Abhay Deol: Hollywood has been lacking right representation for a long time
As Abhay Deol navigates the larger than life terrain of Hollywood, the actor is glad that the world of West is working hard to fill the void of lack of right representation, and reflecting the world as it is.
“I’m glad it (Hollywood becoming inclusive) is finally happening. There needs to be right representation in Hollywood, and they’ve been lacking for a long time,” shares Deol, who has embarked upon a journey in the West with his latest film, Spin.
He adds, “They have been talking about it for a long time, but it’s never been much of a follow up. But in the last couple of years, I have noticed that they have been following up on what they have been saying”.
For the actor, getting the representation right is crucial for the kids, who look at the entertainment sector to reflect their culture while growing up.
“Kids, who look like us, and whether it be the Indian American community or the Latin American community, or Asian community, we need to see ourselves represented in the way we are, so that kids who grew up in that country feel like they belong. I have been getting feedback after Spin, in which I play the role of father to a teenage daughter in an Indian-American set-up,” admits the 45-year-old.
He reveals that Asian Americans are just happy to see someone like them on screen, and that is very important.
Explaining his point, the Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) actor stresses, “It gives them a sense of belonging. Because a lot of kids who are from an ethnic community outside of the US, and who were born and raised in the US, try and find where they belong by going to the countries where their parents come from, and realize they don’t belong there. And they feel like they don’t belong in America either”.
That leaves them in lurch, and that’s why becoming inclusive should be the way forward, and is a big deal, feels Deol.
Here Deol, who made his debut in Bollywood with Socha Na Tha in 2005, doesn’t mean to make ethnicity the plotline to make a point as “making a statement without making it about ethnic identity is important”.
He picks an example of his film, Spin. “We shot the film during the pandemic, is not about finding your identity on the story level. It could be any family, with the same kind of issues. A father and daughter would have the same kind of issues that teenagers would have. We make a statement by making a family Indian American, but not making it about ethnic identity,” reveals the actor, who has also featured in films such as Dev.D (2009) and Manorama Six Feet Under (2007).