Tellybuzz got in touch with Anuj to know more about his acting profession and his upcoming movie which is slated to release soon.
Tell us something about the movie.
Haani is a romantic saga spanning between two generations from 1964 to 2013. The film's star cast includes renowned singer Harbhajan Mann and Mehreen Kaleka as one couple and Sonia Mann and me as another couple. The love story that was left incomplete in 1964 by my grandfather (played by Harbhajan Mann) will see a happy ending through me.
How did you bag this role?
Actually, the Director Amitoj Maan had first approached me for a Hindi movie. However, things didn't turn out the way it was planned, so he decided to move ahead with a Punjabi film. Even I had no issues with it the concerned changes, and that is how I got this role.
Describe your character in the movie.
I'm playing the role of Harman in the movie, who is an NRI. Having being brought up in Canada, he is a very modern and smart guy.
What kind of home-work you had to do to prepare for the character?
Well, I did not have to do much homework to prepare for this role. As an actor, I have to live the character and emote the right expressions at the right time. The only home-work I had to do was get comfortable with the Punjabi language and diction, for which my director gave me some reference movies to watch. But nevertheless, language is always secondary, what matters the most is getting into the skin of the character and doing justice to it.
You got this movie right after your acting course from New York. Did it help?
Absolutely! The acting course was wonderful and it actually helped me to perform effortlessly.
The movie seems to be filled with action-sequences, are you skilled at it?
It was not difficult for me because I've been skilled at Martial Arts right from my school days. In fact, I had also been awarded in my college days for breaking ice-bars through my elbow. So, I managed to perform all the stunts by myself in this movie. Even though a choreographer was assigned to teach me the stunt sequences, the extra spice of jumping and spinning have been added by me. I also got hurt on my face when I was hit by a chair, but that's the part and parcel of this profession.
Where is the entire movie shot?
The entire movie is shot in Punjab itself.
What is the best part of the movie?
The best part of the movie is that I have learnt speaking Punjabi fluently now. (Laughs)
The movie might do well in the North, but do you expect the same success all over India? Given that the movie is very language specific.
Why not! Speaking the fact, I know the movie will do well in the north but I really hope it reaches out to larger masses throughout the country and people will surely like it.
How was the experience of working in a Punjabi film?
The experience was fantastic. It gave me a wide opportunity to learn different things. Especially, Rupan Bal, who is a Canadian comedy actor and a comedian. Since he is originally from Canada, he helped me to get into the perfect English accent, which was required in the movie.
How is working for a film different from working for a TV show?
Working for a television show is very different from working
for a film. To be frank, there is no life when you are associated with a daily
soap, as you get very less time for yourself. Since daily soap has to run every
day, we always run short of time and in this process we are not able to give
qualitative work in a Television show whereas in a movie you hardly shoot 3-4 scenes in a day, therefore outcome is more productive.
With the current crowd, moving from television to Bollywood, what made you give a nod for a Punjabi movie?
I don't know about others but I really wanted to do a Punjabi movie. My Mom is from Chandigarh and she always wanted me to be a part of a Punjabi film. Therefore, my decision to take up this project was to fulfill my Mom's wish.
How difficult was it acting for both, Chhanchhan and Haani at the same time?
Haani happened to me before I took up Chhanchhan. One of the reasons that made me go ahead with Chhanchhan was the makers of the show provided me with the much-needed flexibility. So, it wasn't difficult to manage both of them but it was a bit hectic. It was my choice and I had to deal with both of them fairly. In addition to it, I had also been to Poland recently to shoot for a television commercial, so I had to juggle many things simultaneously.
What message would you like to give to your fans and readers?
To all my fans, I read all your messages on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, as much as possible I try to reply to each one of them. I really feel fortunate and blessed to be loved and appreciated by so many of them. I just hope their love keeps growing as I continue working hard further.
As Haani is slated to release soon, are you all ready to feel the unconditional love?