NEW DELHI: Survival in the film industry comes with the awareness that one would go through a series of rejections and “crushing wait” to finally taste success, says actor Sonu Sood.
The Punjab-born actor made his Bollywood debut in 2002 and got noticed with films like Yuva, Aashiq Banaya Aapne and Jodhaa Akbar. Sood’s appearances in movies like the 2008 comedy Singh is Kinng, actioner Dabangg (2010) and Shah Rukh Khan-fronted Happy New Year (2014) got him further recognition.
Sood likened waiting for success in showbiz to “holding your breath underwater”.
“When you choose to become an actor and come to an alien city like Mumbai, you have to be ready for a lot of rejections, for people not giving you your due, for you not getting what you want to do.
“The wait is endless, it is crushing and extremely demanding. That’s when you need to survive and face those challenges. You just have to be there, patiently, waiting for your turn to shine,” the 48-year-old actor said.
Sood said he has gone through his fair share of rejections and challenges.
“I have waited, I have held myself together. Success in this industry is how long you can hold your breath underwater. I have been trying to hold my breath all these years. Maybe now its time to come up and say, ‘Hey I exist’,” he added.
The actor, however, said the long wait to be under the industry’s spotlight can be “daunting”.
Sood, who lost his father in 2016 and mother in 2007, said he often wishes his parents were alive to see his success.
“When my mom and dad were around, I wanted to achieve certain success which would make them proud. Whatever happens now, whatever you achieve, no matter how big, you miss them. I would always pray to God that I get success early so that they are able to see it. That’s what bothers you, the real struggle, when your loved ones aren’t able to see what you have achieved.”
The actor currently hosts the popular show MTV Roadies. The stunt-reality series marks his TV debut.
The show is his first big outing ever since he shot to national prominence with his philanthropic work, arranging transport for migrant workers, medicines and hospital beds for those in need, throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Sood said when he started extending his help during the first nationwide lockdown in 2020, he was unaware that he would become known for his social work, which has now eclipsed every material success.
“What I have experienced in the last two years, I haven’t experienced in the last 18 years as an actor. I always thought achieving Rs100cr or Rs200cr club was a big thing. But now when I go on sets, everything looks smaller.
“You are living in a real world, where people are connecting with you, giving you blessings, where you are struggling to make their life easy. I thoroughly enjoy this… connecting and helping people, whom I have never or probably won’t ever. There can’t be anything more magical than this,” he added.
He will next be seen in Yash Raj Films’ historical-drama Prithviraj, headlined by Akshay Kumar.
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