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Ultimate Bollywood » Bollywood Features » 2002
The Deol Brothers bring back Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Competition is lurking for this reality-based production, but the Deol brothers aren't shy, they know and believe in their project... read on as Peta gives us the exclusive access to the Deol brothers.

Bobby Deol as Shaheed Bhagat Singh

Brace yourself on June 7th you will hear the echoes of "Inquilab Zindabad!" (Long live revolution), in Dharmendra's latest movie called "Shaheed." Bobby Deol brings the young patriot Shaheed Bhagat Singh back to life. Based on a true story, Bhagat Singh witnessed massive slayings of hundreds of people at the Jalianwala Bagh. During this horrific time, India was still under Britain's rule. Bhagat Singh and several great revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad (Sunny Deol), Lala Lajpat Rai (Raja Bundela), Sukhdev (Rahul Dev) spread the anti-British message across India.

Sunny Deol held a press conference at the Holiday Inn in Newark. Sunny's excitement about this film was obvious, since he feels strongly about focusing on historical figures.

"Of course people are used to seeing positive films, but I feel that it's high time we make movies on real life stories," Deol explains. His brother Bobby was cast as Bhagat Singh because he actually resembles Singh's facial features.

At the time, the Deol brothers were aware that two other movies are currently in production on Bhagat Singh's life as well, but he feels honored to work in this film because his father is producing it.

"When India was under British rule, there was no such thing as Halal meat, in fact Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, we all worked together to fight off the British, this is the kind of thing that isn't shown in most Bollywood movies."

To elaborate, Sunny went on saying how "religion was country," everyone shared the same dream of becoming independent and breaking away from the British government.

He put to rest ongoing rumors that Rani Mukherjee was supposed to make a special appearance in the movie, but got rejected and Aishwarya Rai got the part instead. The directors and producers always had Rai in mind for the role.

This movie definitely has a patriotic theme to it, but sadly it's not going to be marketed in American movie theaters like Aamir Khan's "Laagan." Deol has no interest in marketing in the American movie theaters, he'd rather start making a positive change in the Bollywood movie circle.

I asked Sunny what the difference was in playing a ficticious character and real one? He responded that when he plays a ficticious role, the audience goes and sees the movie to escape from reality. They want to see love, drama, and comedy. Whereas when he plays a real life character it gives the audience a chance to see a part of their history and where their roots come from.

"I had to do a lot of research to really understand the character I'd be portraying in Shaheed, and that helped me understand the type of person Chandrashekhar Azad was," said Sunny.

A reporter asked Sunny in Punjabi to talk about the Gadar controversy. After the movie Gadar was released, several Pakistani groups burnt down theaters in protest against the film and Sunny Deol. The reporter was asked to sit down but he kept trying to push Sunny's buttons. Eventually the reporter sat down but it was clear that Sunny was somewhat sensitive about the Gadar controversy.

Sunny Deol briefly commented about the 30 Indian army members who were killed in Jammu.

He took us back to his childhood, "I remember when I was younger I could travel to one part of India and go to another part of India, and I wouldn't have to witness that sort of terror." He believes the government should definitely take responsibility if they want India to move forward as a country, and not live backwards as a society.

Bikram Singh from FarWest Entertainment would especially like to thank the media for attending the press conference on short notice. He was very happy to see so many people in attendance.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Feel free to send Peta an e-mail @ Peta Cooper.

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