Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Manoj Sood
Manoj Sood has been leading an exemplary career. Having been in the acting industry since 1994, Manoj has appeared in over 40 major television series and feature film productions. His appearances on television series include those such as Dead Zone and Dead Like Me ,while his list of film credits include,Rat Race and American Meltdown.
Manoj now brings his extensive experience and talents to CBC’s hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie in the role of the conservative Muslim father, Baber Siddiqui.
With Manoj being kind enough to participate in an interview with us and Little Mosque on the Prairie having just entered its fifth season, we took the opportunity to discuss his character and the series in general. In the interview, we particularly discuss the challenges of playing Baber, what is in store for the character in the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie , another recent project ,which the actor has been working on and much more!
1.Over the course of the past 16 years, you have appeared in over 40 different roles in television and feature film productions. Among these, you have had other roles as Arab Muslims. How has your previous experience in playing Muslim characters helped you to play the role of Baber?
I have played many ethnic characters so playing a particular ethnic type does of course add to an actors experience and yes it does put an additional tool in an actors tool belt. I can’t honestly say that playing a previous character who is Muslim has helped me in a major way to play Baber as the religious elements are more a product of the writing than the acting. If anything has contributed to my ability to play Baber in the way I do I would say it is the experience I have gained by having many friends from ‘Baber’s part of the world’.
2. How do you relate to your character, especially given the fact that you are a single father yourself?
It helps me to understand how he would behave in parent-child situations. As a father I know that nothing in my life is more important than my son. In order for me to play Baber truthfully, I must always remember that he is a father also and being a good father is his prime motivation in life.
3. What has been the most challenging aspect of playing Baber?
I find that to consistently maintain his accent and body posture in all situations and levels of intensity can be a challenge. Sometimes I find that I have a tendency to lose the accent a tad when he is speaking loudly or shouting. I have to watch this. Similarly I find that when he is speaking in an excited way that the accent becomes too intense. I have to be careful to maintain his unique accent in all speaking situations.
4. With Amaar and Rayyan having professed their love for each other last season, what role will Baber play towards the relationship, especially given his strong insistence that they maintain a distance?
You will see Baber in more situations as a chaperon and a self-appointed relationship manager so to speak. As you know Baber has some very old ideas as to how men and woman should behave in the courting/engagement phase of a relationship. Quite simply you will see more of this.
5. Could you please give us an idea as to what other challenges and surprises are in store for Baber in the fifth season, both in terms of his role as a father and a member of Mercy Mosque?
Layla is growing up so Baber has to adjust to this. He must also learn to live with Thorne and interact with him as the 2 of them conflict in the day-to-day situations of the town of Mercy. He continues to be the know-it-all on matters of his faith and he continues in his pompous and self-centered ways. You will see Baber expressing his primitive views on who can be a board member of the Mosque and who can’t. You will also find him involved in Rayyan and Amaar’s relationship in some ways that may surprise you
6. What message would you like to convey to fans of the series?
Thank you for staying with the show for all of these seasons. Quite simply please keep watching.
7. Are there any other acting projects, you have been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?
I have a role in a lovely Canadian feature film called Fathers and Sons. I play a gay Bollywood dance choreographer. The film should be in Canadian theaters in early 2011.