I always wanted to be an actor – Amrinder Gill
Far away from the tantrums of most actors, ever smiling Punjabi singer and actor Amrinder Gill is a delight to have a conversation with. Basking in the glory of his recently released Punjabi film Angrej’s success, Amrinder Gill is one sorted man who is crystal clear about his priorities.
The famous Punjabi singer’s acting career might have found the much deserved appreciation only with his last three films – Daddy Cool Munde Fool, Goreya Nu Dafa Karo and Angrej but even when his initial efforts weren’t managing to impress he was oblivious to the fate of his films. With an unwillingness to focus on the negative things, success for him meant happiness and walking the path with conviction at any given point of time. Now that he has arrived completely, the new curve in his career assures that he and his candid charm are here to stay.
From a singer who launched his career in 2000 followed by making a debut as an actor in 2009, is acting or singing your real calling?
I had always grown up with a dream of wanting to be an actor. The acting bug bit me quite early in life. During my childhood days, I would stand in front of the mirror, assuming myself as an actor and would imitate scenes. My father was a doctor, mother was a teacher and my sister was married, therefore often when I was alone at home I would practice to be an actor. Singing happened by fluke as I didn’t really think I would become a singer one day. Though during my college days, I was actively involved in the Bhangra team.
From 2000 to 2015, how has your journey been as a singer and an actor?
The journey has undoubtedly been a blessed one. I think I never really had many expectations from anything in life. Be it an album or a movie, it’s success or failure have never affected me. No matter whatever the result might be, I accept it and move forward. Also I don’t think I had to struggle during all these years. Fortunately I had ended up meeting the right people at the right time and things just kept happening. When I started my career as a singer god kept me introducing to some really talented and musically inclined people. Similarly it happened with films. I think be it an album or a film – both will work only when you have the right team on your side.
After your debut movie Munde UK De, you’ve been part of around eight films. Would you agree with the fact that the real appreciation came post Daddy Cool Munde Fool?
I would partly agree to it because ever since my first film, I have worked equally hard. The recent films might have worked better than the previous ones but my dedication towards all the films was always the same. Filmmaking is a team effort. If your team have immense faith in you and believe that you can give the best, that’s when wonderful things happen. The entire team has to show the same faith which I think was the best part of Angrej, Goreyan Nu Dafa Karo or Daddy Cool Munde Fool.
In Goreyan Nu Dafa Karo and recently released Angrej, audience saw huge transformation in your acting. What led to this change?
When people around believe in you completely and show that conviction at every step, there is a different kind of boost that you get. This could be one of the major factors. Also it is not important for every film to do well. No matter how big a star is, if his three films have worked, it doesn’t mean the fourth one will also work.
Have things changed because you are being offered better roles now?
To some extent yes. As I said previously the right team matters a lot. Angrej’s writer Amberdeep Singh has also written my two previous films Goreyan Nu Dafa Karo and Daddy Cool Munde Fool. I think from Daddy Cool Munde Cool, the appreciation started pouring in. Besides the shooting days, Amber and I would otherwise also spend a lot of time together. This is one of the major factors. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that he got to know me more closely which reflected in the roles he penned for me.
Tell us more about your craft? What all do you do for your growth as an actor?
Before my first film Munde UK De, I had already taken acting classes from Kishore Namit Kapoor Acting Institute, Mumbai. During my school and college days I was actively involved in the co-curricular activities. I watch a lot of world cinema – be it Iranian, Russian, French, Japanese etc and read books.
Which was the last film that you saw?
Iranian film The Separation by Asghar Farhadi.
When you watch such brilliant films, do you often calculate that where is Punjabi film industry lacking?
No doubt these films are way forward when it comes to acting and strong scripts. But you can’t compare Punjabi film industry with them or for that matter with any other industry because Punjabi film industry is at a very premature stage. Pollywood isn’t that old and suddenly everybody has started expecting it to be perfect in every aspect. It will take it’s own sweet time to grow.
The kind of attention Angrej has found in India and overseas, did you expect the movie to do so well?
I knew people will like the film but had no idea that it will be appreciated the way it has. You know what helps in coming up with a good film? It is the team that makes it what it is. The entire team that has worked on the film were more like friends rather than just professionals. It seems that we made the film in the most joyful manner possible. From the scriptwriter Amberdeep to the producers Aman Khatkar, Jaspal Sandhu, Sameer Dutta, Karaj Gill etc the bonding was so strong that everybody was focused on coming up with a beautiful film.
After the love you got for Goreyan Nu Dafa Karo, was there any pressure while doing Angrej in order to live up to the expectations?
The character I played in Goreya Nu Dafa Karo was of a simple guy who was loved for the punches in his dialogues and was more entertaining as compared to Angrej. It would have been easier for me to play similar role as it was an already accepted character by the viewers. In Angrej I had to play an emotional character of a lover boy, which involved a lot of risk whether it will be liked or not by the audience. But there was no pressure as such as the chance to do something new was thrilling.
What is acting for you?
Acting is a way of life for me. As an actor you have the privilege of living many lives. While doing Angrej I lived that era which I had never experienced. I consider acting as one of the best professions as one gets to learn and experience different things, feelings and emotions.
After Gippy Grewal’s Second Hand Husband and Diljit making his debut in Udta Punjab, is Bollywood your next destination as well?
I don’t think it is the right time for me to graduate to Bollywood films. Hindi film industry produces endless films in a year but how many extraordinary roles or films do you come across? Probability of getting an equally substantial role that Punjabi industry is currently offering me doesn’t seem to be quite high. Getting something like that is not going to be that easy. Therefore I want to concentrate on the industry I belong to. Moreover presently I’m occupied with some brilliant Punjabi films. Making a debut in Bollywood will only happen when I get the right script and right team.
What are your upcoming films?
The love that Punjabi audiences have shown to Angrej has brought a lot of pressure on my shoulders. The coming year will be an effort to live up to their expectations. One of the film which will be directed by Rajeev Dhingra and will have almost the same team will release in April 2016. Another project will go on floor in February 2016.