I also grew up around cows and buffaloes: Sunil Grover


Around this time last year, Sunil Grover was waiting for a controversy to die down, so he could get on with his life.
In April this year, it emerged that the actor-comedian, who walked out of Kapil Sharma’s eponymous comedy show following a particularly fiery altercation in March 2017, has signed two big films.
He is a part of Ali Abbas Zafar’s Salman Khan-starrer Eid 2019 release, Bharat, and Vishal Bhardwaj’s comedy-drama, Pataakha. And while he has worked in other big-ticket projects the actor played Shraddha Kapoor’s father in Sabbir Khan’s Baaghi and had a brief turn in Akshay Kumar’s Gabbar is Back Sunil is grateful for the opportunity to work with Bhardwaj “so early on in my career”.
“It was a long-cherished dream. I was very happy when I got a call for this film though I didn’t express my excitement on the phone. It’s an important character and I love the artistic way in which the story has been told,” Sunil says about his character in Pataakha, the curiously christened Dipper Naradmuni, who takes up a different job every day – one day he’s a vegetable seller, the next, he has a sari store in a mela, then, you see him selling lottery tickets.
The film, with Sanya Malhotra and TV actress Radhika Madan as the protagonists, tells the story of two warring sisters and is set in rural Rajasthan. Sunil says he identified with the setting as he was raised in the small town of Mandi Dabwali, which is in the Sirsa district of Haryana. “I grew up around cows and buffaloes in my home and my dadi’s house. You never knew when the cow will lash out to you with its swishing tail. There were times when I would get ready in a white uniform and land up in school with it splattered with brown patches,” he recalls with a laugh, adding that the shooting made him nostalgic.
The film came with another set of challenges for him. “I had to learn the Rajasthani-Marwari dialect and even though it is similar to Hindi, the way you pronounce certain words is different. I found it difficult to remember some of the words on the first three-four days of the shoot, but it was smooth sailing then on,” he informs.
Moving on to Ali Abbas Zafar’s period drama, Bharat, which also features Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Tabu and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles, has him playing Salman Khan’s friend. During the recently concluded Malta schedule of the film, Sunil shared a picture of the film’s leading man clicking him.
“That was Salman’s idea and came out of nowhere. I haven’t shared the best pictures yet because it would reveal my look in the film, but I will in due time. I want the world to know how good a photographer Salman is.
He made me look rather handsome,” the actor smiles. He reunites with the film’s team in Abu Dhabi for the next schedule which kicks off by the month-end.
What about his TV commitments? The actor assures that there are no plans to quit television even though he will be seen less on TV till December-January because of his film schedules. Recent reports claim Kapil Sharma and Krushna Abhishek are coming together for a comedy show. Will he join them? “It’s not possible with my current schedule. I’m not saying I won’t do TV, it’s just that my dates are with Bharat till January so I can’t do regular TV shows for now,” Sunil signs off.

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