‘In real life I’m like SRK in Veer Zaara’, says Manjot Singh

Manjot Singh still believes turbaned Sikh actors, like him, are typecast, excluded from the casting for romantic roles because of an industry predilection to showing them only in comic roles. “You get stuck in patterns that keep you from a kind of sense of discovery. I’m struggling to change the perception of filmmakers who think a Sardar can only do comic roles. I can do serious stuff as well,” Singh tells Mail Today. “Filmmakers have created a perception based on stereotypical thinking about Sardars, and they can only change it.”

Singh says he is romantic and sensitive as a person, and considering his personal aspects, his dream is to act in sweeping romance genre. “I’d love do a Veer-Zaara. In real life, I am like Shah Rukh Khan in that film. I’d do anything for love, I’ll wait till I die if I have to for my girl,” adds the actor. “Also, seeing first hand my emotional temperature when I used to fight with my dad when I was younger, my mother tells me I can convincingly pull off angry, intense roles as well. I hope I get an opportunity to do such roles some day.”

Till then, the Fukrey actor says, though often typecast, he’s content doing films where he fits in. And, he has just done it again in Dream Girl. “I don’t choose the script, the script chooses me,” says Manjot, whose short film Dream 1 won at Washington DC Short International Film Festival last weekend. 27-year-old Singh, who made his debut in 2008 with Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, says he never reads a script before signing a film. “It’s so hard to write a screenplay, writing every scene and every dialogue, I feel I’m not good enough to judge it, so I just go with the flow. If I like the production team, I say yes’. For Dream Girl though I loved the plot; the idea that a man can modulate his voice to sound like a woman. When I got to know Ayushmaan Khuranna is doing the lead, I knew it was the right choice.”

Affable, chatty and relaxed, he will start shooting an untitled film in October. He considers himself fortunate to have found a foothold in the industry. “Coming from a non-film background, with no godfather, I have been very lucky to be where I am today. I haven’t done cliched roles, not made fun of my religion, and my family, relatives and friends appreciate and take pride in the work I have done.”

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