When it comes to the films he signs, Abhay Deol’s choices have always been rather eclectic. He has been seen in commercial movies — Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2012) and Raanjhanaa (2013) — and he has also attempted offbeat cinema, by doing films like Manorama Six Feet Under (2007) and Road, Movie (2009).
But working on his next film, One By Two, has been a different experience altogether. Not only has Abhay turned producer with this film, but he has also, for the first time, shot with his real-life girlfriend, Preeti Desai. Here, the actor tells us why he chose this project and why he’s got no plans of turning director at the moment.
How did One By Two work out?
I had called the director, Devika Bhagat, because I wanted to share an idea with her for a movie. I wanted her to direct it. When she came home, I narrated it to her and she also had an idea that she narrated to me. I liked her idea more and she then went on to develop it. So there was no story that I was attracted to. There was a director I wanted to work with and I was there from the development stage of the idea.
How was it working with your real-life girlfriend, Preeti?
It’s always difficult to work with someone who knows you well, like a girlfriend, your father, mother and brother, because I personally do not know how to switch off the person that they know, and get into the skin of a character that they are unfamiliar with. Also, I am critical of those close to me, so I am even more conscious of my own performance around them as I expect them to be equally critical of me.
What is your kind of cinema?
The cinema I like is entertaining yet real, provocative, perhaps funny in a dry sense, insightful and always original.
Any plans of direction?
Not as of now. I would like to (direct films) one day. Right now, I don’t have the desire to do so.