Even though he himself has taken a plunge into politics Dharmendra's piece of advice to filmstars is to keep away from politics. For the versatile actor, an actor should always remain an actor and should not join politics.
"I won't say that coming into politics was a mistake but yes an actor should not come into politics as it divides audience and general acceptance among fans. An actor should always remain an actor. For me the love and support I got all these years from my fans is the greatest achievement," says the actor turned politician, who completes 50 years in the film industry this year.
On criticism of his absence from Parliament and his constituency Bikaner, he clarifies, "Who says that? I am always in touch with the problem of my constituency. From cleaning up Sur Sagar, a dumping ground in Bikaner, to minimise school fees for children, renovation of the theatre Rangmanch, and building bridges, I am trying to solve each and every problem."
"My office in Bikaner apprises me of the demands of the people on a regular basis. I am from a farmer's family so I understand their problems. And this no politics. I am an emotional but a tough person, these criticism can't break my intention. I never did anything to grab attention, either in acting or politics," the Member of Parliament told PTI.
Coming to his favourite topic, films, he suddenly changes gear and breathes a sigh of relief. "It is bollywood films, where my heart is. Last year was perhaps the best year for me after a long long time. Three hits Apne, MetroLife in a Metro and Johnny Gaddar with a Lifetime Achievement Award came my way," says Veeru of Sholay.
When asked about why all these years he did not get a single Best Actor Award despite giving more than 50 Silver Jublee hits, he says, "For me, the greatest award is my fan's love and support, which they always gave me. I don't want to comment on why I did not get an award. But I think I deserved it 14-15 times. Few of them were, Phool aur Patthar, Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Pratigya, Sholay, Naya Zamana. The list is long."
Was honour of Lifetime Achievement Award was a sign of retirement? "Generally receiving lifetime achievement awards means 'retirement'. But I won't sit back. There are three four movies in pipeline. Har Pall with Preity Zinta, Master where people can see me once again with Sunny and Bobby after Apne and one movie with Bobby which is based on father, son relationship," says the actor who was once listed among the world's 10 best-looking men by a foreign magazine.
Like his contemporaries Manoj Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala and Dev Anand, Dharmendra too wants to write an autobiography but not yet. "I will write my autobiography but at right time. It will tell about real Dharmendra. Everybody knows about the events in my life but I will write my feelings into it," says the actor with most number of hits in Bollywood.
Dharmendra gets philosophical while talking about his relationship with his second wife Hema Malini, which he says is beyond love. "Our relationship is special, I don't want to comment on that."
While adding that he is eager to work with Hema Malini with whom he has acted in 27 movies, he says, "We are actually waiting for a good script. If the script is nice and well written and also suits our age, we will definitely do that."