Sonu Sood has achieved what many of his contemporaries in Hindi cinema haven’t been able to – a shot at Oscar glory.
The bulky 42-year-old actor, who has appeared in several films, including Yuva (2004), Dabangg (2010) and Tutak Tutak Tutiya (2016), is among the cast of the period movie Xuanzang, which is China’s official entry for the Academy Awards in 2017. Huo Jianqi’s film, about the traveller better known in India as Huien Tsang, is the first big Indo-Chinese co-production between Eros International and China Film Corporation. The movie is based on the monk’s 17-year old odyssey through India in the 7th century. The cast includes popular Chinese actor Huan Xioming and Indian actors, including Neha Sharma (Crook, 2010) and Ali Fazal (Fukrey, 2013). Sood is playing an Indian royal in the movie.
Sood has carved out a niche as a dependable cameo artist, and he also features regularly in Tamil and Telugu films as a villain. Sood even won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in the Telugu superhit Arundhati (2009) at the Filmfare Awards South, the South Indian leg of the annual awards show.
Sood will also appear in the Indo-Chinese production Kung Fu Yoga with Jackie Chan. Sood counts Chan as a friend, and the Hong Kong superstar was in attendance at the inauguration of Sood’s production house, Shakti Sagar Productions, in Mumbai earlier in 2016.
Sood is, quite obviously, over the moon with the Oscar entry. He was quoted as saying, “It feels superb. I was remembering those days when I was doing the costume fittings for the film... I feel very proud and honoured to be part of such a huge film.”