Sonu Sood didn’t know it. But he features in the new Telugu hit Senapathi directed by Pavan Sadineni.
In one sequence the Bad Cop played by Satya Prakash tells the Good Cop Naresh Agastya, “So I am the villain Sonu Sood from before Covid and you are the hero Sonu Sood after Covid.”
This is a reference to all the popular villains’ roles that Sonu Sood has done in Telugu cinema. After his phenomenal philanthropic work during the Pandemic, his fans in Andhra Pradesh do not want to see him in villainous roles.
Sonu Sood admits there is a moral conflict between his onscreen and real persona after his Covid-related work. “It is true the audience doesn’t want to see me in negative roles any more. In fact I was shooting with Chiranjeevi Sir for a Telugu film last year after the second wave, when he had to slap me for a shot. Chiranjeevi Sir refused to do . ‘How can I slap Sonu? The public won’t like it.’ The director had to change the scene.”
As for being seen as a metaphor for real-life goodness as opposed to illusory iniquity Sonu Sood has a simple observation. “A part of the audiences are simple-hearted . They want to see me only as a hero.”