Singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh has made the nation proud by becoming the first Indian artiste to perform at Coachella, the world’s biggest music festival held in California last weekend. And the busiest star of Punjab arrives in Chandigarh via Mumbai to promote his upcoming film Jodi with Nimrat Khaira.
He shares, “My producers have themselves arrived from Canada and I have come from Coachella to tell that Jodi is finally releasing on May 5. The film was offered to me 2018, but due to Covid it got delayed.” Whether the film would repeat the magic for Pollywood like Pathaan did for Bollywood, Diljit is no mood to make comparisons. But one thing he assures — despite his busy schedule, he is committed to doing one Punjabi film a year.
Flavour of the land
Jodi, a period film about the times when musical akharas were famous in Punjab, it also reminds of another project that Diljit is part of, Chamkila, a biopic by Imtiaz Ali that is in the making. While one compares, Diljit differentiates, “One is a fictional story and the other is a biopic. So not just the character’s look but also the subject is different, but from the same times of course.”
As to whether acting was always a plan, the Udta Punjab actor says, “I was never interested in studying, but my sister was. But when I was seven or eight years old, my teacher used to write poems and made me recite those. Soon, I became known as a kalakaar in school.”
Diljit hails technological advancements, as any artiste today is able to post content online and achieve success. “When I started in 2002, you needed people who could help you become an artiste. Punjabi artistes also woke up late to the concept of royalty. I was also amazed when a music company owner informed how he was earning royalties of Chamkila’s songs. Before that I thought we release songs and when they are a hit, we earn from live performances.”
Singer or actor... Is another question that Diljit used to think a lot about earlier, but now he says, “I have stopped judging myself. I earlier used to think of myself as a singer, but then many people gave me good feedback on acting.”
Diljit’s dressing sense has also become one of the talking points in the fashion world and he admits to being his own stylist. When it comes to Bollywood and to be taken as a serious ‘turbaned’ actor, Diljit says, “It a huge accomplishment.”
He credits both Punjab 1984 and Udta Punjab for helping his cause as an actor. Diljit shares, “My first Punjabi film was a flop and the producer told me that it was because of the turban. And I humbly accepted that feedback, but by then I had already shot for Jinhe Mera Dil Luteya, which worked at the box-office and broke records in those times. So had the second film not worked, I wouldn’t have been an actor.”
Meet the leading lady
“Jodi was offered to me when I was working on Lahoriye by the same director, Amberdeep Singh. It was an opportunity you don’t think twice about. But of course we have waited for long for the release. Diljit is a senior actor and getting a chance to work with him has been a phenomenal experience. Also, I always wanted to sing something that has a recall value of old duet songs and it feels great to transform that wish into reality.” — Nimrat Khaira, singer-actor
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