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Posted at: Oct 5, 2015, 12:51 AM; last updated: Oct 4, 2015, 8:46 PM (IST)

Defining the moment

Theatre and Punjabi film actor Preet Bhullar believes that cinema strengthens the emotional connect between actors and audiences at large
Defining the moment

Jasmine Singh

A red baseball cap covers his just-about-long hair, exposing the long strands. His tee fits well, without clinging on the bulging biceps; playfulness lightens up his eyes, as he places his order for English breakfast tea. Punjabi actor Preet Bhullar has the knack of making light of every moment - whether those moments describe his self-imposed solitude for the role, his health doing somersault, moments when uncertainty was the word, and moments when he knew what he was doing is right. As Preet readies to for the verdict of his upcoming film Qissa Panjab directed by Jatinder Mauhar, he also tells us what makes the subject, his character very real, in a light manner of course.

“I have done theatre for a long time with Kewal Dhaliwal and Sudesh Sharma, before I made my debut with the Punjabi film Heer & Hero, which was also produced by us,” he adjusts his cap. And now, it is Qissa Panjab for him. After a long time... “Yes, indeed,” he lets the naughty smile say the rest of the story, which he then takes the ‘onus’ to finish himself. “I have no qualms in admitting that we made huge error, well, this is how we, I mean all of us learn, by committing mistakes. Don’t we,” Preet doesn’t actually need an answer for he already has one. “So, I made sure that the next topic or role that I would pick up would be strong and something to offer to me, to challenge me,” shares Preet whose character in Qissa Panjab deals with drug menace. There are different stories in the film, portrayed by different actors, highlighting different themes. “Mine is about drugs,” his voice taking the intense note. “I come from Patti in Amritsar, which along with the rest of the Punjab has seen the youth falling in this deadly trap. I could feel the pain of the character in this sense,” adds Preet who is all praise for the director Jatinder Mauhar and producer Annu Bains of Pukhraj Productions. Nevertheless, Preet also acknowledges that creativity does face a tough challenge. “Jatinder is an amazing director, he knows what he wants, and as a theatre actor sometimes I have some improvisations to make, which were always given a good ear.”

Preet finds himself as a complete new person to the Punjabi film industry, each time he gets closer to it. “Subject of a film is the king now,” adds the actor who feels a good subject marketed well will yield dividends.

He has stopped sipping from the huge white cup; he moves the menu away from his sight. “I am done, after gymming I don’t break my diet. Tea is one cheat trick, but it is okay once a while. I stick to the right diet. Fitness and exercise are so much a part of my life now that sometimes, it almost feels like an obsession to me,” the smile disappears, and not a single wave of emotion touches his face. This is Preet the theatre actor. “Fitness of mind and body is as important as breathing or acting to me,” Preet brings his cell phone near to his hair, murmuring softly into it. “I have really worked hard and given my best in Qissa Panjab and I hope to do the same with any other upcoming project as well,” we let Preet, the actor and the theatre actor, ponder over this.

jasmine@tribunemail.com

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