"I was always dissatisfied with the way I looked on-screen"
At 75, Dharmendra is giving tough competition to sons Sunny and Bobby Deol, dancing in floral shirt with item girls in his new film YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA. The original He-Man of Bollywood in conversation with our correspondent.
What brought you back on the silver screen and that too as a main lead? It has been 50 years that I am part of the Hindi film industry. The only force that keeps driving me even today is the love and support of the people. I am thankful to them that even after 50 years they have not thrown me out of their hearts. And I know, I will be there in people's hearts forever. Acting is not a profession for me; it's my mehbooba (girlfriend). When she used to get angry and keep me away from her, I used to woo her back and vice versa. She was angry with me for quite some years, and I am trying to win her back with this film YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA.
This is the second film that stars all the three Deols... In 2007, I made APNE with Sunny and Bobby. People were very happy to see us together in one film. So I decided to gift them another film, casting all three of us, in this New Year. APNE was a very emotional picture (film) with a sports background. People loved it. But this film, there is a lot of comedy, fights, thrills, and also few good emotional punches. So, this time, we hope to bring smile on people's eyes and tears in their eyes.
Who is the Yamla (crazy), who is the Pagla (mad) and who is the Deewana (lover) in this film? Sunny, Bobby and me...all have our turns to play Yamla, Pagla and Deewana.
Your dream to be an actor took you from a Punjab village (Sahnewal) to Mumbai. Did you always want to take up acting as a career? I dreamt an impossible dream. As a child, out of my whim, I saw a dream of becoming an actor. Then, before I could realize, I started filling colours to my dream; and by the time hum jawaan huye, I got addicted to films. It was very hard to make it to the film industry in those days, especially for a boy coming from a middle-class family. But my every breath was desperate to fulfill my dream. I didn't see any film till Class VIII...my parents were very strict. I remember, once some of my friends came back after watching a film and they were very excited. I asked them what a film is all about. They too couldn't explain; they said 'Pictures speak'. When I was in Class IX, the first film I saw was Dilipsaab's (Kumar) SHAHEED; and I was spell-bound. I wondered: 'Which world do these beautiful people belong to? Where is this heaven? I too want to be one of them."
There was a time when you were among the top 10 most handsome men in the world. How did you react to that? I was excited; but it was hard for me to believe that how is it possible? How can I be one of the ten most handsome men in the world? As for me, I was always dissatisfied with the way I looked on screen. I always used to ask my directors for reshoots saying I am not looking good from this angle or that angle.
Do you think you have been given your due by the industry? No...really no and I know I will never get it. And fault is mine...I didn't ask for it; I don't know the way how to take it. I don't have PROs...I don't know how to develop networks. I am unfit to get my dues, perhaps.
Now-a-days, lot of senior stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor are on social networking and blogging sites like Twitter. But you prefer to keep away from these things. Why? Blowing one's own trumpet is a very painful thing for me. I know I too have to go and promote my film YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA, because that's the trend now. I too won't be spared; but I am not comfortable with these things.