Actor Sonu Sood says his journey in Bollywood has been long and far from easy.
Sonu Sood, who featured with Jackie Chan in Kung Fu Yoga, started out as a model before venturing into films in 1999 (made his debut in Tamil film “Kallazhagar”).
After years of struggle, the actor is now ready to take on bigger things.
Working with Jackie Chan
For Sonu’s part in Kung Fu Yoga (as Randall), several other Bollywood actors were in contention – Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff and even Aamir Khan. However, Stanley Tong chose Sonu Sood as he wanted someone without any baggage, someone who would give the film time. The director wanted a Bollywood actor who’d surrender to the film without any question.
“I remember I hadn’t asked a single question when I was offered the film. I had a video call with the team much later,” Sonu.
And how was it working with Jackie Chan?
“When I was flying to Beijing for the shoot of Kung Fu, I watched ‘Police Story’ on the flight. That was also directed by Stanley Tong with Jackie in the lead. It felt surreal that I was going to working with the same team. In 2007, I’d said in an interview that I wish Jackie works with me… It came true. I was just happy to see a humble legend sitting next to me.”
Tough Journey in Bollywood
The Nagpur born actor Sonu Sood, known for his fitness, has now worked with Shah Rukh Khan (in “Happy New Year”), and with Jackie Chan (and is also excited about Chinese film “Xuanzang”).
The actor did face failure initially with films like “Shaheed-E-Azam”, “Aashiq Banaya Aapne” and “Sheesha”, but Sonu did taste some success with small, but important roles, in films like “Jodhaa Akbar”, “Singh Is Kinng” and “Dabangg”.
Sonu Sood says it has been a long and difficult journey in Bollywood, where the competition is fierce.
“It was a tough journey. It is very tough for an outsider to make a mark in Bollywood. Everyday you have to come up with something new and better than other. It is tough. You have to be on your toes, and keep on entertaining people so that you can survive. It is a tough field. But I always had faith in the wishes of my parents. It created a path for me and made my journey smooth.”
So finally, Sonu Sood has managed to make his mark in Bollywood.
Tough Journey in Bollywood
Sonu Sood is also a film producer now, and like most other film celebrities, Sonu Sood owns several properties in Mumbai and in other cities in India.
Sonu Sood owns several apartments in upmarket pockets of Mumbai, but stays in a relatively smaller apartment in Mumbai because it was the first house that he had bought. “I live here because I feel closer to my parents — they lived here when they were alive. So, nothing matches the sense of attachment I feel for it.”
Sonu Sood’s apartment in Andheri, Mumbai
Like several other Bollywood celebrities, even Sonu Sood came to Mumbai with jut a dream in his eyes.
“Several years ago, I boarded an express train to Mumbai on a ‘chaalu’ ticket. I didn’t even have money to make a reservation. But today, I can afford to send a private jet to fetch Jackie, one of the world’s greatest stars, to India. I single-handedly managed his stay and a lavish event to celebrate the film and him. Life has come a long way. I wish that my parents were around to see this,” Sonu Sood
Sonu Sood Controversies
Sonu Sood, who owns a bungalow in Aaram Nagar, Andheri West, had rented it out to producer Sheetal Talwar (few years back) to start a restaurant. However, trouble started when the producer delayed the rent payments to Sonu.
“We rented this property in Yari Road (Mumbai) from Sonu Sood for my chain of pubs. Sonu said the land was completely clear of any legal dispute. I can show you all the documents and the false affidavit saying the land is all-clear. But when we applied for licenses, we realised there was no clearance from the BMC (Bombay Municipal Corporation) and we were refused a license to start a bar. So, my bars in the Fort and Lower Parel areas of Mumbai have opened. But not in Yari Road, thanks to Sonu’s misrepresentation of the premise he rented to us. We kept paying rent to Sonu till June 2012 and then I told him to get me the licenses, and only then will I pay him more rent,” he added.
Producer Sheetal Talwar then filed a case of fraud against actor Sonu Sood, who denied all the accusations.
“After paying rent for five months, he stopped. He hasn’t paid a single paisa in the last five to six months. Everytime I call, he has some personal problem or the other… I have all Sheetal’s messages and call records proving how he has been avoiding a meeting with me/ Finally I filed a non-cognisable complaint in the police… He hasn’t even paid the broker who negotiated between us,” Sonu Sood.