A press meeting to promote Naksha is the perfect opportunity to meet the elusive Sunny Deol. It’s even rarer to get him to shed his self-confessed ‘shy’ persona and open up. Deol was uncharacteristically relaxed, cracking jokes and talking at length (instead of his usual monosyllabic answers).
He even shared anecdotes about co-stars Vivek Oberoi and Sameera Reddy. Debutante director Sachin Bajaj’s adventure thriller is Deol’s first major film since Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005), though he did make a guest appearance in the blink-and-miss Teesri Aankh earlier this year.
Deol attributes the long gap to his “back-problem, which prevented me from working for some time.” He says that after he resumed work, “it took a while for the film to be made and be ready for release.” He further adds, “Different people have different handicaps and my back is mine. Pata nahin, kab aata hai, kab jaata hai. I’ve learnt to live with it.” Considering Naksha promises stunts in abundance, aided by cables and wirework, did his back pose a handicap to his performance? “Constantly worrying about it will only hinder my work. So I’d rather not mull over it,” he asserts.
Naksha is Sunny Deol's first major film after Jo Bole So Nihaal
One of the talked about aspects of
is Deol performing his father Dharmendra’s trademark steps from ‘
Main jat yamla pagla deewana’
number. Ask him about it, keeping in mind his limited dancing skills, and he jokes, "Actually I’m a good dancer who’s trying very hard to be bad. Anyway, it’s not an entire song, but just a few words that are similar to my father’s song from which I’ve tried to incorporate some of his steps. I hope the audience likes it.”
Till recently both Rajkumar Santoshi and Deol wanted to make historicals on Prithviraj Chauhan. But now that Santoshi has opted out, will Deol go ahead with his film? “A lot of factors have to be considered before making such a huge film, prime being the finance and feasibility,” he says.
Does he still consider this kind of film financially viable, given the market for our films? “Yes, of course. Our market is huge enough to make such expensive films, like Krrish for example. In the recent times we have seen our big films doing big business.” Deol is most excited about Anil Sharma’s Apne, based on boxing, where he stars with his father Dharmendra and brother Bobby. His face lights up at the mention of it.
“It fulfils our dream of working together. We waited for the right script to come along. Though it’s based on boxing, Apne is an emotional film about a family, and we’re having a great time shooting for it.” The Deols’ production company Vijeta Films and K Sera Sera have entered into a deal to make seven films. Besides, Deol is also planning to wield the megaphone again as he reveals, "I’m working on a script right now. I’ll tell you about it only when the script is complete and I begin casting.”
While Deol is also working on Tigmanshu Dhulia’s period film Ghulami, in Ammtoje Mann’s Kaafilaa and Guddu Dhanoa’s Deodhar Gandhi, he’s looking forward to Ahmed Khan’s Fool N Final, which is a comedy -- a genre he’s not explored so far. “I’m just playing a role in the film. It’s an experiment for the producer,” he says, winking at his joke.