For movie buffs, Sonu Sood might be a menacing villain but in the past year as the world was gripped by the pandemic, the nation got to see softer side of this incredibly talented actor. Ever since the country went under Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, Sonu has been involved in a wide range of social activities, extending all possible help to everyone knocking at his door.
His selfless service not only earned him great laurels but also countless blessings from around the world. The Arundhati villain also has a strong Telugu connection. This son-in-law of Telugus has recently met Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries, Commerce and Information Technology, KT Rama Rao and shared details of his good work.
In a free-wheeling chat, Sonu Sood unravels his plans through his foundation, his love for the State of Telangana and the incredible respect and love he shares for KT Rama Rao.
You may be a villain on-screen but your selfless service earned you blessings and laurels. How do you stay inspired towards doing good work?
I feel that the pandemic taught me the biggest lesson of life – that it is the responsibility of everyone to help others. Extending a helping hand is the only way you can bring in some positive change. I might play the role of a villain in movies but being myself and being able to be there in all possible ways in these tough times, that’s the special role I’ll cherish for rest of my life.
It is said that you spend a major chunk of your income towards social service. What inspires you to be selfless?
Yes. I do spend a major chunk of my income on social service because I feel happy about it. I get to endorse a lot of brands and I get paid for that. I divert my income towards social service and many of my friends joined hands with me in this journey. My parents inspired me to be always mindful of others’ needs. They never turned away anyone knocking at door, empty handed, and believed in giving back to the society and taught me the same. I guess I am taking their legacy forward.
There is also a talk that social service is your first step towards joining politics. Your comment?
I am not keen on joining politics. I want to do more films and act, as I love my art. If I get into politics, I might get stuck with a lot of protocols and listen to others. With best wishes, prayers coming in from all quarters, I am enjoying every bit of my life now. My family is my great support system. My wife reads letters of requests, my sons help sort them out.
You did great work during Covid-19 pandemic. How could you do it single-handed?
I would say that one should be ready to take charge of things, even if it is single-handed, in the times of crisis. Do not get deterred if you don’t have a team or support system. Start somewhere, things will fall into place. Many good souls will join hands with you in the journey.
KT Rama Rao said that you are a much bigger real hero than him. Your reaction?
Rama Rao garu is one of the most visionary leaders I have ever come across. He is a great, great, great guy and he exudes great energy, positivity all the time. He is leading the State towards great development, prosperity and is inspiring others to work hard. I would love to be a part of his many initiatives. He is super kind to call me a real hero. Thank you so much. Today, he is the real hero of Telangana for all the good work he is doing.
You have often tweeted about Rama Rao praising many of his initiatives. Could you share some of his qualities that impressed and inspired you?
The development you witness in Telangana today is a great testimony to his abilities. We recently met for the first time, and I hope to meet him again and again. I call him brother and he calls me the same. I think there is a strong bonding between both of us. He served me the best Biryani ever and invited me with my family next time.
What message do you want to share with Rama Rao on his birthday?
On his birthday, I want to wish my brother Rama Rao garu all the best in whatever endeavours he does. I am always with him — just a phone call away. You have prayers of a lot of people; please keep your good work going. Love you and look forward meeting you very, very soon.
What is your impression about the development that Hyderabad has witnessed in the last few years?
The kind of fast development I witnessed in Hyderabad is so incredible. I have not seen anything like this in any part of the country ever. It is the biggest, the best and phenomenal. I give all the credit to Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao sir and Rama Rao garu for the great work they have done for the State. The people of Telangana are blessed to have them as their leaders.
On a lighter note, do you think people will accept you as a villain even on-screen, given the kind of compassion, love you shower on everyone, unconditionally?
I don’t think people will accept me on-screen as a villain; that’s what I can gauge (laughs). Whatever they want to see me as, I would love to portray that and I would love to give my best.
You are the son-in-law of Telugus. Do you have any plans to settle down in Hyderabad?
I always call Hyderabad as my second home and I would love do to many, many things in this city, including helping people – not just buying a house. That’s what my plan is.