He’s an unlikely actor to have emerged from the prestigious Deol clan. In a family of action heroes, he’s a chocolate boy, romantic sort..but he’s not here to defy the norm.
Abhay Deol actually wants to let his work speak for himself. Pre-occupied with renovation work at his Juhu flat, Abhay Deol speaks to me amidst arbitrary interruptions and thak-thak sound on the phone. I begin with:
Why is Ek Chalis Ki Last Local being constantly delayed?
The film’s last schedule was completed in July last year. At the most, it should have released in December. Actually, it doesn’t matter. The film has shaped up quite well. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the film that matters.
What have you been doing in Rajasthan all of last month?
I was shooting for Manorama Six Feet Under. We finished the film in one schedule, shooting at Mandwa, Jhunjuna and other places in Rajasthan.
Newspaper reports claim that Minissha Lamba and you are quite an item. True?
What? (Laughs) Don’t drag me into a controversy, please. I don’t want to be in the news for the wrong reasons. I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Really? But Minissha has gone on the record stating that she finds you extremely cute…
I thank Minissha for the praise. Trust me, there’s nothing brewing between us. She’s one of the coolest co-stars I’ve worked with. She says good things about me, so do I.. it ends at that. Just because you read a headline in a newspaper about something cooking between her and me doesn’t mean that we’re an item. Not every headline is true.
It’s rumoured that Soha Ali Khan and you have broken up.
(Surprised) Wow! I didn’t know we have. Soha is out of town right now, once she’s back, I’ll tell her about our break-up. I’m impressed by Soha as a person and an actress. She’s slowly carving a niche of her own. As a friend, I’m extremely happy for her.
Isn’t that a general way of denying a relationship?
Listen, I was never seeing her. She’s been a great friend. It’s never gone beyond that. I want to leave it at that.
Weren’t you frequently visiting her on the sets of Khoya Khoya Chand?
I dropped in on the set only once. In fact, Soha also drops into my sets whenever she gets time to. Things are merely being blown out of proportion.
I believe you aren’t living at your family bungalow in Juhu anymore.
Yes. I’m currently living alone in an apartment in Juhu. When I was in Los Angeles, I’d prepared myself to lead an independent life. It keeps me active. When I’m at my family place, I’m too pampered.
Everything from food to cleaning is taken care of. I visit my parents, brothers (Sunny and Bobby Deol) and my tauji (Dharmendra) everyday. It’s a routine for me. I can’t imagine a day without meeting them.
What’s your equation with your tauji?
I’m quite close to him. As a kid, I’d call him dad. When I grew up, I wondered why I called him dad and why never my dad as papa. In joint families, these things are not surprising. Everyone in the family address him as papaji. I only followed.
Last year, there were reports that Sunny Deol was facing financial crisis. Are you with him in times of need?
Sunny bhaiyya is a fighter. He has the ability of bouncing back with zest. There are no financial problems today. I’m always there for bhaiyya.. for that matter, anyone in the family.
Esha Deol fought parental pressure to pursue films. You never speak of her.
If you have the desire and the talent, I don’t think you should succumb to any pressure. If there weren’t girls in the film industry, we’d have no heroines! I think Esha is doing great work..she’s rocking. There’s no doubt about it.
You have a lineage of action heroes. It’s surprising that you aren’t.
What is surprising about it? With my leaner look, I can be both — an action hero and a boy-nextdoor. In fact, if I were heavily built, it would have limited the range of roles for me.
Jats are known to be macho. Are you defying the norm?
I’m not attempting to break any norm. I’m just taking work and life in my stride.