When a gorgeous, talented actor like, Gul Panag makes an entry into our ‘Ballewood’, it surely becomes a reason to rejoice for the fans of Punjabi cinema. Gul Panag, a former Miss India (1999) has been in the entertainment industry for almost 13 years and has been garnering rave reviews from the masses as well as the critics for her movies like, 'Dor', 'Dhoop' etc. Aways known for speaking her mind fearlessly, this dimpled lady is now all set to speak her mind as “Beant Kaur” in her first Punjabi film, “Sikander” releasing on 21st June. Here are the excerpts from the interview with her:
Q: Tell us about 'Sikander' and your role in it?
A The movie rests upon three different characters, played by Yaad Grewal, Kartar Cheema and me . I’ll be seen playing the role of "Beant Kaur"- strong and rebellious girl from a village who is into student politics but is honest and principled. Yaad Grewal playing the role of Harjang, will be playing just the opposite – negative character while Kartar Cheema will be seen as ‘Sikander’ who is neither white nor black , he plays a grey shaded character. The movie is based on student politics, and how people are dragged into it.
Q: When everybody is making comedy movies in Punjab, what are your expectations from Sikander? Do you think it will be commercially successful?
A : Sikander might just set a trend of such issue-based realistic movies. I think our movie will pose itself as a test for the Punjabi audience - whether they want the regular dose of comedy or they want something else served as well?
Q: In a Punjabi movie, the role of the heroine is never given much importance. What’s your take on that?
A: This is a problem that exists in our society and yes, cinema (not just Punjabi) also takes a toll of this gender bias. Cinema is a reflection to what is happening in the society only.
Q : You are a Punjabi, how does it feel to work in your homeland ?
A : I choose movies not according to the language but according to the script. For me the language has never been the criteria of selecting my roles. Be it Bollywood or Hollywood, all that matters to me are the script and the role, so it’s good to work anywhere.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming projects?
A: My Hindi movie ‘Ab Tak Chhappan’ will be out shortly. And then there’s an Indo-French project that I am working on.
QWhich is your favorite Punjabi movie?
A : I don’t watch Punjabi movies, and I haven’t seen one ..(she laughs off)
Q: What do you like about your profession and what do you dislike?
A: The best thing about the profession is that I work when I want to. It’s completely my wish when I want to work and when I don’t. That ways, I have time for myself. What I don’t like is that there’s a lot of ‘duality’ in this profession. What we see on the surface, may not be the reality inside and vice versa.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: For me food is like fuel, I eat it so that I can work. I am not a foodie at all.
Q: Which is your favorite holiday destination?
A: I love exploring exotic Indian destinations like Spiti, Goa , Lakdakh etc. I plan to explore North East India this year.
Q: Who is your favorite actor?
Gul : Naseerudin Shah is an amazing actor, I admire his work a lot.
Q: Who is your favorite director?
A: That is a difficult one to answer. I like Nagesh Kukunoor, Imtiaz Ali and yes, Navdeep Singh is amazing.
(with inputs from Prakriti Malhotra)
Gul Panag in Sikander (releasing on 21st June 2013):