Nanu Ki Jaanu is a mainstream film, but I won't call it commercial; it has its quirks: Abhay Deol
The darling of Indie cinema has lost none of his appeal despite his two-year sabbatical. Abhay Deol is raring to go, once again, with his upcoming film Nanu Ki Janu. The actor who once believed in shooting straight from the hip is now a wiser and calmer man. It’s a pleasant sight to see the actor all spruced up for numerous interview sessions – a far cry from the past when he avoided the media like plague.
“I was scared of the media. During my childhood I used to see these write ups about my family and then was asked questions on it in school from teachers and friends. When I became famous myself, I realised that those from the media are dangerous," he says, adding, "the time I entered the industry, it was not that difficult I suppose. One could be sort of reclusive but in the past ten years a lot has changed. It seems to me anybody coming up now will never have that luxury anymore."
Abhay asserts that as far as the mystery part is concerned, he can still strike a balance. He also says he won't be completely available. This comes at the heels of the realisation that apart from acting in a film, marketing a film too is now part of an actor’s profile. “Jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai is true. I see actors taking brands at a particular time, whether their film does well or not. If they have the right support behind them, they are given a big brand and then suddenly you see their faces plastered all across the country. Marketing has become so crucial that that now it’s part of the packaging of making you a star."
Abhay’s upcoming film Nanu Ki Jaanu brings together most of the core team that was involved in the making of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye. The film is a horror-comedy and the actor is satisfied with the way the film has shaped. “It’s a mainstream film but at the same time I would refrain from calling it a formula or a commercial film. The film has its own quirks.”
Not many know that Abhay Deol worked on the script of Dev D along with Vikramaditya Motwane. “Dev D was a success and I have no answer as to why I did not get another chance. I mainly write synopses, treatments and never a full script. It's always been in small measures like writing the climax or changing the graph of a character. I have done it consistently after Dev D but no one expects actors to have brains," he says.
As someone who hails from a filmy family, Abhay admits that nepotism is a cultural aspect of the Indian society. But hard work is something that cannot be ignored. “It’s obvious that 98 per cent actors in the industry are from a filmy background. An outsider is just not getting chances; at the same time I am not saying that the insiders have it easy while it is tough for the outsiders and vice versa. It’s certain that filmy kids will be given chance after chance. There are more chances of a filmy kid getting opportunities even if they deliver flops. It’s tough for outsiders unless the newcomer is a protégé of the producer.”
Abhay confesses that he is not competitive by nature and every individual is skilled in different way. "I have no desire or intention of being part of the list of top five actors and prove to them that my films too can earn 200 Cr,” says Abhay with a tinge of smile.
Abhay’s act in Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara received universal applause but we haven't seen him in an ensemble film since. He responds, "I have never been offered work by established producers. A film is a director’s medium and the onus is on them to push for actors. The producer has to say 'I want this actor in my film'. Ours is a very limited film industry where only few people wield power. In such an environment, making something different is like going against the tide.”
It was not long ago that Abhay had blasted fairness cream companies for their racist approach, but after the ripple it created it seemed the actor was at the receiving end from various people in the industry. “When I wrote about the fairness creams, the media patted my back but the irony is that these are the platforms where such ads appear. I was pointing at my own industry; why can’t the media do the same by pointing at their own industry?” asks Abhay.
He recalls that he was aghast at a leading newspaper when they carried his interviewed on the issue. The very page that featured his interview also had an ad of a fairness cream. “Its during such cases I feel that I should not even try to make an effort," he says nonchalantly. He then laughs quite loudly, and it goes quite in tune with the theme of his latest film: horror-comedy.
Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 21:53:08 IST