With Ghayal Once Again hitting the right note, Sunny Deol is back in full throttle. He talks to us about his forthcoming movies, launching his son Karan Deol and why he wouldn’t imitate the Khans and Kapoors of the film industry
Sunny Deol is revered as one of the best strikers on screen. When you meet him, the valiance in his persona is palpable. The man with deep baritone that tears apart the strongest of villains is as soft and humane as one could be in real life. He is ‘honest’ in his remarks and vocal about everything that is close to his heart. Recently, he made a successful comeback with Ghayal Once Again, a sequel to blockbuster Ghayal (1990), and proved yet again that he is not stopping anytime soon. At 58, Deol is looking forward to his promising flicks like Bhayyaji Superhitt and Mohalla Assi. Excerpts from an interview:
Your hard work on Ghayal Once Again paid off!
Ghayal Once Again has been the most challenging project so far. Being the director and producer of the movie, my team and I were responsible for chalking out roadmap for everything, from its making to publicity and marketing. Besides that, the concept of Ghayal is very close to my heart. More than a movie, it was our vision.
But why did Ghayal Once Again get delayed?
One of the primary reasons was lack of a good script. Initially, we started filming a script, called it Ghayal Returns and even released a trailer. But I found that unimpressive. So I changed the script. But even the second script failed to excite me. Finally, we zeroed in for Ghayal Once Again with the third script.
Didn’t you approach Meenakshi Sheshadri for Ghayal Once Again, who played pivotal role in the original movie 25 years ago?
Meenakshi knows everything about the sequel. I wanted her to be a part of this project but she had her own reservations. She’s in US right now and we don’t interact much.
What still drives you?
Everybody wants commercial success. But I’m definitely driven by great content and good scripts. I want scripts to dominate and build my characters on screen. Whether or not the audience likes it on screen is not in my hands. I have my beliefs and I cannot deviate fromof them would have existed around. But that’s not the kind of person I am.
You’re not friends with actors nor a member of any camp. Is Bollywood not a place for friendship?
We don’t have enemies in the film industry. We all are colleagues. Friendships are always good in school where we swear on each other. As we become older, we all become professional and strive to better ourselves at work.
Do you see any change in industry?
Things are evolving for good. Earlier, filmmakers had to make scripts suitable for the stars. However, it should be the other way round. I’m glad that good story-tellers are coming up again, who are not following fixed formats of successes.
Do your family members have a say in your career decisions?
No. We are together but at the same we are very individual in our approach towards life and work.
What is your earliest memory of films?
I was very small when I saw my father film for the first time. It was Shola Aur Shabnam. We were living in a small rented flat in Mumbai. When M Rajan, who played villain in that film, came to our house over dinner, I took out my toy gun and threatened to kill him because he hit my dad on screen. I found movies in the’60s mesmerising. As a child, I instantly fell in love with the medium. I wouldn’t even know why I was attracted towards classic films of those days. Maybe, there was some rhythm in every creative form that allured me.
Abhay Deol has done a different kind of cinema. How much do you identify with that?
All of us in the family have followed our cinematic vision. Abhay is doing the kind of cinema I started my career with. It’s just that I successfully adapted new trends while sticking to my belief
The trailer of your film Mohalla Assi hit the controversy due to profane utterances.
We didn’t use abuses in the film to make it sensational. It is very real and indigenous film. The dialogues are the demand of the script. I am disappointed that media ruined the very character of a good film without even watching it. It is your (media) responsibility to understand the kind of cinema you are writing on and then comment on it.
In your journey of over 30 years, do you regret any decision?
I’m very happy. I’m satisfied and I don’t want to change anything. What I am today is because of the decisions that I took in my personal and professional life. Over time, of course, I have become more mature and understanding about life and business.
Sunny’s Top Kicks
- Ghayal (1990) National Film Award – Special Jury Award , Filmfare Best Actor Award
- Damini (1993) National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor , Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award
- Best Actor Nominations :- Betaab (1983) , Ghatak (1996), Border (1997), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001)
- Chahne Wale (1994) Nominated for Filmfare Best Villain Award