Dileep was on the sets of his latest film with director Sathyan Andhikaat when we met him. For some time now, the actor had been on the receiving end of many an allegation regarding his films.
The otherwise polite and friendly Dileep, who doesn't have anything bad to say about anybody, didn't quite mince his words this time.
"Sometimes I feel as if I'm the one with the greatest number of enemies in the film industry. There are times when I knew for sure that I have enemies all around me. Whenever my films flop, these people laugh and say that I probably should never have attempted such a stunt before.
"There is a general impression that I'm good only for comedy and sentimental roles. But people don't realize that I have been doing action roles for a very long time. Look at films like 'Runway', 'Lion' and 'Chess'! All these films did well at the box office. Only 'Don' failed at the box office. I'm being crucified for that failure.
"In spite of this, if I'm still surviving in the industry, it is due to my fans and their love for me," he said.
"Fans will get tired if you continue to dish out the same kind of stuff again and again. That's why I'm trying to bring in variety. Nobody can say for certain about the outcome of films at the box office. Some work. Some don't. But it is not fair to brand someone as a flop actor simply because he has had two flops and completely forget all about the hit films that he had starred in.
"I have starred in 16 continuous hit films. Let me tell you something. I don't work in films for the sake of my enemies. I do films for my fans. I want to make films that entertain them.
"Initially, when I used to read blind criticism about my films, I used to feel very upset. Many used to criticize my films without even bothering to see it. Most of these comments were baseless too. I used to feel that I should reply to those criticisms in harsh words, but my friends and supporters talked me out of it. That's the reason why I don't bother to reply.
"The people who are out to destroy me would do anything to see to it that they succeed in their mission. Smartness lies in not even bothering to listen to them. If criticism comes from the ones I love and the ones who mean everything to me, I shall take it then. Otherwise, why should I waste my time on such things?
"There have always been allegations that I interfere with my films. Don't you think I deserve to know what's happening in the film that I'm working in? I ask the director and producer about the film and they tell me what they're doing to it. That's all the interference that I do. If this is the definition of interference, then I agree that I interfere. I'd rather work only with those people who are ready to tolerate this 'interference'. I'm not the one who goes about requesting everybody to cast me in their films. When they come to make a film with me, they are very well aware that they'll have this problem with me.
"Moreover, if they are not happy with this interference, why would they repeat me in their future films too? Had any of my films flopped due to my interference, do you think the producer would repeat me in his new films? My fans are my source of income. My priority is to make films that they like. To make that happen, I need to team up with someone whose thought waves sync with mine.
"I don't interfere with all my directors. There are some whom I have complete faith in. These are people who believe that film is teamwork. They think about films all the time.
"I didn't get into films by putting my faith on writers. I wouldn't completely rule out their contributions either. I had acted in two films with Lohitadas and a film of Ranjith. People like Rafi Mecartin, Benny P Nayarambalam, Sibi and Udayan were all good friends of mine. I'm proud that they have all now become leading writers.
"For time being atleast I have shifted my focus away from awards. I have a feeling that the award committees have put my name in the blackmark list. Even otherwise, after all these politicizing, awards have lost their respect. I might as well concentrate on doing good films," he ended.
We wondered who his mysterious enemies were...
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