Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

The bald truth: Sunny Singh says he 'has great respect for Ayushmann' despite movie clash

Two movies about baldness are coming out in Bollywood in November

In 'Ujda Chaman' Sunny Singh plays a 30-year-old teacher who is hoping to meet someone special. Supplied 
In 'Ujda Chaman' Sunny Singh plays a 30-year-old teacher who is hoping to meet someone special. Supplied 

Sunny Singh's new film Ujda Chaman is all about premature male balding, with Singh playing a 30-year-old man looking for love.

Baldness is a quirky subject to tackle, which is why it was particularly surprising when, ten days after the film's trailer came out on October 1, a promo for another film, Bala, appeared. Bala also has balding as its main plot point.

Even the posters for Bala and Ujda Chaman are very similar. But, even though Bala has bigger backing (it's being produced by Maddock Films), Ujda Chaman's lead actor Singh isn't tearing his hair out over the conflict.

The trailer for 'Ujda Chaman'

The star of Bala, Ayushmann Khurrana, has just had a string of successful films, but Singh still remains calm. “As an actor, you get to do a job and you must do it with full commitment, that is most important,” he told The National over the phone.

“I have great respect for Ayushmann. In fact, we met at the airport two weeks back. We just exchanged greetings and small talk… no discussion on the film. We both had different flights to catch.

“Also, I keep meeting his brother, Aparshakti, so many times. We have gone about our lives normally, because this [clash] has nothing to do with us. As actors we are here to act,” Singh tells us.

The trailer for 'Bala'

Ujda Chaman is produced by Kumar Mangat Pathak, and is the directorial debut of his son Abhishek. The father-son duo also produced the low-budget two-film Pyaar Ka Punchnama series.

While Bala has more star power, Ujda Chaman seems to be on the front foot in terms of audience interest because the film is actually an official remake of a 2017 Kannada movie Ondu Motteya Kathe, and is committed to releasing in 2019.

There has been scheduling conflicts, too. Ujda Chaman initially got a release date of November 7, a week before Bala. But then Maddock Films moved Bala's release to match Ujda Chaman. So now, to avoid a clash, Ujda Chaman will be released a week early: and will be on UAE screens on Thursday, November 1.

But Singh will not be drawn into the controversy when we ask about it, and instead talks about his challenges in doing the film: “it is a movie I enjoyed doing. And it inspired me a lot.

“I believe in method acting. I always want to get into the character and know what is his story? If I have to start with baldness, there are many bald people who are under-confident and consider hair transplants; and there are many who are very confident.

Sunny Singh and Maanvi Gagroo in 'Ujda Chaman' 
Sunny Singh and Maanvi Gagroo in 'Ujda Chaman'

Singh says his role is something “everyone can relate to, and yet there is an innocence and sweetness to the character”. Singh says his character is a teacher who is shy and awkward. To prepare for the role, he would spend time alone on the streets, incognito in character, as a balding man. “Like I would go out of the sets, take a rickshaw and travel alone … it was fun.”

So, what can we expect from Ujda Chaman? He says anyone who turns up to the cinema will get to see a “very sweet film”.

Updated: October 29, 2019 05:19 PM

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