Punjab’s biggest star-actor Diljit Dosanjh is all praise for Akshay Kumar for bringing such magnificent pride to the Sikh community with his portrayal of Havaldar Ishar Singh in Kesari. Says Diljit, “Though Akshay Paaji is not a Sikh he has done a great service to our community by bringing Ishar Singh’s story on screen. All of us know about Ishar Singh’s heroism. To play him on screen is a matter of great pride and responsibility for any actor. Akshay Paaji has brought to life this great Sikh hero. Our community will thank him for many many generations to come.”
Diljit feels he couldn’t have played Ishar Singh with the same impact. “Of course I’d love to play a great Sikh hero. But I don’t think I’ve the experience or the audience to pull it off. It was very important for audiences outside Punjab to come into theatres to see the story of this great man called Ishar Singh who defended our country with 20 of his soldiers against thousands of invaders. Aisa koi karta hai kya? The film needed a star of Akshay Paaji’s stature to make it look convincing.”
Diljit is glad Akshay played the part but Diljit looks forward to playing a real life Sikh hero. “It would be my pleasure. See, the role of Ishar Singh was meant to be played by Akshay Paaji. The film was being planned for many years. I think Ajay Devgn was supposed to play Ishar Singh at one point. Likewise I hope I play one of our national heroes at some point, like I played the hockey champ Sandeep Singh in Soorma. It made me feel proud of our country.”
Making the whole experience of watching Akshay Kumar play Ishar Singh more pleasurable is the fact that the director is a friend of Diljit. “Anurag Singh has directed me in several Punjabi films. In fact one of my best roles was in Anurag’s Punjab 1984. We will soon be doing another film together.”
Coincidentally Diljit is currently working with Akshay Kumar. “That’s right. Akshay Paaaji and I are shooting for Good News which is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions who are also the producers of Kesari. I am learning so much from Akshay Paaji. Shooting with him is like going on a picnic. He makes even the most difficult scene look easy. I want people in the entertainment industry to think of me with the same respect and affection that they have for Akshay Paaji. Someday I hope it will happen.”
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