Filmmaker Shaad Ali and actress Taapsee Pannu interacts with Cinespeaks for their upcoming film Soorma. Soorma is a biographical film on Indian hockey player Sandeep Singh and actor Diljit Dosanjh is playing the lead character in the film. Soorma is scheduled to release on July 13.
Q: Tell us something about your association with sports and do you enjoy playing sports?
Taapsee: I love sports and enjoy it. In fact, I have been playing sports right from my childhood days. I used to actively play volleyball and badminton when I was in school. I love playing squash even today. So, I have a knack for almost every sport but I haven’t played it on a professional level. I actively play sports and enjoy it.
Q: Was it challenging to make a film like Soorma?
Shaad: As a filmmaker, it is really important to be responsible while making a biopic. One has to depict it in a real way with due respect. So, it was challenging to get the story and script right. I started from scratch and developed the screenplay of the film. Post my writing, it was quite relaxing for me when good actors like Taapsee Pannu and Diljit Dosanjh joined the film.
Q: How was the experience of working with Diljit Dosanjh?
Taapsee: Diljit keeps to himself on the set and he is kind of an obedient student. He would obediently follow the instructions of Shaad and perform. Being a talkative person, I broke the ice and we got along very well. As an actor, it is very important for me to have a comfortable working equation with my co actor. It allows me to perform better.
Q: Tell us something about the title of the film?
Shaad: The title was floating around while we were making the film. We weren’t sure about it. When the poster was released, we revealed the title because then nobody would question it.
Q: Having worked with a lot of actors, who is your favourite co star?
Taapsee: Having worked with a legendary actor like Amitabh Bachchan, it would be a tough choice. He is someone I really admire. When we worked together, I didn’t carry the baggage that Amitabh Bachchan is standing right next to me. I let go of that and went in an altogether cool zone with him and we have carried that forward ahead till today. He is just amazing.
Q: What is your take on the cinematic liberties while making a biopic film?
Shaad: There isn’t any law or a rule in place for the kind of cinematic liberties to be taken while making a biopic. It primarily and strongly depends on the script of the film. If a story is lacking on the drama factor, then one can take cinematic liberties to develop the script. For Soorma, I had to be close and connected with the life story of Sandeep Singh. His life has had enough drama for me to use it in the film.
Q: The players of Hockey aren’t that popular in India in comparison to that of cricketers. How instrumental were the authorities in case of Sandeep Singh’s life?
Shaad: The Hockey Federation of India was extremely instrumental in Sandeep’s life. He was provided with the best of treatment and immediate medical attention during the time of accident. They were very quick and supportive in getting the things done.
Q: How do you maintain the balance between your Hindi and Telugu films?
Taapsee: I have four releases in 2018 and I am really keeping my fingers crossed. As of now, I am happy doing films in South and I will never move away from South. I started my career with South Indian films and I will continue doing it as long as the offers keep coming in. I am currently in a very happy space with the kind of films that I am doing. I am really enjoying the current phase.
Q: You have a good rapport and equation with filmmaker Mani Ratnam. Tell us something about it?
Shaad: I have a long standing association with Mani Ratnam for around 21 years. I assisted him last month in Serbia and he is someone who is very close to me. Having spent so many years with him, he is like a father figure to me. I enjoy his company and the lines between us have blurred.
Q: What would you pick – Critical Acclaim or Box Office Success?
Taapsee: I would any day pick up a Box Office Success. We are in an entertainment business. If a film is entertaining, it would make a good business. So, I have to make people sit and entertain them. Everyone wants Box-Office success because it will give us more opportunities to make more films and actors to star in more films.