Bollywood actor Sonu Sood has said filmmakers have started to approach him with lead roles in their films due to his philanthropic work for migrant workers during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Earlier this year, Sood, known for films like “Dabangg”, “Jodhaa Akbar”, and “Simmba”, catapulted to the national spotlight for his work in helping migrants reach their homes during the lockdown.
During a virtual session of “We The Women” on Friday, Sood opened up about how 2020 has changed his personal and professional life, especially his image of an actor, who has previously played villain in films such as “Simmba”, “R.Rajkumar” and “Arundhati”.
“I am getting all hero roles now. I have got four-five brilliant scripts. Let’s hope… It’s new beginnings, new innings, it is a new pitch and it will be nice fun,” the actor said.
He recalled that during the shooting of his upcoming Telugu movie “Acharya”, South superstar Chiranjeevi expressed reservations about hitting him for a scene, given his new found image of a hero.
“We were doing an action sequence and Chiranjeevi sir said, ‘You being in the film is a big problem for us because I can’t hit you in the action scene’. He said if he does that people will curse him.
“There was another sequence where he was placing his feet on me but that too was reshot,” Sood said.
The 47-year-old actor also revealed that the makers of another Telugu film have changed the script according to his new image, meaning that he will have to shoot his portions again. During the lockdown, Sood had launched an initiative to help reunite migrant workers who were stranded in Mumbai with their families in distant corners of the country.
He and his team rolled out a toll-free number and a WhatsApp helpline to connect with the workers and then arrange transportation – buses, trains and even chartered flights as well as food for the stranded migrants. Sood believes that there was some force working behind him and guiding him during the lockdown period.
“Blessings of my parents worked and I was able to connect with thousands of people. There was some kind of inner voice that made me do what I did. I didn’t know how I would do it but once we started, everything just happened,” he said.
Joining the actor in the session, titled “The Men We Love”, was Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna, who has also been working round-the-clock to help the needy since the pandemic hit India. Khanna, sitting thousands of miles away in New York, launched a food distribution drive ‘Feed India’ that steadily reached millions across the country.
“Catering companies were shutting down and so were restaurants, even I was supposed to open two restaurants this year.
“It was all affecting me. I wanted to do something we started in a small way. We put everything on the backburner and focused on this,” Khanna said.