scene he was taken to the hospital. Those memories came back while he was watching us filming all this."
Q: A lot of schools taught that hockey is our national game but turns out that it's not. Did you hear about that?
Diljit Dosanjh: "Yes, even Google says it's our national game, but it's not. When the Chief Minister of Odisha tweeted, I read it. It's such an old game, and we are on number six in the world out of hundreds of countries that participate. We have won eight gold medals. We have hockey legends like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, Sandeep Singh; this should be our national sport. It's scary because through our school we were taught that hockey is our national game. Now I wonder, we were taught so many things in school, what all was wrong?"
Q: Have you watched other biopics made on sports personalities?
Diljit Dosanjh: "I watched all sports films, Chak De India, Dhoni, Mary Kom, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. When these films come out people talk about the sport and sports personalities. They learn more than they already know. These are also our real heroes; they make the country proud."
Soorma also stars Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi. It is slated to release on July 13.