Sunny Deol on Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se, how sequels are a safe box office bet and his love for action

Abhishek Srivastava

Aug 28, 2018 13:42:42 IST

After having spent close to 35 years in the film industry, one could say Sunny Deol is at the crossroads of his career. Most of his recent films have failed at the box office, including the self-directed sequel to Ghayal, and a few of them have been in a long queue to release.

Now, the actor is raring to go once again and this time he has opted for a safe bet – a sequel. Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se is slated to hit theaters this week and is the third film in the Yamla Pagla Deewana series. So, exactly how safe a bet are sequels? “From a commercial point of view, franchisee films do provide a safety net at the box office though it’s difficult to make any prediction on how successful they will be. Such films are readily lapped up by distributors and studios. They don’t have any agenda before they acquire such films as the only thing that matters to them is box office numbers and there is definitely a hope with such films,” admits the actor.


The poster of Yamla Pagla Deewana: Phir Se.

It’s also strange to notice that all the three films in the YPD series have been helmed by three different directors. While the first director was Samir Karnik, the second installment was directed by Sangeeth Sivan, elder brother of ace cinematographer Santhosh Sivan. The current installment has been directed by Navaniat Singh, a known name in the Punjabi film circuit. Sunny is honest about the direction process of the YPD series. “The first director simply left the series on his own after the film was over and the second director realised after the shoot that directing the series was not his cup of tea. He was also one of the missing links because he could not comprehend the flavour of the series. Now we have Navaniat, who is making his debut in Bollywood with this film and has done a pretty good job," reveals Sunny.

This time while Sunny and Bobby play brothers yet again, Dharmendra is shown to be an outsider; he plays a lawyer who rents a room in the brothers’ house. This time too, much like in the other films, Sunny has been a part of many dance numbers in the film, despite, self-admittedly, not being very good at dancing. “I never thought that dancing is also an integral part of acting. Initially, I used to be very hesitant and often thought that I have joined the industry to act and not to dance. In the beginning of my career I often felt scared about dance numbers but now that hesitation is completely gone,” he admits. He's seen enough memes about his dancing skills (of lack thereof) but Sunny says he's learned to take the joke.

Sunny is candid enough to admit that post Gadar, meaty offers have been few and far between. “I think directors and writers were a bit clueless and could not make up their mind about the subjects with which they could have approached me,” Sunny guesses. He further reveals that he has always harboured dreams of doing a period film, but is yet to come across any such offer.

The coming days will see Sunny reunite with director Rajkumar Santoshi, who, through films like Ghayal, Damini and Ghatak, singlehandedly gave a twist to the career of the macho actor.  “As an actor my bonding with him has always been great. Santoshi and I have done three films in past and we share a chemistry. We are now in the process of locking a story and waiting for things to fructify.”

Recently, John Abraham had remarked that that its only because of Sunny Deol that actors like him have now developed confidence to split a tyre into two. What does he think about this? “Whatever I had done in the past were done at a point when emotions were required for those scenes and not just for the sake of doing it. Even in Gadar when I uprooted a hand pump, the situation demanded it,” explains Sunny.

Finally, being an action hero himself, it becomes imperative to ask him about the recent crop of action stars like Tiger Shroff and Vidyut Jamwal — who have now successfully created their own benchmark in action. “These are not stunts but cabling and special effects. It’s all about flexibility. The stuff that we used to do, and even now, is all desi. There used to be no cable if one were to fall riding a horse. If we jumped from a building, there used to be boxes on the surface. I only mean that now you have ample of safety measures which help you take such scenes to another level. It’s the technology that’s helping them do it otherwise everyone is as good as another,” says a nonchalant Sunny.

Updated Date: Aug 28, 2018 13:42:42 IST