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Abhay Deol, who is making a comeback after 2 years to the big screen with Nanu Ki Jaanu, is very excited about this film. He is very much known for his unconventional roles and choice of cinema. From Dev D and Manorama Six Feet Under to Raanjhnaa and Happy Bhaag Jayegi, Abhay Deol garnered attention for portraying complex charecters on screen.
In a chat with Filmibeat, Abhay Deol says, 'From my end, the effort is always to give people something new, fresh or something entertaining. The more people say if it's you, it must be good.. it becomes more scary. But that's what an actor wants. I like to face challenges. '
Excerpts from the interview:
Can you give an insight about your role in Nanu Ki Jaanu?
I am playing Nanu, who is basically a criminal, like who takes over someone else's home and sell it further for more money. Then a ghost enters his life. After that his life doesn't remain the same. The story has an ironical touch.
You are always known for a bit offbeat cinema. What attracted you to Nanu Ki Jaanu?
I go for something which I can relate to, which I understand. And this is relatable for me. It's very hard to strike a balance between horror and comedy, it's very challenging and that was very attractive for me.
Your last film was in 2016. You have a great fan following, fans want to see you more, but why fewer films?
I like to be more prolific but it doesn't happen. Like I do get people approaching me. But I think it's tough making independent kind of films. It's a market driven industry and I always take chance to do a film with people who don't have a track record. So unfortunately, by nature of what I do, it becomes slow. But this year I signed two more movies. And in the last one year I have worked in approximately five movies. So yeah, today a lot more people are going ahead with out of the box formula and so I find myself saying 'yes' to many more scripts.
What do you see in a script before signing a film?
Every film is like an extension of yourself. You are making a statement with everything you do. At least I think that way.
Are you open to a director coming and covincing you for a movie, or adamant on your choice of films?
I am open to people convincing me otherwise, I don't go with the thought that I know it all. So when someone who is very sure of themselves approaches me, it's good that at least they have a confidence on their craft. So yeah, I am open to people convincing me. And earlier I have done films which I unnecessarily felt I can relate to and they have done ok.
Do you regret any movie which you rejected thinking it to be a mediocre film?
I have rejected some films which I thought were mediocre which when I saw they were still mediocre but had done good business. So I don't have regrets. I don't care if it gets embraced by the whole public. As I said, a film is like an extension of myself. It may be good for the other 'xyz' actor, but it's not good for me. May be it wouldn't run, if i would have done it.
As soon as your name is attached to a film, people have certain kind of expectation that, it must be a good film. What's your thought on this?
When you have been accepted , you don't want to disappoint people. And from my end the effort is always to give people something fresh or something entertaining. The more people say if it's you, it must be good.. it becomes more scary. But that's what an actor wants. And at the same time, film-making is not a solo project so it's not always in your control.
You always chose a little 'HATKE' films, which were not too commercial. How do you manage to stick to your vision?
I really believe in the saying that ignorance is bliss. I was completely ignorant about how to make that kind of movies back then. I think I was able to hold on to my ideals. It was disheartening to be interpreted as arrogant or 'know it all' because I was just trying to stick to a vision. And who am I to tell people that this is the kind of film I want to do, when I myself hadn't proved anything and was just a film old. All I knew is that I believed in those films and I would be accepted and embraced for that. And I think it happened, although it took a lot longer to get into people's mind and heart but when it takes time it stays there.
Today, a lot of films are being remade. Do you think Bollywood is lacking original ideas?
There is nothing wrong in remakes, but yes, if there are more remakes than originals then it's a cause to worry. And it's not only in Bollywood, it's in Hollywood too.
As it seems, you do not take much pressure of box office. Is it so?
I don't take any pressure of box office. I am not a competitive person. I am not a part of the rat race and I am not here to be a star or to be in top 10. But if I can somehow just create a niche for myself that can co exist with Bollywood and constantly delivering, that would be my ideal position. I may never become a number 1 or a huge star but I will never go down either. I simply believe what you can do, I cannot.. what I can do, you cannot. Each of us have a space. But we live in a world which is more about commerce than creativity.
Just after a week of Nanu Ki Jaanu, Avengers are coming. Are you planning to see the film?
Superhero films bore me. I mean, they have great special effects and all but they are all franchises to make money. They are predictable. We are living in a society where there is war around us, there are superheroes in the form of everyday people who make great sacrifices. We try to be superheroic and we ignore real issues.
Do you think we are very much influnced by the Hollywood style?
We always copied Hollywood. Now at least it's less than before. But even though now we can't outrightly copy, we borrow the style from them. In this you lack your own originality and that's unfortunate. It would be nice to be innovative of our own. But we are service oriented, we are not encouraged to be innovative. Till the time we don't feel confident in our own skin, we are going to copy their style particularly of white people because that's what we aspire to be. We don't see African cinema and inspire from them.