Davinder Singh Kharoud, popularly known as Dev Kharoud, belongs to Khera Jattan village in Punjab’s Patiala district, the place where he was raised and educated. From sports to movies, Kharoud credits hard work and his desire to bring out something different for the audience for his success.
Dev is married and his family is in Patiala.
A volleyball player since school, Kharoud completed his matriculation from Government Model Pheel Khana Senior Secondary School and intermediary studies from Budha Dal Public School in Patiala. Following this, he graduated in arts from the city’s Government Mohindra College, where he studied subjects like political science and physical education. While studying, he played volleyball at different levels and represented his college in the All-India Inter-University Tournament in 2004-05.
The journey from sports to theatre
With God’s blessings, I have always had the confidence to try new things. I never thought about things being difficult but believed that I could do everything. During schooldays, I used to take part in sports and other events but had no direction. It was later during college days that someone introduced me to theatre. I still remember my first dialogue ‘Jo Hukam Sarkar’ that led to my entry into the world of theatre. Subsequently, I played various roles on stage under the direction of theatre legends like Balraj Pandit, Rajesh Sharma and Samuel John.
Even though I don’t like listening to slow songs, I am awed by the romantic and sweet melodies of Amrinder Gill and Diljit Dosanjh. Back in the days, I fondly listened to Gurdas Maan. He is truly a legend.
I love watching action, crime, and thriller movies. The list of my favourites includes films such as ‘Drishyam’ (2015), ‘Andhadhun’ (2018), Sunny Deol’s ‘Damini’ (1993) and ‘Ghatak’ (1996).
Works till date
Starting his journey as a lead actor in 2010 with a sports film titled ‘Kabaddi Ikk Mohabbat,’ this Punjabi action hero has acted in several movies till date. His notable works include projects such as Tarn Mann’s ‘Rupinder Gandhi The Gangster..?’ (2015), ‘Rupinder Gandhi 2: The Robinhood’ (2017), ‘Dakuan Da Munda’ (2018), ‘DSP Dev’ (2019) and ‘Blackia’ (2019), among several others.
In addition to these, Dev has appeared in Punjabi television serials like ‘Agg De Kalire,’ ‘Alhna,’ ‘Jugnu Mast Mast,’ ‘Aasan Hun Tur Jana,’ ‘June 85,’ ‘Koi Pather Se Na Mare,’ ‘Roop Basant,’ and ‘Khada Pita Barbaad Kita.’
Determined to bring out more variety in action and different shades of his character, Dev will be seen performing in ‘Blackia 2,’ a crime drama set in 1970s Punjab. Beside this, he along with Jimmy Shergill will be seen in ‘Shareek 2,’ a sequel of ‘Shareek’ (2015), which is all set to hit the theatres on July 8. Meanwhile, the makers of the Rupinder Gandhi film series have announced the third sequel for the audience to expect adventure coming their way soon.
Tell us something about Shareek 2
‘Shareek 2,’ releasing on July 8, is a project close to my heart as it gave me the opportunity to work with big production houses like Ohri Productions, White Hill Studios & Thind Motion Films and with great actors like Jimmy Shergill and Mukul Dev. Working with an amazing team like this and in a big setup has been a dream come true for me. Talking about my character, I will be playing Gurbaz Randhawa, a role parallel to Shergill’s. I am hopeful that my performance will make everyone emotional and it will be remembered by the audience.
Claim to fame
I started getting recognition after my film ‘Rupinder Gandhi The Gangster..?.’ The movie helped me connect with the youth and build my niche audience. However, it was ‘Dakuan Da Munda’ that earned me acceptance and admiration for my work in the industry as well as among cinema lovers. It was then that people started taking me and my craft seriously.
My secret sauce
Hard work and my desire to bring out something different for the audience. Since theatre days, I had been very dedicated and plunged into territories that were not explored before. In cinema too, I chose action as a genre while my contemporaries were focused on romance and comedy. In ‘Dakuan Da Munda’, I performed action sequences that many others were scared to try. In ‘Shareef 2’ also, my character is very different. The idea while experimenting new things is not to focus on the result but to deliver the best.
Thoughts on Pollywood
Pollywood is not growing to its fullest potential. And there are reasons for it. Firstly, there is not enough freedom to out try new things in a project. Secondly, the budgets are small, and the producers don’t mind compromising with quality to save money.
Despite its success, I didn’t like my performance in ‘Dakuan Da Munda 2.’ It was only because I had no liberty to upscale the action. Seeing all this, now I have decided that I will work only with those producers and directors who would help me achieve creative satisfaction through my work. I believe that if South Indian films can build an audience base in Punjab, we can also deliver quality and fulfil the entertainment needs of our people.
Oh, there are a lot of challenges here. Sadly, our Punjabi film industry is plagued by leg-pulling, rivalry, and unhealthy competition. This makes the progress real slow. Not many here are supportive of your work and demoralise you even before your project is released. They don’t let you free, make you question your choices and your calibre. In filmmaking, the budget is the real issue. The kind of films that I do need money for good action, but the budget does not allow it. In cases like these, budget restructuring is important and action budgets should be given due consideration.
The main plan is to better my action skills and come out with a big action movie. For now, ‘Blackia 2’ and another movie, whose title is yet to be decided, will be released in near future.
Even though I was always an athlete, I became careless about fitness. It was only in the recent few years that my focus re-shifted. Now, I believe it is very important to maintain health and a good lifestyle. My exercise regime includes hitting the gym in the morning and going for a run in the evening. I utilise my free time doing sprints and cardio exercises.
Something you are proud of?
How many non-singer actors are there in the industry? I take pride in being among those limited few who have made a place in Pollywood with their acting skills. My movies don’t have big stars, it’s just me and my performance that hooks the audience to the screens. Isn’t it an achievement to be proud of? I want to mention that this journey has not been easy, if at all it looks so, rather it is full of disappointment and dejection. After ‘Rupinder Gandhi The Gangster..?,’ the top producers said I was a success only because of the story and would not do good otherwise. However, I am glad I proved them wrong with ‘Dakuan Da Munda,’ which was a hit. Both these movies were gangster-based and it was a challenge to differently portray characters of Rupinder Gandhi and Mintu Gurusaria. This, I feel, was a turning point in my career.
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates