Abhay Deol is back after a sabbatical with HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI as soft and suave ‘Bilal' who belongs to Pakistan in the film. Abhay has always been quite selective with his roles and mostly preferred offbeat films with unusual roles. But it seems the actor is gradually moving towards commercial flicks - be it solo hero project or multi-starrers. Abhay's last few films include RAANJHANAA, ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOOBARA, SHANGHAI, etc and they have been two or three hero projects.
And now the Deol boy is set with yet another different role to tickle the funny bones of the audience with Aanand L Rai's HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI, which is also a multi-hero project.
In conversation with Abhay as he speaks about being selective, about taking up films, his take on box office numbers to working with new-age directors and many more.
Excerpts from the interview:
You are seen after a sabbatical; did you say an instant yes to the film?
I read the script and I loved it. The character Bilal I thought was written for me moreover, I take my time before I give a nod to the role.
Mudassar Aziz hasn't given many hits. His last movie as director DULHA MIL GAYA was way back in 2010, wasn't it a risky proposition?
I don't judge a director by his past films. When I did DEV D with Anurag Kashyap, his last film NO SMOKING had failed. Hence it depends on the circumstances and the product of the film as well as the way it has been scripted. Moreover, Krishika Lulla and Aanand L Rai have faith in him hence they decided to produce it, and certainly I have faith on the producers and the director.
Since you had a small role in RANJHANAA, is Aanand L Rai's HAPPY BHAG JAYEGI a compensation to your last role?
I don't take it as compensation. In RANJHANAA the role was written for me, Aanand wanted me. While my character as Bilal is also important in HBJ and is essential to take the film ahead. I don't take any film or role as a loss in my career.
Are you happy with the movie?
Yes, I am. As there's a week's marketing and I am happy with my role and character. There is always a pressure on an actor about deliverability. When I was new, I had to build a name. There are fewer expectations when you are new. However the pressure is always there.
How similar is Abhay in real life with Bilal?
When I sign a film, the first thing I look into is the reliability, it needs to be there, of course for certain areas you need workshops and diction and accent which are external. If I do a south Indian role, my physical aspect to my body language needs to be taught. While there are certain internal factors like mood, behaviour and thinking which needs to go with the mindset of real mind and character. With my character Bilal he speaks Urdu, while I speak Hindi, so I had to learn the language and improvise it. There are certain things common between Bilal and Abhay. We have studied abroad. While I am quite open minded, he is submissive, he doesn't have a voice, he keeps to himself, he is quiet at the same time he is charming and well spoken. There is a process of every character be it external and internal to the status. That defines individual actor and the role he is portraying apart from that here are factors like emotional stability, ambition and drive.