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"I want to be an outstanding director" : Sunny Deol

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Friday, August 10, 2007
Despite a series of flops at the box-office in the recent past, Sunny Deol has reason to rejoice following the critics' verdict on family drama Apne and for his role of a Pakistani freelancer in the forthcoming Kafila. Now, the actor wants to try his hand at direction. He talks about Kafila bridging the gap between India and Pakistan, his experience of working in it and his aspirations in the field of direction.

What did you like the most in Amtouz Mann's film Kafila?
I liked the story which is based on the problem of illegal immigration. These days, people move to foreign lands with the help of visas. This results in intellectual immigration. At the same time, there are others who migrate illegally in search for a better life. But they end up residing in the foreign country like thieves.

Have you ever met a person who had migrated illegally?
No, but then, playing a character doesn't require meeting the persons on whom the characters are based. As an actor, it's my duty to make the job of the director easy.

Tell us about your character in the film.
I play a Pakistani in the film, who, like a freelancer, roams through Afganistan, Rajasthan, Bulgeria, Russia and other places, with a group of nomads.

What's the reason behind playing a Pakistani character in the film?
(Laughs) Yeah... it's quite an interesting question but you have to ask it to my director.

It's said that by playing a Pakistani character you want to please the Pakistani audiences?
I don't want to please anyone. I'm an actor and it's my job to portray every kind of character. I don't know who is spreading such rumours about me. Maybe the people who are doing this want to give me some message.

There were one Bulgarian and two Pakistani actors in the film. How was your experience of working with them?
I enjoyed working with them. I would like to mention that all of them were newcomers. So, they had the liveliness and enthusiasm, and an intention to learn new things.

Is the film going to be released in Pakistan too?
So far, whenever we have interacted with Pakistan it has been either for banduk or for business. It's a pleasure for me to state that nowadays it is more for business. And it is a part of our movie business to get our films released in Pakistan. It's better to forget the past and move ahead.

It is said that the completion of Kafila took a long time?
Who says so? There's nothing like that. And even if there was any delay, it was not due to me. If people still believe otherwise, it's fine by me.

Your last film Apne couldn't leave a mark at the box-office?
Apne couldn't prove itself at the box-office, but film critics, as well as the audience, liked it very much. My dream came true.

Why are you doing very few films these days?
Yeah, I have reduced my working hours because of my health. Nevertheless, I have played small roles in several films in the last two or three years. I had undergone three operations for my backache and in that situation, my first priority had to be my health.

We heard that you are going to direct films?
Yeah, we are going to shoot four films in the coming year. The first one is titled Man, in which I am assisted by Neeraj Pathak. I'm also playing the lead role in it, but the leading lady has not been decided yet. The second film is Chamku named after the lead character of the film, played by Bobby. It will hit the floor within a month and a half. Kabir Sadanand, the director of Sahar, will assist me in that film.

Will the three of you Deols come together again after Apne?
Absolutely. It'll be in the film Masters, directed by Apne director Anil Sharma. People actually complained to us that we have made them cry in Apne. So, keeping that in mind, we have decided to make them laugh in Masters.

Your father, Dharmendra, was supposed to publish his poetry (shayaree). Please tell us about that.
It's true that he has penned his experiences, both on and off screen, in his shayaree. He's going to publish them very soon.

Do you enjoy writing too?
It's difficult giving my experiences a written form. Maybe after reaching his (Dharmendra's) age, I shall also start writing. As of now, it's tough to comment on it.

What would you like to do besides acting in the near future?
I want to be an outstanding director. I have a dream project that I wish to accomplish. But it's better to keep mum about it right now as it's too early to speak on the subject.

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