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Akshay could have played my character but Diljit defines it better: Sandeep Singh

The hockey star believes Akshay is too old to play his character on-screen. Further, he wanted a real sardar to essay his role. 

Akshay Kumar, Sandeep Singh and Diljit Dosanjh

Keyur Seta

Actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh is being praised for his look as Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh in Soorma. The film, directed by Shaad Ali, is a biopic on the life of the hockey player.

During a media interaction, Singh said that he always wanted a real sardar to play his character on-screen. “After we were done with the scripting, I felt that the person playing my role should be a real sardar. That feeling should come from inside. We know Farhan Akhtar did Milkha Singh’s movie and he even looked like him. But Sandeep Singh’s identity is different. You people might not know but my identity in the hockey field is different. Hence, I wanted a real sardar,” Singh said.

Here Dosanjh made a quick clarification. “Sorry [to interrupt]. Farhan did very well [as Milkha Singh],” he said much to everyone’s laughter.

Singh explained himself saying, “I am not demeaning him [Akhtar]. Milkha Singh is a legend. So, it wasn’t easy to perform his role. But the person playing my character should look real. It shouldn’t look like a joke. The movie is a biopic. It’s not a comedy movie. The kind of pain I have gone through should be shown on the screen.”

Singh hasn’t seen the film yet, but is sure about Dosanjh’s performance. “Without watching the movie I am satisfied by paaji’s [Dosanjh’s] role. You must have seen how that one scream in the trailer gave goosebumps. So, you can imagine how people would cry in the whole film,” he said.

The hockey player also revealed that much before Soorma, a Punjabi filmmaker had approached him for permissions to make a biopic. “I had an offer in around 2011 or 2012 in a Punjabi film. But I refused it because I wanted it to be made on a wider scale in a Hindi film. A Hindi film will reach in every house. Today’s youngsters give up very easily. So, I want people to get inspired and not get bobbed down by small hiccups in life. Punjabi [language film] will be limited to Punjab. Not that I am against Punjabi in any way. I am from Punjab. I love Punjabi movies,” Singh added.

When asked about his favourite actor, he mentioned Dosanjh along with actor Akshay Kumar. “I am anyways a big fan of paaji [Dosanjh]. I don’t miss any of his films or music videos. I have seen a lot of Akshay Kumar’s films. I don’t know how people find his films but I like them a lot. His characters always bring out a message,” he said.

However, Singh prefers Dosanjh over Akshay when it comes to playing his character on-screen. “Akshay paaji’s age is a lot more. I am his fan. But the character of Sandeep can be played only by a real sardar. I feel Akshay paaji would have played it very well. But I don’t think anybody else than paaji [Dosanjh] could define the character,” he said.

Interestingly, Akshay is all set to do a hockey film too. Titled Gold and directed by Reema Kagti, the film will have him play the role of a hockey coach.