IT’S NOT everyday that a rising star makes it to the top of the ‘most sensational celebrity’ list. But when it comes to Punjab’s very own superstar and singer Diljit Dosanjh, it is actually safe to say that Dosanjh, as per the study conducted by Intel Security, is the ‘riskiest personality’ on the web.
The survey researched most famous people in Pollywood to reveal the riskiest personalities on the web in the 2015 edition of the Most Sensational Celebrities (MSC) study. It saw Dosanjh shoot from number five in 2014 to numero uno this year, leaving behind Mika Singh, Gippy Grewal and Harbhajan Mann.
According to Venkat Krishnapur, head of Intel Security Group, India Engineering Centre, cyber criminals capitalise on consumer interest around popular culture by luring unsuspecting consumers to risky sites to steal sensitive personal data. While diehard fans would, on the contrary, find it almost criminal not to go on a search spree for their favourite star, a media-shy Dosanjh is busy trying to cope with a jet-set life. With his next, Punjabi comedy Mukhtiar Chadha releasing on Friday (November 27), a lean and fit Dosanjh talks about this colourful character that actually exists in Delhi.
“Mukhtiar Chadha is someone very close to my heart, and I’ve been chasing this story for more than two years. He is a jack of all trades who writes and sings in Punjabi, zips across the capital on his old red scooter and is unlike the Jatt characters or any other character I’ve done or seen on Punjabi cinema. The film is inspired from him,” says Dosanjh, who will be seen with a typical Delhi Sikh trader accent, for which he also took diction classes, in this film written by him and Chetan Parwana and directed by Gifty.
Back from a US tour, a Bollywood debut round the corner, songs for MTV Spoken Word and Coke Studio, Dosanjh has come a long way from Dosanjh Kalan village near Jalandhar. “I was confident I would be an instant hit, but once I entered the field, I realised how much competition I faced. It was a reality check,” he says.
For someone who insisted on speaking in chaste Punjabi at one time and would stick to monotone responses, one can immediately spot an ‘elemental change’ in Dosanjh. Confident and relaxed, he went about offering ‘green tea’ and ‘cappuccino’, punctuating his conversation with an American accent that would make Priyanka ‘Quantico’ Chopra go pale. He laughs it off saying how, if one lives with them long enough, one can pick it up easily. “That’s how I copied Mukhtiar too… I mimic very well,” says this turbanator who has inspired a whole generation to be ‘stylish Singhs’.
But he admits that keeping the turban had its own challenges and he was skeptical of going to Mumbai as a turbaned actor till Abhishek Chaubey signed him for Udta Punjab, which will feature at the Berlin film Festival next year. Dosanjh plays Fateh Singh, ‘a regular non-Dabangg style cop’, and will be seen with Kareena Kapoor in this film on drug menace in Punjab. “This was a learning ground for me. I was part of the entire process and thankfully never asked to sing. I’ve never been schooled in acting, but Abhishek taught me a lot.”
From Jatt & Juliet to Punjab 1984 to Sardarji – Dosanjh’s acting career has had a phenomenal rise, and while he is in an envious position to choose his kind of cinema, he insists on keeping the balance of doing commercial films. “Just like lyrics are primary for me in music, good cinema is important. But more than that, it is the figures that do the talking.” He agrees it’s also a hero-dominated space, and that there are hardly any new girls from Punjab who opt to act. No wonder he will be seen opposite sensational dancer Lauren Gottlieb in his next, Ambarsariya!