Bobby Deol was quite the heartthrob in the ’90s with hits such as Barsaat (1997), Gupt (1997) and Soldier (1998). Of late, the actor has been missing from the silver screen, only seen in bit roles and the occasional movie. Bobby, however, doesn’t regret this absence and even goes on to say that he prefers working in one good film over four bad ones. Currently working on his home production, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, he opens up about the Deols’ indifference towards promotional gimmicks.
We just see you doing one or two films in a couple of years. Why have you taken a back seat after being so active for so many years?
I just want to do a film which I like and not just for the sake of it. I don’t want to be part of a film and be disappointed afterwards. Sometimes you try to work in five or six films and you don’t care much for any of them, but for me it’s not like that.
Are the Khans and the Kapoors edging out the Deols?
That is all media talk. We are not thinking about taking over the industry. Our main aim, as actors, is to entertain the audience. We are not going to exaggerate and talk about ourselves all the time. You know that the Deols don’t talk about themselves. That’s how people use the media to their advantage and it works. We are very shy people who stay away from the limelight.
Do you avoid marketing your films like your peers?
That (marketing) was never an important thing for us. For us it wasn’t important to have PR skills before becoming actors. Now it’s like you brush your PR skills up and then become an actor.
Nowadays, before films release you need to market them properly. The viewers have changed. They now have to be told everything explicitly, rather than finding out for themselves. We are also trying to move in that direction. We are trying to be more media savvy than we were before.
Your last big release Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011) was a hit. How was the sequel developed?
When we thought about the film, it was the first time we were coming together after Apne (2007), and this time we were going to make a comedy. We realised that it would be entertaining, but really didn’t think about how big a success it would be. In the first part I felt very awkward speaking to my dad (Dharmendra) like that (when he had to call the veteran actor ‘Dharam’). When we started working on the second we really had to work on the script. We can’t take advantage of the fact that the first film has done well and that people will like whatever we make. It took a year and a half to get the script right.
What keeps you busy when you are not working?
I spend most of my time with my family and friends. And my production house has started again. I am not that great at the business side of filmmaking but I am trying to get involved and learn more. I need to give it more time as our production house gets more established. We are trying to be more cautious and careful about what we do.
Could you tell us about your upcoming projects?
Currently, I am working on a film where my father and I will be seen together again. It’s a father-son story which we are producing. It’s an emotional, light comedy. Right now there is no other film. But some talks are on. You know how it is if we speak now and the film doesn’t take off, people will keep asking me about it. (smiles)