Abhay Deol and Neha Dhupia in a still from the film Ek Chalis Ki Last Local.
Abhay Deol, nephew of veteran actor Dharmendra and cousin of Sunny and Bobby Deol, says it's not easy to make a mark in the Hindi film industry if you belong to a star family.
"When I joined the film industry there was a lot of curiosity among people because I am a Deol. It was difficult to find an individual identity. Connection with a star family sparks the expectation of people both inside and outside the industry," Abhay told IANS.
He was in the capital to promote his next film Manorama Six Feet Under, a murder mystery.
"People might make a film just to launch you but at the end of the day your performance is what makes a difference," said Abhay, who was launched in his home production Socha Na Tha.
"I am not as dashing and dynamic like my uncle and cousins. And it wasn't easy for me to find a foothold. After my first release, I got a lot of negative feedback.
"Industry people criticised me saying that romantic and comedy films won't work for me and outside people alleged I had made it easily to Bollywood," he said.
Abhay, who plays an amateur detective in a small town in Manorama ..., hopes the movie will change his romantic image. The film also stars Gul Panag and Raima Sen.
"I play a serious role in the film. I hope after this film my image of a romantic hero changes. I do not want to be typecast.
"I know I am new to the industry but people are acknowledging my work and I want to push the envelope further. I want to do different roles to an extent that experimentation becomes the expectation of people from me," he beamed.
Some of his earlier releases include Ahista Ahista, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd and Ek Chalis Ki Last Local.
His forthcoming films include Junction, Dev D and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.