'People don't want you to survive in this film industry'
Neha Dhupia and Sonu Sood know each other only too well. After all, they have worked with each other through their career in films like Sheesha, Siskiyaan, Singh Is Kingg and now, Maximum.
Maximum is a cop thriller, directed by Kabeer Kaushik, showing off the actors in a serious and promising light. It will release on June 29.
Neha and Sonu speak to Patcy N about the film, and also reveal lesser know details about each other's lives.
Actors usually want to do different kinds of characters, while you are doing two cop stories back-to-back.
Sonu Sood: I would do another two cop films if Kabeer is the director.
Kabeer has a great hold on the cop genre; he has friends in the police department so he really understands the pulse very well. You can sense that when you read the script.
This film is a deadly combination of a realistic film and commercial elements of the craft. The way he has narrated the script is very classy. The way he shot it looks very real.
I wanted to see the rushes of the film but he did not show me. Finally, when I saw the whole thing together I knew it had turned out excellent. In fact, the way it is edited is new for me too. That makes the film special for me.
Image: Neha Dhupia and Sonu Sood in Maximum
'Wearing a sari was the most difficult thing in the film'
It is a cop thriller. How much do you get to do in the film, Neha?
Neha Dhupia: Without boasting too much about Supriya, the character that I play, who is Sonu's wife, that whole sense of reality and emotions in Sonu's life would be missing if it wasn't for Supriya.
It is very different from what I have done before. I was quite surprised that I was cast but I am glad that someone saw that I could do this part.
What was the most difficult part of the movie?
Neha Dhupia: For me, wearing a sari was the most difficult thing in the film. I am the kind of actor who uses six meters of cloth to make clothes; it was just different to see myself like this.
Kabeer made me realise how much goes into being a homemaker; I have so much more respect for the wives, mothers, and women at home who have to play this part for the rest of their lives. It is so important what they do.
It was difficult to get into the skin of the character but once I was there, I got it. Suddenly I appreciate my mother more because she has been a homemaker all her life. I know what she has done, the sacrifices you have to make, that you have to keep quiet when you have so many things to say.
It was a learning experience for me. I feel all grown up, I feel like going from a girl to a woman all of a sudden.
Image: Neha Dhupia in Maximum
'Between Naseer and Sonu, it was difficult for me to decide who the better actor was'
You have done three films together-- Sheesha, Siskiyaan, Singh is Kinng. How has Sonu improved over the years?
Neha Dhupia: It is not only Sonu, in my case too, with experience, with time, with the amount of movies you do, you get better and better. It's the little things -- lighting, script or getting into the character -- that you understand better.
From the very first day Sonu has been very hard working and he is the same now. He comes with a huge amount of humility.
What he lacked a little bit earlier was dancing skill, but that has become extremely good now. He has a sense of rhythm.
As far as action goes, he is good, and about emoting, there is one scene in the film where he has to cry like a little boy. When I saw the rushes, I literally had a shiver down my spine -- it was a fantastic performance.
That one scene will show how he has matured as an actor. His understanding of emotion is at par with any other actor. Between Naseer and Sonu, it was difficult for me to decide who the better actor was.
What about Neha?
Sonu Sood: I remember Neha from when we did our first film together. She has made a place for herself in the industry. She has always been a dedicated actor.
I have seen actresses spend so much time getting ready with their make-up and coming on the sets. She is ready in five minutes -- even if she is not fully done she won't let the director wait.
She is always good, but every day is a learning experience for everybody and your co-actors and directors are your teachers. The teachers she chose were all very good, and all the directors she worked with are very good.
Image: A scene from Maximum
'Neha Dhupia can't do without shopping'
Three secrets about Sonu that nobody else knows?
Neha Dhupia: Sonu can function on very little sleep, he shuttles between two industries (Bollywood and the Southern film industry) but he will still come looking fresh and fit as a fiddle. He will be shooting the whole day and suddenly at the end of the day he will say 'I am going home to sleep; I haven't slept in five days'.
Sonu can do with very little food; he is like a camel, he can store it all. Any time of the year you can ask him to take his shirt off and he has eight pack abs.
I have said enough good things about Sonu so here is one bad thing: If you carry healthy, organic and extremely well cooked home food, he may steal it from your dabba, so you better be careful!
What about Neha's secrets?
Sonu Sood: She has been using my ice-box for the past six years after borrowing it for a day. When I see it, I have tears in my eyes. She promises to return it when we do our next film, but that day has never come.
Second, she can't do without shopping. Any director who wants to shoot with her should not shoot near any malls because suddenly she will disappear and go shopping for clothes.
The third thing is, you will get the best food when you go to her home. I don't know whether she cooks or there is a cook who does it for her.
Image: Sonu Sood in Maximum
'People don't want you to survive in this industry'
Sonu, you have been in the industry for long. Do you think Jodha Akbar and Dabangg changed your career in a big way?
Yes. They were important films in my career.
Every film is important. Even if you do the wrong kind of film it is important in some way, but if you do a good film it takes you to the next level.
Good films are like oxygen you need to survive in the industry. People don't want you to survive in this industry. Suddenly a good film comes and you get that oxygen to survive. Maximum will be another such film.
Neha, what is the turning point in your career?
Every film is. I always sign a film thinking it will be a turning point.
For me, to be part of Maximum is another feather in my cap.
What are your forthcoming films?
Sonu Sood: I do very few movies. Apart from Maximum, the only Hindi film I am doing is Shootout at Wadala. Then there is my home production and four films down south.
Neha Dhupia: I have a film called I am 24, and another film opposite Emraan Hashmi called Rush that will release in October.
Image: A scene from Maximum