Art & Entertainment

Randeep Hooda On Playing A Sikh In Netflix’s ‘CAT’: Wanted To Make Sure It Does Not Become Caricaturish

Randeep Hooda’s revenge drama series, titled ‘CAT’, directed by showrunner Balwinder Singh Janjua, will be streaming on Netflix from December 9.

Randeep Hooda as Gurnaam Singh in 'CAT'
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Randeep Hooda is all set to showcase his versatile acting prowess with Netflix’s upcoming revenge drama ‘CAT’. The much-awaited series, which marks Randeep’s return to Netflix after ‘Extraction’, is a crime thriller set against the backdrop of the Punjab hinterlands.

In the show, Randeep plays Gurnaam Singh, an innocent man, who becomes a police informant after he is thrown into a drug trafficking conspiracy between gang lords, cops and political powers. His character is caught up in a personal battle as well because his younger brother is trapped in the drug menace. 

So how did he prepare for the role? When asked, Randeep told Outlook, “All your roles or any piece of art you do is somewhere reflected from your own personal experiences. I also have a younger brother and if he was in trouble, to what extent would I go to save him?” 

Interestingly, Randeep had earlier played a Sikh in 2016 biographical drama, Sarbjit, and then followed up with his research for his now-shelved project ‘The Battle of Saragarhi’. Stating that he has a deep knowledge of Sikhism, Randeep said that he is often offended by how Sikhs are portrayed in mainstream cinema, and has tried to change that with ‘CAT’. 

“I had already studied deeply about the Sikh community and Sikhism for a movie called ‘The Battle of Saragarhi’, which never came to fruition. I already had a deep knowledge of Sikhism, and I have been offended by the portrayals of Sikhs in Hindi cinema, which mostly had a Sikh character, who was the butt of jokes for everyone. Or there would be hyper-active, thigh slapping Sikh characters, who would be angry. Whereas I believe that the Sikhs are humble, well-mannered and deeply spiritual and cultured people, until you rub them the wrong way. I wanted to make sure the character does not tether towards a caricature and I have maintained that,” Randeep stated.

Nonetheless, his previous portrayal of a Sikh man or being around the culture of Punjab has, according to him, helped him for ‘CAT’. He said, “The characters may be poles apart but we are dealing with people from the same region. Even Sarbjit was from the Manjha region, Taran Taran. ‘CAT’ too unfolds around Amritsar and Gurdaspur, which were the worst hit regions in both the troubled times. So yes, they have been stepping stones for me to play Gurnaam in ‘CAT’.”

Produced by Movie Tunnel Productions in association with Jelly Bean Entertainment, ‘CAT’ is directed by showrunner Balwinder Singh Janjua and co-directed by Rupinder Chahal and Anutej Singh. 

‘CAT’ will start streaming on Netflix from December 9, 2022.

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