Esha Deol is ready to return to the screen after a much-needed two-year break with Tell Me O Khuda. “It’s not a new cult movie or an old action remix, but a simple story of an adopted girl in search of her real parents. It should touch hearts and draw families,” she says.
Midway through the film, director Mayur Puri was axed following creative differences with producer Hema Malini, who then took over. Esha doesn’t think the ‘switch’ will affect the film: “Mayur is a talented guy and I wish him well. It’s just that things didn’t work out with us. Mom had the knowledge, experience and capability to complete the film and it’s looking good.”
Her mother has been raving about her ‘look’ too. “She likes my curls and told me I couldn’t straighten my hair or wear false eyelashes. It’s a natural, girl-next-door, no-make-up look,” smiles Esha. “Dhoom (2004) focussed on my body and made me sexy. Tell Me O Khuda showcases me as an actor and should make me popular with their parents.”
Esha also sat in on the editing and mixing and has developed a keen interest in production.
“Initially, I got involved because mom wanted to revive the family banner. Now, I’ve grown to enjoy the behind-the-scenes work too. I’ve been acting since I was 18 and after a while it can get monotonous. Production gives me a chance to explore new avenues. We’re working on a couple of exciting ideas. If we can crack a good script, I’d love to produce a film some day.”But that doesn’t mean adieu to acting. “I can do both,” she reasons.
“In these two years, at airports and shows, strangers were telling me how much they missed seeing me on screen. My last film, Ankahee, fetched me a nomination in the Best Actor in a Negative Role category. Of course I didn’t win, how could I when the other nominees were Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Saif Ali Khan. But it was such a high.”
What’s happening with sister Ahana? “She’s zeroed in on a few acting offers,” says Esha. “She’s also good with words, like dad. She writes in English and he in Urdu.”