With rave reviews for his performance as Kabir in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) under his belt, Abhay Deol is set for a ‘real’ stint on the big screen. The reason: his character, Krishnan in Dibakar Banerjee’s upcoming political thriller, Shanghai, he says, is similar to former justice of the Supreme Court Of India and Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde.
“I saw him and immediately thought, ‘That’s the character I’m playing in Shanghai.’ He comes across as experienced, incorruptible and an upright lawmaker. And he’s the kind of person you generally don’t mess around with. Krishnan is very similar to him, even in terms of body language and attitude,” asserts Abhay.
But the actor insists nothing was intentional. “I wish I had seen him (Justice Hegde) earlier. In fact, I could have copied his style,” laughs the 35-year-old actor, who plays a hardworking south Indian IAS officer. “He is not fun-loving. I play a man in his 40s — a married man who doesn’t have a sense of humour. He is very serious, arrogant and egoistical. He’s everything I am not in real life,” says Abhay.
Currently, he is enjoying a small break after ZNMD. “It’s strange, but amongst the entire cast, I was always the most chilled-out and confident of the movie’s success. It could be because of the makers’ solid marketing strategies, but I wasn’t worried. In the past, I would be angry about publicity, as I would feel shortchanged by producers,” explains Abhay.
The Dev.D (2009) actor’s line-up also includes Navdeep Singh’s (of Manorama Six Feet Under fame) yet-untitled zombie comedy. So, as he enjoys a big commercial success again after Dev.D, will he be doing more such films? “I’ll always have my creative guard up while selecting films. I want things to be a certain way. I think all my films balance out the formulaic and non-formulaic elements. It has always been my quest to achieve that balance,” he says.
And of late, Abhay seems to have joined the perfect bachelor bandwagon, with female fans landing up at his Juhu home, wanting to marry them. “Such things are stated in a complimentary way. And why wouldn’t I like compliments?” he smiles. “It all confirms that I must be doing something right.”