There was a strong rumour in the industry last week that Abhay Deol, on a high after the accolades and profits for Dev D, was having second thoughts about doing Zoya Akhtar's film with Farhan Akhtar and Hrithik Roshan.
"Abhay wants to do only solo-hero projects," said an industry source. When questioned, Abhay did not deny that he had indeed so far sought out films where he was the only male lead.
"And why not? From my first film Socha Na Tha to Dev D most of the films that I've been doing have offered me a chance to be on my own. Why not use the cinema space to create your own rhythm and pace when you are getting the opportunity?
"Having said that, I'd be foolish to turn down something like Zoya's film. It does have three heroes, yes. But all of us have strong interesting and equal roles. That's why I agreed to do the film."
Abhay also reminds you that he has done an ensemble cast before. "I did Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani's Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, directed by Reema Kagti. And thoroughly enjoyed myself."
In fact in Honeymoon... Abhay had stepped into a role earmarked for Farhan. A fact Abhay says he wasn't aware of when he signed the film. That's where his friendship with Farhan began. Abhay admits if he wasn't friendly with Farhan and Hrithik he would've had a tough time deciding whether to do the new project.
"So, yes, for all practical purposes I will be doing only solo-hero films. Even Aisha is a solo-hero film," says Abhay, "and never if the film's leading lady Sonam Kapoor's father Anil Kapoor thinks she's the film's hero."
Abhay Deol's latest solo quest with the quirky Road by Dev Benegal has been selected for a premiere in the prestigious competition section of the Berlin Film Festival, where Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan has been premiered.
A busy Abhay finishes Anil Kapoor's Aisha and goes straight into his home production Basra and Zoya Akhtar's film with Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar.
He hopes to spend most of 2010 in Mumbai working round the clock in three new projects which includes Zoya Akhtar's movie. Abhay has taken a sabbatical from his new home-life in New York. He is also all set to do a full-on potboiler.
Asked if he would do more modern literary adaptations like Dev D, Abhay replied: "Provided I get one that I like. I can't just hop genres for the heck of it. But, yes, a typical conventional commercial film does seem like a good idea right now. And by the way I've done the song-and-dance routine in my first film Socha Na Tha." Any hopes of winning awards for Dev D?
"Not really. I've never really won any awards. I've managed to make a decent career without them," Abhay ends wryly.