Punjabi singers, actors migrate to Bollywood for popularity: Jassi Gill
The Punjabi pop star made his Bollywood acting debut in Happy Phir Bhaag Jayegi, which was released on Friday
In Mudassar Aziz's Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, which was released on Friday, Punjabi pop-star turned-actor Jassi Gill plays a Mandarin-speaking Sardar who works for the Indian Embassy in China. Like his fellow Punjabi superstars Diljith Dosanjh and Gippy Grewal, Jassi feels Bollywood is a natural progression for Punjabi artists to reach a pan-Indian audience.
"When I started out, nobody knew me. Once my first album (Batchmate) arrived, I became popular in my surrounding villages and towns. After I started acting in Punjabi films, more people got to know me. So there's a natural progression in my career. Bollywood is a huge platform and I am happy to get this break," Jassi said at a media interaction.
Speaking about the differences between the Punjabi and Hindi film industries, Jassie added, "The film industry in Punjab is still very small, so producers are very scared to make investments. Which is why there is less experimentation happening. In terms of talent, Punjabi actors and singers are at par with the rest of the country. They migrate to Bollywood to seek the recognition and fame they deserve."
Pointing out Bollywood's newfound acceptance of Sardar characters, Jassie said, "In older films, Sardar characters were played by people from other states. It looked very fake and stereotypical. It was something we always hated and wanted to change. Credit goes to Diljit Dosanjh for breaking that barrier (with Udta Punjab, Welcome to New York and Soorma) and emerging as a popular Sikh actor working in Bollywood films. I have tied the turban in Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi and I am very proud of it."
Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi is a sequel to the 2016 cross-border comedy, Happy Bhag Jayegi. It stars Sonakshi Sinha, Diana Penty, Jimmy Sheirgill, Piyush Mishra and Ali Fazal, and is produced by Aanand L Rai's Colour Yellow Productions and Eros International.