Interview with 'darling of the masses' - Diljit Dosanjh

His act as the hilarious and heartbroken guy in ‘Jihne Mera Dil Luteya’, stole the heart of every girl in Punjab, and then in 2012, his super cute performance in ‘Jatt and Juliet’ made him the ‘darling of the masses’.  A truly funny and talented singer cum actor, who would impress you easily by his kindness and childlike innocence, Diljit Dosanjh – recently, chatted up with Ballewood.in to talk about the most-awaited movie of the year – Jatt and Juliet 2, his journey from a singer to an actor and some real heart-to-heart talk.  We would love to mention that this brilliant artiste took out an hour especially, straight after performing ‘live’ in Chandigarh’s Sector 17 ‘Plaza’ on the occasion of ‘World Music Day’ to talk exclusively to us. A man of words he kept his promise, and met our team at Taj Hotel, Chandigarh. Here are the interview excerpts:

Monita: How do you describe yourself? Who is Diljit Dosanjh?

Diljit : Diljit Dosanjh is basically a simple guy from a village whose mind is strongly etched to his roots. His village can never be taken out from his heart and his love for his native place, will remain forever.

Monita: You have been the victim of many controversies. What would you like to say to those people who call you ‘fukra’?

Diljit: (smiles) They have my blessings. I hope whoever they are, wherever they live, they stay happy and blessed always.

Monita: Tell us something about Jatt and Juliet 2 and your expectations from this movie.

Diljit: I feel exactly the same for Jatt and Juliet 2 as I was feeling at the time of its prequel. I knew before the release of Jatt and Juliet 1, that this one is a great film and should do well. The success was definitely beyond our expectations then. And now, I just hope and pray to God that the sequel also, does well and people really enjoy watching this film.

Monita:   What kind of actor do you think you are? Would you like to call yourself a romantic hero, a comic hero or an action hero?

Diljit: I would not like to call myself ‘hero’ at all (Smiles). I am just a singer primarily. Films have happened just ‘by chance’. I love singing and I feel extremely grateful to God for giving me an opportunity to work in films as well and that too with so many real talented artistes. I just feel honored. I have never even learnt acting.

Monita: But you’re always very natural in front of camera. How does that happen? Your character in JMDL, for example displayed mixed emotions towards the climax. On one hand, you were going through the pain of a heartbreak, and on the other, you had to stay comic as well. How do you manage to play such intense characters?

Diljit: To be very honest, I just don’t know how I do it. All I can say is that being a performing singer, I have, sort of, learnt how to hide my real feelings and keep a smiling mask always on. There are days, when you are not completely in that ‘peppy mood’, yet you have to go on stage and deliver a performance. Regardless of how you’re feeling personally, you have to perform your best because, if you don’t, it would be like, disappointing your fans! I think these are the moments which have, ‘taught’ me a bit of acting here and there.

(Video interview done on 27th June 2013- After the premiere of Jatt and Juliet 2 in Chandigarh (Hotel Taj)

Monita: Are you also a proponent of comedy movie trend in Punjabi cinema?

Diljit : No, not at all. I do believe films of all shades and genres should be made. I don’t know about others, but my two upcoming projects are on completely different subjects. The next one I am coming up with is ‘Mukhtiar Chadha’ which is a story of a middle class man based in Delhi while, another one is '1984 Punjab' which will get released next year. We’ll begin shooting ‘1984 Punjab’ in July and it’s a story of a mother and a son.

Monita: You have now officially sung three songs in three different Hindi movies- Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Mere Dad ki Maruti and Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. Are there any plans to move towards Bollywood as an actor?

Diljit: I never intended or made efforts to sing for Bollywood movies at all. All these films were made by or had my friends involved in them in some way. They asked me to sing for their movies and I did it in good friendship. 'Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya' was directed by Mandeep Kumar, a dear friend, who is the director of JMDL, while, 'Mere Dad Ki Maruti’s' lyrics were written by 'Kumar' who is also the lyricist for Jatt and Juliet. As far as roles in Hindi movies, frankly speaking, I haven’t been offered any significant role. If the role offered to me, has some weight in it, then I would love to do it even if it’s a villian’s role.

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Monita: We have seen you hosting PTC Film awards and your wit, spontaneity and comic punches sometimes overshadow even your co-host. Where have you got this talent from?

Diljit :  I think I’ve learnt it from my village boys who can beat anyone with their wit and humour. It’s that ‘pendu munda’ in me who is at work during such moments. Try visiting any village in Punjab , interact with the youth there, I am sure you’d find them better than even the top most stand-up comedians that you see on television.

Monita: Now tell us something about your amazing dressing sense. Your fabulous clothing style has made every youngster in Punjab crazy. Is it entirely based on your personal choice or someone else's suggestions?

Diljit : Oh, I am a big shopaholic. I can shop endlessly at any mall at any place in the world and would never feel tired. I like to explore different kinds of clothing and decide which one works and suits me the best. Even my mom scolds me sometimes for collecting so many clothes. I love to go to a mall. For me, stepping into a mall is like stepping on to the moon! (he smiles)  

Monita: Who is your favorite director?

Diljit : Anurag Singh. I like his calm and patient nature. There’s so much to learn from him professionally and personally, both.

Monita: Who do you idolize when it comes to singing?

Diljit: Gurdas Mann. I am a big fan of him. He’s a legend.

Monita: And who is your favorite actor?

Diljit : Gurdas Mann. He is one singer cum actor who has been proving himself time and again. People say why singers can’t be actors. I ask them why not? Gurdas Mann has already proven that.  

Monita: Okay, what are your hobbies?

Diljit : My life starts at singing, then I start acting. Now because I don’t know acting, I start watching films. And then, I start singing again. That’s how it goes ( he laughs off) Honestly speaking, for last year and a half, I have got very few moments to spend alone.

Monita: What kind of films do you watch?

Diljit : Hindi, Punjabi, Chinese, Korean and even South Indian. Even though I don’t understand much of what they’re speaking but watching different kinds of movies is always fun and there’s something new to learn always.

Monita: What’s your dream role?

Diljit : '1984 Punjab' is my dream role. And I am glad that it has happened soon.

Monita: Have you ever thought of production?

Diljit : Oh yeah. I wanted to make ‘Mukhtiar Chadha’ myself. But then because of some happenings of last year, I lost a lot of money. (smiles)

Monita: Which is your own personal favorite song?

Diljit: 'Gobind De Laal' from Sikh Volume 1 and 'Kudi Lut Put ke lae gayi'. I was given 'Gobind De Laal' song by someone, and I kept singing it privately for 5-6 years before recording it. Whenever I used to sing it, I couldn't help myself from crying. 

Monita: You also run an NGO called 'Saanjh Foundation'. What is that about?

Diljit: 'Saanjh Foundation' is an organization that helps the underprivileged children and old aged people. It was an idea that I had in my mind for long and then, a few of my friends and I decided to start it. 

(Video interview done on 27th June 2013- After the premiere of Jatt and Juliet 2 in Chandigarh (Hotel Taj)

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