On Tuesday morning the world woke up to a big announcement. Salman Khan tweeted that his protégé Sooraj Pancholi (whom Salman had introduced in 2015 in Hero) was going to play the legendary boxer Hawa Singh in a bio-pic to be directed by Prakash Nambiar.
“I agree it was a masterstroke to get Salmam Sir to tweet. I requested him to do so. I even asked him to do it around 11 am when the traffic would be at its peak. He obliged. At around 10.15 he tweeted. Within minutes I started receiving calls and messages congratulating me.”
That’s star power. And someday Sooraj hopes to have it. Would Hawa Singh turn the tide for Sooraj?
“I hope so,” says the soft-spoken Sooraj who began training to play the Haryanvi wrestler, six months ago. “During the second schedule of my last film Satellite Shankar I got to know I was playing Hawa Singh. Of course I knew about Hawa Singh and how he had won the gold medal at the Asian Games in the heavyweight category at the 1966 and 1970 Asiad. To play him was an honour.”
Sooraj confesses he is a big boxing aficionado. “Boxing is the only game I sit and watch avidly. I love all the films about boxers and boxing, the Rocky series being my favourite. If I had to pick one sport that I am allowed to play on screen it would have to be boxing.”
Intense training for the role has been on for six months. “I’ve been following a diet of high carbs, high protein and doing high-intensity training. I’ve gained ten kgs for the role. I visited Hawa Singh’s native place in Haryana. So yes, I’d say I’m prepared for the role.”
About his last film Satellite Shankar, Sooraj expresses a sense of disappointment about its box office performance. “But it has been appreciated on television. Sony has aired it twice already. In any case, I’ve moved on. I am now so much into Hawa Singh I feel he’s monitoring every move I make. I can’t afford to get this wrong.”
More Pages: Hawa Singh Box Office Collection
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