The Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg (2010) turns seven today. It was undoubtedly a film that brought back single-screen audiences to the theatres in hordes. Salman was paired opposite debutante Sonakshi Sinha, for whom it was a dream launch.
Actor Sonu Sood, who played the role of the antagonist Chedi Singh, reveals that he had initially rejected the film. And he only agreed to come on board after getting some changes done to the script of Dabangg — the filmmakers agreed to give a humorous twist to his earthy character; the result was a villain who was always sculpting his body and posing for photos when not plotting awful things, such as murder.
Sonu says, “I suggested that we should bring a comedy element to this man, who always carries a photographer along with him, saying ‘Bhaiyyaji, smile!’”
He narrates the story behind how the photographer element came into place. “My character is heavily inspired by my batchmates, when I was studying engineering. (Bet you didn’t know that Sonu is a graduate in electronics engineering!) I used to live in a hostel with Bihari roommates. They used to be very excited about getting their pictures clicked, and since there weren’t any mobile phones back then, they used to have a photographer accompany them everywhere. Thus, my character’s personality and the photographer were incorporated into Dabangg.”
Sonu recalls with a laugh that during the shooting of the climax scene of Dabangg, “Salman accidentally used too much force, and the punch landed straight on my nose! There was so much bleeding, and I was rushed to the hospital, where there was no electricity. I finally shot for 5-6 days more with that broken nose. There was a huge debate on whether I should fly back to Mumbai and get operated upon.”