Free Press Journal

Abhay Deol: I was a reluctant actor


Abhay Deol was determined to create his own identity when he made his debut over a decade ago but coming from a film family, the actor says he was conflicted about fame. Abhay says people initially expected him to follow in on the footsteps of his uncle Dharmendra and cousin Sunny Deol but he chose alternative cinema over commercial projects to assert his individuality.

“I feel my advantage of coming from a film family is — having seen fame up close, having seen the industry so close and how it works, I was not enamoured by fame. I wasn’t looking to be a star, I just happened to love acting, I was a reluctant actor. So I was like how do I manage this without taking in the frenzy of becoming a star,” Abhay said.

Abhay, who made his debut with Imtiaz Ali’s Socha Na Tha, says he remained doubtful about fame even when it came knocking at his door. The actor says he “ran away” when Dev D, directed by Anurag Kashyap, became a cult hit as he felt its success would affect him “most likely in a negative way”.

“Somewhere it is negative because I should have been around to promote my film and myself. I didn’t do that. But do I regret it? No. Because it kept me grounded. Maybe I didn’t take the advantage and become a star and get all the brands so that I could solidify my space in the world,” he says.

The actor played a messed up man who gets a second chance at both love and life in the film, a modern take on Devdas. Looking back, Abhay believes he should have approached the film’s success in a more balanced way. “The reaction to Dev D success wasn’t a balanced one from my end. I ran away! I should have stayed around and seen how I could balance things. But I wasn’t capable of that. That’s my background,” he says.

His next ‘Nanu Ki Jaanu’, a horror comedy co-starring Patralekhaa, is scheduled to release on April 20.