Incredibly good-looking, amazingly talented, he’s an actor who’s down to earth, polite and extremely humble in his real life. Totally unaffected by the side effects of fame and success, this man hasn’t allowed his ‘superstar’ status change him as a person. We’re talking about the superstar singer-turned-actor of our Ballewood- Gippy Grewal- who after having entertained the audience with songs like, Phulkari, Angrezi Beat and much more for years, has also charted his career well as an actor giving superhits like, 'Jihne Mera Dil Luteya', 'Carry on Jatta', and 'Singh vs Kaur'. In just a span of two years, our talented Gippy has tried many different roles, from that cute ‘Yuvraj’ in 'Jihne Mera Dil Luteya' to the passionate lover ‘Mirza’ in 'Mirza- the Untold Story' to an innocent ‘Jass’ in 'Carry on Jatta' and finally, the fierce ‘Nihal Singh’- in 'Singh vs Kaur'. Ballewood’s Monita Sharma chats up with the ‘Carry on Jatta’ star Gippy Grewal during the dubbing session of 'Lucky Di Unlucky Story'- his upcoming flick. Here’s what Gippy shares EXCLUSIVELY with us:
Monita Sharma: Let’s talk about your latest release - Singh vs. Kaur - which has been a stupendous success allover Punjab as well as overseas… How did this film fall into your lap?
Gippy Grewal: I was pretty impressed with the basic story idea when director Navaniat Singh, narrated me the plot in just one line. Later, when I read the script in more detail, I was convinced that I had to do this film. Moreover, I really liked the way my character was written, as I relate very closely with ‘Nihal Singh’ in real life. Like him, I am quite friendly, jolly and happy-go-lucky kind of a person.
Monita Sharma: So, what all special efforts did you put in to justify your role as Nihal Singh – the action hero?
Gippy Grewal: As far as special efforts are concerned, to be very honest, I put in more hard-work and efforts during the making of ‘Mirza-The Untold Story’. That was one movie, for which I went to Canada six months prior to the shooting schedule just to learn action, build physical stamina, under-go strength training and so on. Unfortunately, that movie didn’t work well but I am happy that the efforts that were put in there, didn’t go waste and finally, under the guidance of Ram Laxman, our action choreographer in Singh vs. Kaur, I was able to pull the role of Nihal Singh quite easily.
Monita Sharma : Tell us something about your upcoming film, Lucky Di Unlucky Story (releasing on 26th April). Considering that it has almost the same cast and crew as that of Carry on Jatta, including the director himself, is it going to be just like another Carry on Jatta or different and even better?
Gippy Grewal: No, Lucky Di Unlucky Story is a totally different film. There’s no way we can compare it with Carry on Jatta. Yes, it’s an out-an-out comedy, a complete laughter riot like Carry on Jatta but apart from that there’s no similarity. Yes, it has a similar cast and crew, but the concept of the movie is quite different, the story is different and treatment is very classy. This film is about Lucky, an honest and innocent guy who everybody thinks is a liar. He knows a lot about women but nothing about marriage. He has three married friends who help and guide him – all this leads to very complicated and extremely hilarious situations. You’d find that it’s a film that despite being a heavy comedy is a complete ‘family entertainer’.
Monita Sharma : Your first superhit as the main lead was Jihne Mera Dil Luteya in which you had Diljit Dosanjh- another talented Ballewood actor, as your co-star. How was the experience working in this movie that raised the bar of Punjabi cinema to a whole new level?
Gippy Grewal : It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life to work in that movie. I don’t think such a film can ever be made again in Punjabi cinema. A comedy full-on, Jihne Mera Dil Luteya catapulted the careers of both me and Diljit to a different level altogether. Overnight, we became ‘star actors’. The best part was that both I and Diljit are very close to the director, Mandeep Kumar and while we were discussing the movie, I told Mandeep that let’s make it on the lines of our favorite-Andaz Apna Apna. That formula worked and it was an amazing experience working with such a brilliant team, including my co-star Diljit who I treat as my younger brother only.
Monita Sharma : So, when do we see both of you working again in the same movie?
Gippy Grewal : Well, practically speaking, it’s going to get very expensive for any producer to have both of us in the same movie, (he laughs) although I would love to work again with a brilliant actor like, Diljit for sure. We’re very close in real life too. He’s a great friend and we keep meeting each other in our family functions quite regularly.
Monita Sharma: Talking about the ongoing trend of comedy movies, what do you have to say about it? Are we Punjabis adept at making only comedies?
Gippy Grewal (smiles): No, that’s not true! We can make great movies in other genres as well but the thing is that almost every producer I meet these days wants to make another ‘Carry on Jatta’ only thinking that that their movie would repeat the same results like 'Carry on Jatta'. They also think that comedy is the only genre that will be accepted in Punjab. But we’ve seen a lot of Hindi action movies like, Ghajni also do very well in Punjab. So, I, personally, am a bit against this trend. That’s why I, in my home productions, try my best to bring in something fresh and never-seen-before. You can see that Singh vs. Kaur was an action flick on which we didn’t mind spending a few crores extra because we knew something had to be done by someone at certain point of time, to make people get used to seeing other genres too. That is the reason we walked an extra mile and brought in a team from South for action in this movie. And the result is before everyone's eyes now. I think the success of Singh vs. Kaur proves that if the film is well-made, all genres will be accepted by people.
Monita Sharma : What is your dream role?
Gippy Grewal : I would love to play a gray-shaded character like, Akshay Kumar in Special 26 or Shahrukh Khan in Baazigar.
Monita Sharma : If you were not a singer or an actor, what line of work you’d have been into?
Gippy Grewal : I’ve done so many things in my life that I could’ve fitted in just anything. I’ve lived abroad and there I’ve run taxis, worked as a chef, security guard, cleaner and many more things. I’ve been grateful to God always for giving me the ability to stay happy in whichever circumstances I am in, without complaining. I am glad that God provided me with singing talent and for making my career as a singer successful. But all I can say is that if one is always thankful to God, ready to work hard, never looks down upon any kind of work then God surely gives you a chance to rise up in life. I was happy then also and I am happy now as well!
Monita Sharma : How do you spend time with your family when you’re not working?
Gippy Grewal: It’s very rare that I am totally free. But whenever I am, I make sure that I spend quality time with my family – my wife, Ravneet and my two sons- Ekomkar and Gurfateh. Even when I am working in and around Chandigarh, my children come and visit me in studios.
Monita Sharma: Which is your favorite holiday destination?
Gippy Grewal: Last year, I went to Hawaii with my family and we had great fun over there. Since then, Hawaii has become my favorite holiday destination.
Monita Sharma : Who is your favorite singer?
Gippy Grewal : I’ve been a huge fan of Kuldip Manak, and Chamkila. In fact, I am greatly inspired by Chamkila. You know I sometimes, “copy” him too! (he giggles)
Monita Sharma : And your favorite actor?
Gippy Grewal : Ah, that’s a difficult one. There are so many who I get inspired from. There’s something to learn from everyone. I can’t place my finger on any one in particular.
(With inputs by Prakriti Malhotra)