'I laugh at those making a desperate effort to keep that controversy alive. I have far better things happening in my life.'
It's not been an easy time for Sooraj Pancholi, who has been under scrutiny for actress Jiah Khan's death for a long time.
"I am over that now," the young actor tells Subhash K Jha.
"In fact, I laugh at those making a desperate effort to keep that controversy alive. I have far better things happening in my life."
A new release, the dance film Time To Dance, for one.
"It's my first full-fledged dance film. Isabelle Kaif and I had so fun doing the dancing. It's all done in the Latin style. Isabelle is a fabulous dancer. I think I dance well too. I've always been good at hip-hop. The Latin dancing was new to me," he says.
Sooraj says the film has not lost any of its freshness.
"We completed it before COVID-19 and the lockdown, but it's coming out only now. The best part is, it's being released in both theatres and a some days later, on Netflix. We know that people are not going to theatres. So I'm very excited about millions of viewers watching Time To Dance on Netflix."
How was the rapport with Isabelle?
"Oh, we were friends long before we started shooting," he replies.
"We spent a lot of time rehearsing our dance steps. She is an absolutely hassle-free co-star, great fun to be with. I enjoyed the experience shooting the film with her. I hope it is a success for her sake as well as for mine."
Sooraj has not had much luck at the box office. His last film Satellite Shankar, though praised by critics, did not get an audience.
"That's because it wasn't promoted well at all," he says. "Giving my hundred percent to a film is all I can do. What happens to it after it is complete is not in my hands."
Sooraj is now ready to start shooting for his next film.
"I play a real-life Haryanvi boxer, Hawa Singh. I think I've always had a boxer's build, so I didn't need to work on my physique for the role."
Sooraj lived away from his parents -- Zarina Wahab and Aditya Pancholi -- through his childhood and teen years, but has now moved in with them now.
"I grew up in my grandparents' home. Then I stayed alone with my dogs. Now, I live with my parents and I am very comfortable with this arrangement."