After creating the most appreciated war movies like, Border and LOC Kargil, JP Dutta is back with one more war film, Paltan. It is the story of 1967 war between India and China to retrieve Sikkim. The film has created huge buzz even before its release. Dutta’s Paltan starring Sonu Sood, Arjun Rampal, Jackie Shroff, Gurmeet Choudhary, Harshwardhan Wani, and Luv Sinha is scheduled to release on 7th of September.
Meanwhile we had a fun conversation with Gurmeet Choudhary.
Q. Was playing the real character of an army person pressurizing for you?
Gurmeet: Of course its a pressurizing character. Playing the role of an army person is a pride in itself. When we see the families of martyred soldiers, we genuinely get emotional. And that gives us a motivation to play this roles with more dedication and sincerity. Since I belong to an army background, my father was in army force, I was born in army hospital, so I’m well versed with the surroundings. But when JP Dutta gave us the handwritten letters of our respective characters which were addresses to their mother and beloved ones, we literally got goosebumps. We were terrific by the kind of words they’ve mentioned in their letters.
Q. As you said that you belong from an army background, Have you ever thought of joining army force?
Gurmeet: My dad always wanted me to join army as it is I was extremely poor in studies and I was more involved in the local fights. My dad made me appear for the examination which is necessary in order to get recruited in army. I passed all the examinations but my dream was to become an actor right from the start. So at a tender age of 17 I left my place and migrated to Mumbai and started working for daily soaps. My father was extremely outraged by this behavior of mine. He literally didn’t talk to me for 3 long years. Once I got the role of lord Rama, he felt that I’m doing something worthy. After watching the trailer he was immensely pleased and happy. Except for the army people, none knew about this war. None is aware how a few army men fought against China to retervie Sikkim. My dad stays in village and he personally visits everyone and promotes our film. He wishes that this war should be mentioned in every text-book.
Q. The film Paltan showcases the emotional trauma as well as the befitting action sequence, So what phase was the most difficult?
Gurmeet: For me, emotional trauma was the most difficult phase. We were shooting on real location in Ladakh. We were surrounded by mountains and forests with lack of network. Except for the few actors, everyone else was from the army. We were given the real guns and bullets. So whole surrounding was such that we started experiencing the lives of our respective characters. By the time we reached to the climax scene, I was completely broken down. I wasn’t in a position to enact. Everyone of us got serious, imagining the real situation back in 1967.
Q. How was the experience working with JP Dutta in a war film?
Gurmeet: I’ve saved his number as GOD in my phone. For me he isn’t less than the god. I still remember when his first war film, ‘Border’ was released, at that tie my father’s posting was there in Srinagar. Everyday, my father used to drop me to my school and as soon as his car gets out of the camp, firing used to start. For three long years, on a daily routine I used to pray that my father should return back home in evening. At the same time, in evening, everyday everyone of us used to watch border. I’ve seen Border for three long years.I’m well versed with the dialogues as well.
Q. You’ve started your career in daily soaps and now you’re working in films, so what all have changed in past ten years?
Gurmeet: It has been 10 long years since I’m working in an entertainment industry. Acting in television was a great experience no doubt. There are two person without whom I’m nothing. Anand Sagar sir who’ve introduced me into daily soaps. And Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt who’ve given me the break in Bollywood. So I’m grateful to everyone of them. And the one thing which I carry along with me is my nature. I never get manipulated by the fame and star-dust I’ve today. SO the people who praise me for my work, moreover praise me for the person I am.
Q. What are the future plans? Is there anything into the pipeline after Paltan?
Gurmeet: So few days back, JP sir have signed me for few more films with him. I’d love to discover a dance film aftermath. I’m very good at dancing and gymnastics. I’ve done gymnastics in daily soaps but I haven’t got an opportunity to do something alike here in films.
Written by: Aakash Gala