He may not have been born and brought up in Delhi, but actor Abhay Deol shares a strong bond with the Capital. Two of his biggest hits — Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Dev D — were based in the city and now, he’s back playing the lead in Aisha — an Indianised take on Jane Austen’s Emma. HT City caught up with the actor while he was in town recently to shoot for Aisha.
“I’m exploring different facets of the city without getting exhausted...it has so much to offer,” says Abhay, adding, “A lot of people are basing films in Delhi as I feel they’ve overdone Bombay.”
The things about Delhi that Abhay cherishes the most are the archaeological sites, the food, hotels (he has stayed in almost all of them) and the people. “I like Delhiiites; they are more vocal and lot more expressive. They would scream my name during shooting saying oye lucky oye Dev and I just loved it,” he says.
About the famed beauty of Dilli ki kudiyan he says, “I think girls are pretty everywhere so it would a little unfair on my part to just mention Delhi girls. But you could say that the majority goes to Delhi.”
In Aisha, Abhay plays the character of Knightley. Sonam Kapoor, whom he calls “sweet and down to earth”, is playing his leading lady. Talking about their onscreen chemistry, he says, “She’s fully absorbed Emma’s character. She does take some suggestions from me... the battle is won if you get along with the person you’re acting with, and we’re off to a good start. I’m very comfortable with her.” The most difficult scene, he says, was the salsa dance sequence. “It was difficult. I hate dancing but I took classes for this one. So I tried to do a nice job.”
As far as fans are concerned, many have been following his posts about Delhi on Twitter. But ask him about the website and he’s shocked. “Which Twitter posts? I’m not on Twitter. It must be some impersonator.”
So if you’re a fan of Abhay, don’t log into the faux Twitter account; just roam the streets of Delhi — the actor’s shooting in town for the next few days.