With films such as Socha Na Tha (2005), Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008) And Dev D (2009) to his credit, actor Abhay Deol’s career has seen an interesting lineup of films. Here, he opens up about films which could have been successful but got lost in the marketing and distribution process.
“I have had films which didn’t do well because of bad marketing and distribution strategy, and people were not too keen to acknowledge that. Instead they would feel that it did not succeed because it was offbeat. Of course, it wouldn’t make tons of money like a mainstream film but it would some money because it had a particular niche. But now the niche wouldn’t see it because they never know that it’s playing in a nearby theatre,” says Deol, whose latest film, Happy Bhag Jayegi, has become a hit.
The actor adds, “I knew I made a good film and I was vindicated when it became a cult hit but when it released it became a flop. Slowly when awareness spread, people saw it and the film became a constant repeat on television.”
Abhay had differences with the makers of the film Aisha (2010) starring him and Sonam Kapoor in the lead and did not participate actively in the film’s promotion. The 40-year-old has become more practical about the kind of films he wants to associate himself with.
“I have become more practical by burning my fingers in the past. In the beginning, I was happy as long as a good number of people came for my film and there was enough word of mouth. However, I eventually realised that you also need a minimum number of people to spread that word. If no one knows that your film is playing in theatres, how will anything happen?” says Abhay.
The actor has spent 11 years in Bollywood. How does he deal with criticism? “If it’s constructive criticism, I love it. I don’t pay attention to anything that’s not constructive. As for film reviews, I just have one or two that I trust,” he says.
Meanwhile, Abhay gets cheeky
Abhay Deol knows how to dodge questions on his personal life like a pro. Want to know how? Well, here’s our reporter’s conversation with the actor.
Reporter: When do you plan to get married?
Reporter: I don’t think I will be around till then to cover it
Abhay: I don’t think I will be around to have one.
Reporter: Give me a realistic time frame
Abhay: 2080? 2075? C’mon, I am, at least, giving you an answer. Take it or leave it.
Reporter: Are you seeing someone?
Abhay: I am seeing you!
Reporter: Do you believe in the concept of love?
Abhay: Of course I do. I think it will be very inhuman to not believe in love. I also believe in privacy.