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Won at a time

Bobby Deol gets candid with Khalid Mohamed on Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, family and Bollywood.

entertainment Updated: Sep 07, 2007 14:31 IST

There's something about Deol Junior most. Shy and self-effacing (okay you know the softie adjective spiel), he has a bankable market position which he doesn’t even know how to encash.

Probably, the nicest guy in the Juhu-Vile Parle glitz neighbourhood, he’s seen more often on his family bungalow’s tennis court than at them waah-mwaah evenings.

And in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, he is the most likeable element in the not-so-likeable kitsch fest. How did he do it? Bobby Deol had to be threatened at dagger point to speak.. but he did.. to Khalid Mohamed

What’s common between Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol besides the obvious? Their light, musical laughter.

Often during the interspeak, I feel I could actually be in a time machine talking to Dharmendraji ..ha ha sa re ga ma paa.. literally.

Anyway, I have this major sneaking regard for the Deols...the Phagwara clan that made it in Posh Nagri. When criticism has to be articulated — positive, negative, middling—it has to be. Oh, the pleasures and pains of fair sameeksha-baazi. B Deol has been stung often, treating it like a scorpion bite. And when he’s aware that he’s done his act right, he anticipates fair play.. so here’s giving it to Bobby boy with the go-for-it question..

Feeling good?
Very good.. I’ve got so many compliments for Jhoom Barabar Jhoom that I’m overwhelmed.

Uh uh, so how’s the year been so far?
( Suspiciously ) It started off on a lull..then there was..(falls silent ).

<b1>You want to forget that Vakala Bakalaka thing..don’t you? Go on admit it.
No, don’t be mean. You have to go through all sorts of experiences in the film industry.. it’s about making choices.. about doing the emotionally right thing..

Yeah Vakalaka Bakalaka .
Can’t undestand what you’re saying.

Just kidding. Let’s continue.
People have loved my work in Jhoom..an actor wants to hear that so, so much.

Which people are these?
Absolute strangers..they came up to me and praised my performance, I got so many sms’es, it’s never happened to this extent before.

The film industry is so competitive that it can get confusing. I’ve often asked myself, “What’s wrong with me? How should I conduct myself ?” Still, I’d rather be myself than someone else. I know my limitations and..hopefully..my strengths.

Ever felt psychotic about this?
Frankly, yes.

So you relish compliments?
Everyone loves compliments, right from superstars to spot boys. I’m embarrassed by praise but inwardly I’m thrilled. More than anything in the world, an actor longs for genuine compiments. When that happened after the premiere of Jhoom.. I felt tremendous. My crew and co-stars were especially generous. No one said I was awful.

Where did you get that curly mop of hair from in the movie?


That’s the way my hair is..naturally curly..I just had to colour it for the role.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?


When pa said I’d done a good job in

Humraaz

.

What has he said after Jhoom..?
He hasn’t seen it yet..we’ve just returned from London where we’d gone to promote Apne.

Aha, what’s the worst remark you’ve ever got?
( Deol laugh) From you for my Soldier performance..that I still have to learn the ABC of acting.

Why did it get to you?
I was just starting out, I was so fresh in the industry. Perhaps I could handle that ABC thing today.. but then it hurt. My last film also got me criticism, but I could handle it.

You mean Vakalaka Bakalaka .
Shakalaka Boom Boom.

If you had to choose between saving only one person from the edge of a cliff —Suneil Darshan or me — whom would you choose?
I would save both of you.

You have to choose Bobby-o.
( Deol chuckle) I’d leave it up to God to decide.He would send me a message whom to choose at the last minute.

You’re too politically correct, Bobs.
( Silence ) Knock, knock.

<b3>But you did open up and even win the hamper on Koffee with Karan recently.
That was my lucky day. There was a comfort zone with Karan (Johar) and Preity (Zinta). I didn’t feel restricted. See, everyone is politically correct out here. You have to think before you talk. That day, I spoke my heart out. In my family, we tend to do that a lot..even if it hurts. As a kid, I’d always be sulking with Sunny bhaiyya because he’d try to discipline me, teach me maths.. he’s very intelligent but prefers to keep quiet.

As a kid you fell from a balcony on your head..has that left some effects?
Ha! After that fall, I was terrible at spellings. I became more sheltered, more protected, even a mamma’s boy. I don’t like to be at heights now.. but I tried to get over that fear by jumping from the seventh floor for a stunt scene recently.. and see I survived.

Tell me, hadn’t you put on oodles of weight? You looked a bit gone.
I was going through a bad phase..no films were releasing and the ones which were, didn’t do well. I was stuffing my face with wrong food at the wrong time. I got myself professional advice from a dietician, I’ve lost the kilos now.

Do you guzzle beer?
I don’t like beer.

Now that you’ve done a Yash Raj film, do you expect to be seen more often in the top-flight banners?
Sure but I have to be asked.. I don’t have an ego problem but I would feel awkward to approach any banner.

You didn’t mind the fact that you just had a 30-minute role in Jhoom..?
You timed me?

( Guesstimating) Chalo, 32 minutes.
I wanted to make my own decisions. I was asked, “How come you’re doing the film, if you’re not in the main lead?” When I heard the role, I knew I had to do it, play a Punjabi guy..because that’s in my blood.

You didn’t mind working for the Yash Raj banner after your brother’s famous controversy with Mr Chopra over Darr?
Not at all. Adi (Aditya Chopra) and I’ve played cricket as kids. There are no issues..if there were any, they’re old and forgotten.

Would Sunny do a Yash Raj film?


I’m sure he would.

Is working in the film industry a tough call to take?


It is.. the moment an actor steps out of the house, he’s working — doing concerts, ads, tie-ups with media houses. Life has become a reality show.

Now with compliments, will you be able to sleep easier?


I’ll have to be more awake.. get better!

Does Ram Gopal Varma give you nightmares like he does to many?
( Startled) I don’t know about many..but when I said that he came to visit me in a vanity van at a studio, I didn’t know if he was serious about doing a movie together. I didn’t mean to put him down.

Lovely. So who would startle you if he popped into your vanity van today?
Ram Gopal Varma again.

Do girls hit hard on you?
That’s the law of nature.As for hitting hard on me, maybe when I’m stuck in a crowd..girls pinch my bottom and run away.

Didn’t Kareena Kapoor once flip for you?
Never..those were only baseless rumours when we were doing Ajnabee.

Which film of yours would you never see again?
Kranti.. and Hum to Mohabbat Karega .. Kundan Shah was sweet enough to tell me that it had gone wrong..and he couldn’t help it.

Finally, do you crave awards?
The last time I got an award was the Best Debut award..it was handed over to me when I was at the Breach Candy hospital. I had broken my leg. I hope I don’t have to go to hospital to win my second award.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Musically..Haha saa re ga ma paa.