It’s said that the true character of a man is revealed in the face of adversity or a crisis. This was so starkly proven during the Covid-induced lockdown.

Sonu Sood’s charisma gave him a bigger than life image, mostly negative, for his roles on screen but it was his humanitarian work that brought the philanthropist during the lockdown. He touched many souls in every nook of the country with his selfless work and now, actor, philanthropist, producer… these are just descriptive words to describe Sonu. Most importantly, he has been exposed to be a man with a truly golden heart.

It’s this golden heart that keeps him humble at a time his name has become synonymous with piety. His humility is evident when he says that whatever he is today, is because of his parents and he wants to keep their teachings alive. Starting his journey with modelling, Sonu is today one of the most sought after actors in both in the South and Hindi film industry.

In a candid conversation with #KhabarLive, the actor speaks about his childhood, family, penning special moments in life and much more.

Starting with modelling…

I was born in Patiala, grew up in Moga, my hometown. I studied in Moga till Intermediate and then moved to Nagpur to do my Electronics engineering. During my college days, I decided to get into acting and came to Mumbai, but started my acting career with Tollywood. During my college days in Nagpur, I started with modelling. I wanted to do something worthwhile in life professionally. For an outsider, it was very tough to survive in the tinsel town initially. I asked my parents to give me a year’s time so that I could establish myself as an actor. That one year was very tough. I was aware that the road ahead would be tough but I had also decided I should not look back. The support of my parents gave me that confidence to deal with those tough times.

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Was into a lot of sports…

As a student, I was not very studious. I was into a lot of sports and was more into exploring. I was doing things which most of the people of my age wouldn’t. In school, I used to actually scare a lot of kids with my pranks and my out-of-the-box activities. My mom, Saroj Sood, was a professor in Moga. She would get a lot of complaints about me. Not surprisingly, I was one of the most popular students both in school and college.

South films will always remain special…

I did many south films and I started my journey with Tollywood. They will always remain special to me. I did many movies that were blockbusters, this is what I wanted to achieve when I came to Mumbai, till my journey during lockdown began. I touched a lot of lives helping migrant workers with medical services, transport, and whatnot. All this helped me explore myself and do something I always wanted to do. This is what I had always aimed to do. Today, I miss my mother a lot. My mom always wanted me to do something good for society. I wish my parents were alive now to see what I’m up to. They would have been proud of me. My father who had a showroom in Punjab used to distribute essentials to people. We were in a place where we could help people. I grew up with principles in life.

Helping parents…

When I came to Mumbai, I came on a train and had no reservation. When I was doing my engineering in Nagpur, I used to travel on buses and trains without reservation. When I saw those migrants walking on the roads, with their kids, elders, those were the most disturbing visuals of my life. I decided that I would not be sitting at home and crib about it. My mom used to teach kids without fee, my dad, Shakti Sood, used to organise langars outside his shop. I was raised with those values in Punjab. My mother used to says that ‘if you can’t help anyone then don’t consider yourself successful’. My background, the values my parents imbibed in me are the reason I am doing this. Whatever I am doing today, is a clear reflection of what our parents taught us and practiced in their own lives. We, three siblings, have grown up seeing our parents helping everyone they could.

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Penning special moments…

My mom who was a professor would always write about the special moments in her life. She always used to tell me to write about my experiences, whenever you feel they are special because they will stay with me forever. With so many things happening, you tend to forget those experiences, but you can always go back to those pages and revisit those times. I earlier never wrote as my mother was writing. Now when she is not there, I go through her letters, her diaries. I feel that I can speak to her even now through her notes, keeping her alive. Today when I touched so many lives during the lockdown, I felt this to be very, very important, I felt I should put them on paper to connect with people even more. All these things inspired me to pen my book “I’m no Messiah”. Hopefully, this book will positively inspire people and change at least one life.

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Gifting Rado watches to dad…

With the first salary I got, I gifted a Rado watch to my father. That’s one of the most special and emotional moments in my life. My mom and dad always told me that I have taken up a challenge and should not give up. That challenge was to establish me as an actor. They gave me all the confidence I needed. I feel I was always destined to become an actor.

Met wife at a fashion show…

I met my wife, Sonali, at a fashion show in Nagpur. We were friends for many years. We even worked together for over a year. As fate would have it, we decided to get married. We now have two sons — Ishaan and Ayan. They watch what I and my wife do and are growing with the same principles I was ingrained with.

Short takes:
Special moment: I grew up watching Jackie Chan films, working with him in a film was very special to me.

How do you describe yourself in a sentence: Still miles to go, but the journey goes on.

Favourite holiday destination: I love going to the US as my sister lives there. I love shopping, spending quality time with the family. I always felt the US is my ultimate destination.

Favourite beverage: My protein shake

What are you most inspired by: A common man’s journey

Favourite celebrity: Jackie Chan. He is one of the most genuine and kind souls.

Best thing heard from a migrant: The best thing I heard from a migrant was that they have named their kid Sonu Sood Srivastav. It will stay with me forever. I will do everything to make my parents proud by walking the path they showed me. #KhabarLive #hydnews