Joined: 16 August 2004
Are you producing Prithviraj Chauhan, directed by Chandraprakash Dwivedi?
No. Vijeta Films was never producing Prithviraj Chauhan. But I would love to play the role of Prithviraj. Chandraprakash Dwivedi has a great script; we had a producer who came to meet me in the US. I don't know why he suddenly backed out. The day Chandraprakash gets a producer for the film, I will do it.
But you told Raj Kumar Santoshi you wouldn't do a film on the same subject…
I never said that. What I said was that I will never produce the film. I have already burnt my fingers once. I have nothing against Ajay (Devgan), but I feel you need actors who fit the personality they have to play. I would never play Mahatma Gandhi –I know I wouldn't suit the character.
Ajay doesn't suit the character of Prithviraj Chauhan. In Bhagat Singh too, I feel Bobby suited the character more than Ajay. We had requested them not to go ahead but it didn't happen. As part of the same industry, we should have some sensibilities.
It's said that Prithviraj has always been your dream role?
Yes. I would love to do a historical and when I do one, I would like it to be Prithviraj Chauhan. But it's an ambitious project, one that requires funds, government support and assistance.
Bobby has always said your father Dharmendra is a major influence in his life. What about in yours?
I feel proud to have a father like him. He is my idol. All the kids in the family adore him and look up to him because of the kind of person he is. And some people say dad and I are similar in our mannerisms.
Did you always aspire to be an actor?
No. Ever since I was a child, I have had a passion for cars and driving. I would drive cars when I was a teenager. I wasn't into acting then, I wanted to be a rally car driver. It was in college that I decided to become an actor.
You have always kept yourself and your family, including the children, away from the media…
I have two sons, Karan Singh Deol (14) and Rajveer Singh Deol (10) who are studying in Bombay. Though I love this profession I would never push them into acting. I would like them to grow up as whatever they want to be. We have always kept the kids away from the film industry; life gets a little difficult out here. We want to protect them. I have always believed that I should be known for what I am… my work should reflect what I am.
Earlier, I would get upset when my interviews were wrongly projected by the media. I had lots of problems and stopped giving too many interviews. When you are young, you are arrogant. Now, I have learnt to take things in my stride and am more comfortable.
It's said that you guide Bobby's career.
Not true. I have never guided anyone's career, whether Bobby's or (cousin) Abhay's. I give advice when I'm asked. I believe everyone should do what they want to do. That's the only way you make your mistakes and learn from them..
You are reported to charge a huge fee for your films.
I get paid according to what people want to pay me, based on what they feel they can recover from me. I have never changed my price or shuffled my fees according to the banners. I prefer working with the newcomers – they work with a passion and energy that surpasses everything else.
Why are you doing so few films?
I can only do three films at a time. For a year-and-a-half, I have been held back by a bad back. Apart from guest appearances, my next proper release is Jo Bole So Nihaal, where I play a sardar.
People will be surprised by my character in the film, it's something they haven't seen me before in. Apart from my home production Deodhar Gandhi, there are a couple of films I'm on the verge of signing.
One more Deol — your cousin Abhay — enters acting. What do you feel are his strength and weakness?
Today, after seeing his film Socha Na Tha, I know he's a very good actor. But he's very stubborn, he will do what he believes in and one can't argue with him. I also want him to put more weight.
The film was delayed. Was it because of financial problems Vijeta Films had?
It's true that the film took some time to be made, but there were multiple reasons and nothing to do with financial problems. The girl we introduced, Ayesha (Takia) opposite Abhay in Socha Na Tha, signed more films and we didn't want to hold up her career.
Joined: 04 January 2005
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Joined: 30 October 2004
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Joined: 09 September 2004
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