When he single-handedly opposed the ensemble of cast in 'Tera Mera Ki Rishta' as a villain, we could not think that one day, this actor would emerge as the ‘indispensable comedy king’ of Punjabi cinema. Just the way he impressed everyone in his villain avatar, he has been giving equally stupendous performances in his stint as a comedian as well. Can we ever imagine Ballewood now without Binnu Dhillon?
His rib-tickling hand gestures and facial expressions that send us in splits in no time; have made everyone go crazy about him but not many are aware of Binnu Dhillon’s versatility as an actor. Binnu Dhillon is M.A. in theatre and the success of his movies hasn’t reduced his love for theatre at all. Recently, when he returned to India after doing his play “Naughty Baba in Town” in Australia, we caught up with him and tried to get a deeper understanding of this thespian’s life. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Monita Sharma: How do you define “Binnu Dhillon”?
Binnu Dhillon: Binnu Dhillon is a very small actor in Punjabi film industry who is working very hard to improve himself and it’s going to take a while before he becomes a complete actor.
Monita Sharma: How are you in your personal life? Are you always funny?
Binnu Dhillon: Yes. I am very much a happy person who likes to make others laugh. I like to enjoy every moment and give my 100% to it. For example, when I am with friends and family, I am completely there, likewise, when at work, I don’t think about anything else other than just my present moment and giving my best to it.
Monita Sharma: When did you decide that you want to be an actor?
Binnu Dhillon: When I was doing my graduation at Desh Bhagat College Bardwal (Dhuri), I used to participate in plays. My first play was ‘Anne Nishaan’ in which I played the character of “Fatte Chakk”. Then my interest in acting field grew and I did my M.A. in Theatre from Punjabi University, Patiala. There, many TV producers of the newly launched channels like, ATN, Lashkaara, Alpha Punjabi, etc auditioned us and I got selected in a few T.V. serials. 'Parchaave', 'Sarhad', 'Lori', 'Professor Money Plant', Jugnu Hazir Hai are a few shows which I did and they grew immensely popular as well.
Monita Sharma: You’re seen in comic roles these days but what kind of character do you personally like to play?
Binnu Dhillon: I like to play all kinds of roles. When I was launched in Punjabi movies, I did negative characters initially. For example, I am very fond of my film, 'Tera Mera Ki Rishta' wherein I was the only villain against a big cast. That film was very well made and is very close to my heart. At that time, I didn’t even have much exposure and experience in films, but I was appreciated for my role. So, any role that allows me to show my potential as an actor is something that I really look forward to doing.
Monita Sharma: Most of the Punjabis these days, like to watch your movies for a quick dose of laughter whenever they feel depressed. What do you do when you are not in a very upbeat mood?
Binnu Dhillon: I like to play cards with my friends. This is something which I really find refreshing. Whenever I am in a little tense mood, I visit my friends and play a good game which is good enough for my mental catharsis.
Monita Sharma: Out of so many roles that you've done so far, which one is your favorite?
Binnu Dhillon: It has to be the one that I played in 'Tera Mera Ki Rishta' and ‘Goldy’ of 'Carry on Jatta' that garnered me a lot of love from public.
Monita Sharma: Your hand gesture in Carry on Jatta became very famous. How did that idea come into mind?
Binnu Dhillon: Carry on Jatta had a big cast with a lot of senior actors performing in it, like Jaswinder Bhalla, Gurpreet Ghuggi, B.N. Sharma etc. And then, we had the superstar, Gippy Grewal. So, my role had comparatively very few dialogues. Then I thought, let me try a peculiar hand gesture or face expression to stand out and leave a mark. Rest is history. (smiles)
Monita Sharma: How do you select a role? What do you keep in mind before signing a movie?
Binnu Dhillon: First, I see how the film story is and which director is directing it. Then I see whether my character is significant enough to leave an impact. If my role offers me a chance to give in my inputs as well, then I sign it.
Monita Sharma: Movies or theatre? Which one does your heart belong to?
Binnu Dhillon: Theatre, obviously, because, just like life, it doesn’t have a rewind button. So, it’s much more fun. Moreover, the response of the public is also instantaneous which gives so much energy to perform even better. But the drawbacks of theatre are its limited reach and very low income. Movies, on the other hand, have a wider reach, give more popularity and moeny and also offer a chance to do a number of retakes. But still, my heart goes for theatre and that’s the reason that I am still doing it.
Monita Sharma: What are your hobbies?
Binnu Dhillon: I like to enjoy sports and games. For example, ‘playing cards’ and Volley ball! I also love traveling.
Monita Sharma: Which is your favorite travel destination?
Binnu Dhillon: Not going too far, it’s Kasauli- a beautiful place to de-stress and the best part is that it’s just 2 hour away from my hometown- Patiala. (smiles)
Monita Sharma: Tell us something about your family.
Binnu Dhillon: My parents live in Dhuri (distt. Sangrur). My wife’s name is ‘Gurjinder Kaur’. I have two lovely daughters. Elder one’s name is ‘Dilnaaz’ while the younger one is, ‘Mannat’.
Monita Sharma: Which is your favorite food?
Binnu Dhillon: ‘Saag’ and Yellow Daal. I can leave chicken also, for ‘Saag’.
Monita Sharma: We loved you in Dev D. Do you plan to do any more Hindi movies?
Binnu Dhillon: Right now, I am so occupied with Punjabi films and theatre that I just can’t find time for Hindi movies, even if I want to. I am also pretty content and happy with the way Punjabi cinema is growing at the moment. However, if there’s a good Hindi movie role offered to me that really tests my ability as an actor, then I will definitely give it a go..
Full Audio interview of Binnu Dhillon in Punjabi