Abhay Deol looks his chilled self in a casual cream shirt, all set to meet the press at the Capital's 11th Osians Film Festival. His film
is also being simultaneously screened. He is way too different from his Deol cousins and uncle. Neither does he show off his biceps like Bobby, nor does he growl like Sunny. A unique Deol, he loves being what he is and is very content with his work. Nearly nine films old, he is all geared to don the hat of a producer as he continues being on a 'different mode'. Abhay Deol unravels his quirky self to Priya Rajendran...
Considering the kind of person who takes up reckless and impulsive characters...is that what the real Abhay Deol is...
I am not what my characters are, in fact far from it! (And you are stumped by his reply). I come closest to my character as SV in
Manorama Six Feet Under
. I am a very simple and down-to-earth guy! (Smiles)
You have just launched your own production house called 'Forbidden Films'.
Yeah, I am yet to announce in the media about my partner. I thought that I would produce films that I want under my own banner. Just like the name too (he smiles), my films under this banner will be different and I will bring out something unique. Yes, I always wanted to do films, which are
from the usual formula and masala films.
Despite the Deol tag, you had to struggle a lot to get yourself accepted in the film industry.
At 18, I decided to take the plunge. It took me 10 years because I didn't want to leave my education to get into films. My first film
Socha na tha
did not fare well at the box office and yet it became popular with the audience. It didn't go down well with the industry critics. Most of the offers that I received were from producers who wanted to make formula films - where they wanted to take me as hero who fights the baddies. In the bargain, I even offended producers as I was declining offers. At that point, I felt as though I should give it all up. I wanted to do meaningful roles, but producers were not ready to take me in, as it was the era of formula movies. In addition expectations were sky-high as I was one of the Deols, comparisons with my uncle and brothers naturally came in. So, you see, it's not about having a tag in the film industry.
So your career graph is going high now.
It's only after
Socha Na Tha
, that I began getting noticed. Anurag Kashyap brought out the best in me in
and all the directors like Imtiaz Ali - all whom I worked with, gave me amazing roles to play.
Do you think Zoya Akhtar's movie
Luck By Chanceportrays the reality in the film industry?
I have not watched the movie even once. But, from what I have heard about it, yes, a contact or tag does ease your entry into the film industry. But post any fresher's entry, it's upon him or her to build contacts and its a common struggle for both an outsider or one who already belongs to a filmy background. I am the perfect example of this, as I also had to struggle to carve a niche for myself here. But now that I am here, I am here to stay!
What is the pattern that you notice in the kind of films being released of late?
These days, directors are not afraid to experiment with bolder themes. Be it
New York, No Smoking, Johnny Gaddar
, or even
, and many more films, scripts have become quite important for a film to work. Audience has become smarter and demands meaningful cinema. For instance, bolder themes, which are being dealt with aesthetically, are being appreciated by critics and people.
Do you want to collaborate with the media houses on any projects, as Karan Johar did when he started out with NDTV Imagine?
Yes, media has become an important tool in promoting films and even spreading awareness. I would definitely love to do a similar collaboration involving most media houses - not singling out any - as I don't want a battle between them. (Laughs)
Oh, so you are getting diplomatic.
(Smiles) You have to be diplomatic these days with all media houses and even producers who promote me and my films...
Your future ventures?
starring me and Sonam Kapoor. Another one that I am looking forward to very eagerly is
. It was screened at the Toronto Film Festival and also at Cannes. I play a truck driver whose life goes through a complete transformation as he meets different people including a young boy, a tribal woman, a silly and a wise man during his journey. So watch out for this movie!