Regular sabbaticals, a welding course in New York and now martial arts for self-gratification - Abhay Deol, who is gearing up for his next outing Road, Movie, believes in living life in packages.
"I had taken a sabbatical from my Bollywood life when I went to New York. I was there only for a year; so it's not long enough. I have been taking sabbaticals here and there. I work in cycles," Abhay told IANS in a telephonic interview from Mumbai.
"I have done that before. I have spent time in Spain, England and I've travelled within India too in between projects because it's just part and parcel of the way I live. I like travelling and being on the road. And once I finish my next film, it will happen again," he said.
After pursuing a course in welding and metal work at the Arts Students League of New York last year, the 33-year-old is now training in martial arts.
Asked if the training was for his home production Basra, he said: "I am pursuing martial arts in general. That's something I want to do and it helps in films. We definitely have it in Basra ..but it also helps in all sorts of films and in all sorts of ways," he said.
So is Abhay also planning to go the six-pack way? "I am too lazy for that... I wish I could. Even a four-pack would be good," he said.
Having done movies like Socha Na Tha, Ahista Ahista, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and the hit Dev D, Abhay has carved a niche for himself as the contemporary young man doing experimental cinema.
"If that's really happened, then that's great. We need to contemporarise our cinema...and if I have become an epitome of that, then that's a big compliment," he said.
"My effort has always been to try and have something new and something different. I want to do different genres, explore different directors and their styles. I've just tried to do a better film with each one...I always want this (the current) one to be my best one yet," Abhay said.
Road, Movie, which releases March 5, has been directed by Dev Benegal and is about a young man, Vishnu (Abhay), desperate to escape a future working as a salesman for his father's hair oil business.
He relishes the chance to drive his uncle's 1940s Chevy truck across the desert to a museum. Along the way, the cast of characters grow to include a cheeky sidekick in the form of a runaway boy (Mohammed Faizal Usmani), a wise mentor in an old desert wanderer, Om (Satish Kaushik), and a gypsy woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee).
Vishnu soon learns that the truck was once a travelling cinema and still contains projection equipment and reels of film from vintage Indian cinema to the daredevil silent comedies of Hollywood. Screening films in the middle of the desert provides them all with moments of salvation and reflection.
Said Abhay: "Road, Movie is a celebration of cinema. It's actually a film that you are watching within a film. It plays upon how important it (cinema) is to us and how it is treated and accepted. It is a journey of cinema."
"It's much more subtle than the earlier work I've done. It's very enjoyable, much more light and not serious and preachy. We don't make any great statements with this film. It's just totally made to enjoy the ride," the actor added.
Apart from Road, Movie and Basra, Abhay's future projects include Ayesha and Zoya Akhtar's next.