Darjeeling born Dalai Lama’s bodyguard turns film hero

Lopsang Dokpatsang, born in India (Darjeeling), a Tibetan-American fit ness expert and former Mr New York has just wrapped up shooting for a film in which he plays the lead role for the first time.Dokpatsang has a long standing bond with Karnataka, having visited it many times before. The bond just got stronger as most of the shooting for the film New York Police Officer and The Monk was done in locations across Karnataka including Hubbali and Karwar. Dokpatsang has been a bodyguard for the Dalai Lama on a few occasions in India and the US.

Darjeeling born Dalai Lama's bodyguard, Dokpatsang, turns film hero
Darjeeling born Dalai Lama’s bodyguard, Dokpatsang, turns film hero

Dokpatsang has acted in a few Hindi films before, including Talaash with Akshay Kumar, Qayamat with Ajay Devgan and Janasheen with Feroz Khan.In the Police Officer and The Monk, being made in English, Tibetan and Hindi, Dokpatsang plays a cop from America who comes to Karnataka for “soul searching.” He meets a monk and his life changes. The shooting for the film was wrapped up a few days ago. In Bengaluru before going back to the US, Dokpatsang spoke to Mirror. “Bengaluru and Karnataka is another home for me. Just like His Holiness Dalai Lama, I have a deep connect with Karnataka and also Bengaluru. Though I have visited the state many times before, I find something new each time. This time during shooting, I found many new places near Hubballi and Karwar. My inlaws stay in Bengaluru and many people do not know that some part of Janasheen was shot in the city and I stayed in Feroz Khan saab’s farm house. I have brought my son along with me for shooting this movie here.”

The film is directed by Tenzing Phuljung, an award-winning Tibetan filmmaker living in India. Dokpatsang has multiple national identities. “I am a Tibetan. I was born in India (Darjeeling) and they call me Hindustani.I have a US citizenship and I represented Nepal in SAF Games on the insistence of the then prince of Nepal who was my friend. But my life’s mission is to inspire the Tibetan youth. The Dalai Lama has advised me to help youngsters with my expertise and I do everything possible in that direction.”

Dokpatsang is the first Asian to win the Mr New York bodybuilding competition.”When I visited the venue for the first time, they told me no Asian can have a body like those who were competing.It inspired me to take up bodybuilding and fitness training,” recalls Dokpatsang.

Dokpatsang is not too keen on a career only in films. “My son was born when I was offered the villain’s role in KKrish 3. I could not accept the film because of that. I am very selective in doing films. There are so many other things to do. The foremost is to inspire young Tibetans and Indians.”


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