The Journey into “Tiger”

People are calling them the New Matt Damon & Ben Affleck but here at Bitmap we definitely know these guys are super talented. Prem Singh and Michael Pugliese are hitting it big with their new movie “TIGER” out this November. We sat down with Prem & Michael and touch base on the upcoming movie.

Bitmap: Where are you guys originally from? 
Prem: We’re both born and raised just outside of Toronto.

Bitmap: How did this script get started?
Prem: As a South Asian struggling actor, it was tough to get compelling roles, so when I saw Pardeep Nagra's story on TV I knew this was a role I would love to play and an important story to tell. That is when in acting class I told Michael Pugliese about this. He fell in love with it, and pushed it to make sure this happened. 

Michael: We both had agents and went to auditions, but were never truly happy with the roles we were going out for. So we decided to make something we’d both be proud of. Prem brought it to my attention in acting class a number of years ago. Pardeeps story inspired me.

Bitmap: How did you start casting for this movie? 
Prem: We had a great team behind us so we were involved in the casting process, and we started with getting Mickey Rourke on board, and then talented Janel Parrish. 

Michael: Like Prem said, we have a unbelievable team surrounding this film who made our vision come to life by casting a talented group of performers.

Bitmap: Tell us how it was filming this movie? 
Prem: It was hectic, but I loved every moment of it. Working with a great cast and crew made it very enjoyable. I truly left my blood, sweat, and tears behind the making of this film

Michael: We started scripting this thing in 2009/2010. We went to camera at the end of 2015. Years of rejection and uncertainty paid off on day 1 of filming. It really was a dream come true. 

Bitmap: What roles do each of you play and how does the character relate personally? 
Prem: I play Pardeep Singh Nagra, who struggles with his own identity, and fighting to have everyone look at him the way he wants to be looked as, and that is American. I can totally relate to this on a personal level. I grew up in a Sikh household, and seeing my friends and family members harassed from young children to adult because of something they believe in really breaks my heart. The best I could do is create the opportunity for change, and I hope this film can do that.

Michael: I play Brian Doyle, the antagonist in the film. I tried to bring as much of myself into the development of Brian. He still sits very close to my heart.

Bitmap: Where did you film this movie? 
Prem: We filmed this film in the beautiful Hamilton, Ohio. 

Bitmap: Are we seeing more scripts from you guys or more acting? 
Prem: Michael and I have a company called Running Tiger Films, and we will be creating more content. We have so many stories we want to tell, and Michael wants to direct! Trust me when that day happens we will leave an impact, but for now I am focusing on acting. 

Michaal: Like Prem mentioned, we plan on developing other projects under our RTF banner. Our passion lies in front of the camera and will always be. But we have an overall love for film making, so who knows what else we’ll get involved with.

Bitmap: Where do you see yourself 2 years from now? 
Prem: 2 years from now, I see myself telling more compelling stories in Cinema that can help promote change in the positive direction. 

Michael: Enjoying life!

Bitmap: What is a dream role you'd love to play or artist you'd like to work within the future?
Prem: Dream role, I can honestly say I have already played it and that is a boxer. I grew up loving the Rocky movies which inspired me to want to become an actor. As for artists? I would love to work with a ton of excellent artists, ones who are just as passionate as I am in telling great stories. 

Michael: I’m really into war films, ones that have full arched characters that comes with a compelling story. I want to work with creative and passionate film makers. I try to learn as much as I can from people who have paved the way.

Bitmap: Did you always want to be an artist even as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up aside from writing scripts & acting?
Prem: Ever since I could remember I have always wanted to become an actor. No matter what, there was no plan B for me, it was this or nothing. 

Michael: I played competitive hockey growing up, and always wanted to be on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The only problem was I sucked, so that was never going to happen. I always had love for storytelling and performing so once I got old enough to understand I could pursue it as a career, I worked towards exactly that, and continue to work for it.

Bitmap: What do you love most about your profession?
Prem: What I love about this profession is that we get to create. We can pour our soul into something, and make others feel what the character feels. That satisfaction and rush of tugging on an audiences emotions is a wonderful thing.

Michael: Truthfully, working towards something that puts a smile on my face. I enjoy all of the aspects involved with film making.

Bitmap: What challenges or struggles have you face along the way and what helped you overcome them?
Prem: The biggest challenge I have faced in this world of acting is, is being South Asian. A lot of roles that I used to go out for were very stereotypical. There is nothing wrong in that, but I am all about inventing and re-inventing. I am about not complaining about it, but doing something about it. I didn't want to wait around for change, I wanted to create it. 

Bitmap: Of all the work you have done over the years, what is the one thing you are most proud of?
Prem: TIGER, I couldn't more proud of this film. From script to screen, Michael and I gave this film everything we got. From working endless hours, spending our Friday nights on the script at Starbucks, to working on our roles as our characters. I am very proud to have worked with Michael, he is a talented performer. I am also proud to have worked with Mickey, Janel and our director Alister Girerson. 

Michael: Without a doubt, Tiger. It’s really my first major production, and something we all worked on for years. It’s our baby.

Bitmap: What are some personal ambitions you would like to fulfill?
Prem: I would love to start my own charity, we’re both big believers in giving back. At the end of this all, our biggest goal is to give back. 

Michael: Prem said it right. Giving back is our main objective in life.

Bitmap: What do you like to do for fun in your downtime?
Prem: Just to spend time with friends and family. 

Michael: Nothing like spending time with people you love.

Bitmap: What is one thing about yourself that the world may not know?
Prem: The one thing about me the world may not know, is that I love to watch TLC.

Michael: I love snickers… like love.

Bitmap: Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
Prem: Grateful, Persistent, Passionate, Driven  

Michael: Prem took all the good ones. I’d say I’m caring, I’m positive/optimistic, relentless, stubborn at times (trying to fix that one), and definitely blessed.

Bitmap: What are some of your hidden talents that your fans don't know about?
Prem: I am a black belt in Martial Arts, and I danced for many many years. 

Michael: Hidden talents? Ummm I don’t really have any… This is awkward.

Bitmap: What is the best info you can give a new talent?
Prem: Don't stop, no matter how hard it gets you have to keep going forward. It's very hard to beat someone who never gives up. 

Bitmap: If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Prem: Patience, and breathe! You will miss out on so much of the beautiful aspects of your journey if you rush to your end goal. 

Michael: To have more patience and to celebrate the small wins.

Bitmap: What's next for you?
Prem: As of now, focusing on TIGER, and just promoting the film. 

Michael: We have a great team who are working on making our next steps the right steps. But as of now, Tiger is our main focus.

Tiger is out November 30th, 2018 make sure to check it out. Also you can follow Prem & Michael on their Instagram and Twitter at

Prem Singh
Instagram: @teampremsingh
Twitter: @teampremsingh
 
Michael Pugliese
Instagram: @mjpugliese
Twitter: @mjpugliese_