Meet Deadpool's Dopinder

Karan Soni talks about working in Deadpool, his career so far and how difficult it is for Indians to make it in Hollywood

You might remember him as the taxi driver who takes some terrible relationship advice from Deadpool while accepting payments in high-fives. And now it’s easy to say that Dopinder has become as popular as Deadpool himself! We don’t get to see much of him, but in those few minutes, Indian-American actor Karan Soni remains solid, with impeccable comic timing.“ It feels awesome. I know only about the response in America, but my dad saw it in Delhi and showed me a photo of the packed theatre,” he grins.

When Karan auditioned for the role, he had no clue that he was auditioning for Deadpool. “I auditioned in December 2014. — It wasn’t called Deadpool then, it had some secret name. Deadpool’s character was named George, so I didn’t know what the project was. Three months later, I got a call confirming my role,” he says. Talking about working with Ryan Reynolds, Karan says, “This was the best project to work with Ryan because he has been trying to make the movie for seven years! He was so excited and passionate about it. In the scene towards the end, when you find out that I have Bandhu in the trunk, the conversation that followed is actually an improvised one!”

The movie starts with a Bollywood song Mera Joota Hai Japani after the opening credits and also Tumse Accha Kaun Hai also plays in between. Whose idea was it to Indianise the movie a bit? “I think that the name Dopinder is someone that Ryan grew up with in Canada. And maybe the writers got the idea to make the taxi driver Indian because they wanted Deadpool to interact with someone so different from who he is. In the movie, my character is innocent and misunderstands everything he says; that’s really funny to watch,” Karan quips.

Though Dopinder was widely appreciated, many also felt that he is being typecast as a stereotypical Indian. “In my TV show Blunt Talk with Patrick Stewart, I play a news producer and there is nothing Indian about the character. This summer, I’ll be in the Ghostbusters movie where I play an American character! So no, I don’t think I have faced stereotyping at all; in Deadpool or otherwise,” he muses. Karan also adds that Indian actors do have a market in America and with more Indians being cast in TV series — “You get to see an Indian character in almost every TV show. Now, Priyanka’s Quantico is doing really well and even Aziz Ansari was appreciated for his show (Master Of None), so you see a lot of Indians on TV.”

Karan also reveals that he is currently penning down a script and he would like to cast Bollywood actors in the movie — “90 per cent of the story is set in India. If it gets made, there are characters for which I would want to cast Bollywood actors. I think that this project is something that people will be interested in producing because I feel like Americans would love to see Bollywood actors.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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