In an all-black outfit, he's belting out quotes-and-bytes effortlessly. Over to Bobby Deol's talk-the-talk:
You've signed three films with director Samir Karnik.. Nanhe Jaisalmer, Roshan and Mera Bharat Mahan. Why are so impressed with him?
(Laughs) Now, that's a bit strange, because I never knew Samir very well.. I knew him briefly when I was .. doing Kareeb, he was Vinod Chopra's assistant. Then one day, my mobile was flooded by SMSes from him.
He wanted to narrate a subject idea.. when I heard out Nanhe Jaisalmer's concept, I loved it. But there were apprehensions. I was like, "Dude, the subject's fine but doesn't the film have a kid in an important role?" Children have a short attention span.. working with them can be difficult. You play yourself in Nanhe Jaisalmer.
In 1971, your father Dharmendra played himself in Guddi. Did you draw any sort of inspiration from his character in that film?
Have you seen Guddi?
Yes, of course.
Okay No no I didn't draw inspiration from dad's acting.. that would have meant imitating him. When I was first told about the character, there was a mental block, "How am I supposed to be myself ?" I wondered.
On the first day of the shoot, I asked Samir, "Dude, what should I do? Just be myself - Bobby Deol?"
Did you have any hesitations because Samir Karnik's first movie Kyun Ho Gaya Naa bombed?
I haven't seen the film.
Are you very wary about working with directors whose previous films haven't clicked?
I don't believe in that at all. Sunny bhaiyya (Deol) had signed Sanjay Leela Bhansali immediately after Khamoshi. which hadn't worked commercially. You can't gauge a director's aptitude from the first film. Sanjay and bhaiyya's film didn't materialise because some other projects came along. <b1>
Why did you turn down Imtiaz Ali's Jab We Met and Apoorva Lakhia's Mission Istanbul?
I like Imtiaz's work.. he directed Abhay (Deol) in Socha Na Tha. I've wanted to work with him.. but it didn't materialise.. they were running out of time and signed Shahid Kapur instead. In Mission Istanbul's case, there were date hassles.
Is Shimit Amin considering you for his next film?
This is loose talk. Someone just asked me if I'm doing a film called Airport.. I don't know where such talk comes from.
Isn't Vijeta Films returning to production?
Sort of.. we are producing Kabeer Kaushik's Chamkoo.. it's based in Bihar. I have a fabulous role in it. There's a project with Neeraj Pathak.. there's also a film with Anil Sharma featuring dad, bhaiyya and myself.
How involved are you in production?
I'm developing an interest. It's important for me to know how the trade functions.. so production knowledge is vital. (Smiles) Earlier, I used to avoid all the stress.. today I'm , more serious about Vijeta Films. <b2>
Some years from now, can you imagine yourself excelling over your dad and brother?
(Laughs) Do you think I'm not versatile enough? Of course, bhaiyya and dad have their following.. nobody can compete with them.. but you can't take away my individuality either.
Your wife, Tanya, continues to be your official designer.
Yes. Style is a very personal thing. I dress up for the love of it. (Laughs) When I was in school, I wasn't into shopping at all. Dad would take me to a one-stop shop.. and get bhaiyya and me the same stuff.. you know how dads are.. they like their children dressed up in similar-looking clothes.
After school, I started shopping seriously. Today, I've matured as a dresser. I'm more of a shirt person.. I don't like T-shirts that much. Black, white, designer, plain.. give me a shirt any day .