Exclusive: ‘Good Newwz’ will have the same impact as ‘PadMan’, says Diljit Dosanjh

Diljit Dosanjh impresses with his style. Few men can carry an all-white look with a matching turban and the right amount of swag like he does. Add a limited edition GCDS bomber jacket and Diljit cuts a suave picture. Unlike Honey Batra, his loud, hilarious and colourful Punjabi character in Good Newwz. Diljit is excited that he got to share screen space with Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. “Hum dono Punjabi hai, Paaji aur main. Maine bachpan se unki filmein dekhi hai. Usually, I’m not nervous on the first day of a shoot. But on Good Newwz sets, I couldn’t help myself and kept calling him ‘Sir’ out of respect,” said Diljit to  “I was so much in awe of him that as soon as my scene got done, I sat in a corner silently. Akshay sir said, ‘Tu last kab bola tha?’ He cracked the ice between us. Now we are friends. Sir ne recently mujhse game main Rs 2,000 haare hain. After this interview, I will go and take my money from him,” the Punjabi singer-actor added with a happy grin. 

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. In Punjabi cinema you are the solo leading man, but Bollywood is all about multi-starrers these days…

A. In Bollywood, I have done Soorma and Arjun Patiala as a solo hero. Udta Punjab had an ensemble cast. And Welcome To New York mein toh saara hi Bollywood tha. Speaking of Good Newwz, this film would not have been possible without multiple actors. Warna Akshay sir ko aaj mutli-starrer ki kya zaroorat hai? All depends on the subject and what gets offered to you. I was the last one to come on board Good Newwz. I will keep on doing such films if the subject excites me. I don’t think much about kaun-kya hai. 

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Q. How did you react when you heard Good Newwz script?

A. I was literally in tears as I continuously kept laughing. I don’t remember when last a script made me go bonkers like Good Newwz. My character Honey Batra is totally mad and I was convinced no one could pull him off better than me!

Q. How informed were you about IVF? Weren't you worried about the film’s comic take on a sensitive issue?

A. I had no clue about IVF until Good Newwz. Then I went on Google. While driving, I used to read ‘IVF’ on clinic signboards but had zero idea what it was. After the trailer, I realised how important this issue is from the conversation around it. Recently, we (Akshay, Kareena, Kiara) attended a TV channel discussion where they muted the word ‘sperm’ while playing the trailer. Akshay sir objected. And it hit me how conveniently we hide these private medical terms. Just as PadMan normalised the conversation around periods and pads, I believe Good Newwz will have a similar impact. 

Q. Whose idea was that funny labour pain video with Akshay?

A. Woh Akshay sir ka idea tha. I was pretty scared to be a part of it. The video underwent multiple edits because by the time we were undergoing those fake labour pains meri gaaliyan deni ki naubat aagai thi. Doctors told us this was not even half of what a woman undergoes during delivery. Hats off to all the women, they are way stronger than men. If we men had to deliver a child, we wouldn’t be able to do it. 

Q. You are fond of Kareena. How was it reuniting with her after Udta Punjab?

A. I respect her. And I can’t talk before people I respect. Kareena ji knows this. I am always tongue-tied in front of her. Nothing has changed since Udta Punjab. She is my favourite. 

Q. Akshay is known for his comic timing. But your one-liners in the trailer look equally promising. Did you take tips from him?

A. Kuch tips toh nahi liye lekin aap observe karke seekhte ho. Maine observe kiya sir ko. I love observing people, I take my cues from them. Whereas Akshay sir doesn’t require one-liners to make you laugh. His body language is enough. Jaise Mr. Bean aur Charlie Chaplin karte hai. Akshay paaji can act even without saying any dialogues. He has no qualms about breaking into a naagin dance, rolling on the floor, just to bring on the laughs. I have a lot to learn in that aspect.

Q. You are active on social media. But stay away from political issues…

A. Logo ki expectation hoti hai ki actors comment kare. They expect us to utilise our social media platform to talk about current issues. It is because of these people we are stars today. However, there is a difference between using your voice to raise awareness and commenting on political matters. At times, we are not well versed with the entire situation going on in our country. Then there are few matters which come under legal jurisdiction and we have to maintain the dignity of not passing any judgements. Sometimes it’s important to understand the circumstances from both ends and then react. Just for the sake of reacting, I will never make a statement on my social media. 

Q. At the trailer launch, Karan Johar called you his partner in ‘retail therapy’…

A. As an actor, I have to wear clothes according to the role I am playing. There are limitations to experimentation. But once I am performing on stage or as Diljit Dosanjh in real life, I have a different identity. I am crazy about fashion. That is my only guilty pleasure, my indulgence. I don’t drink or smoke. My producers take care of my expenses on shoots and stage shows. So all that I earn, I shamelessly spend on clothes. As for Karan Johar, woh mujse zyada fashionable hai. But yeah, we both share a similar passion and make efforts to dig out brands which are less known and are never worn in India before.

(Source: PeepingMoon)