Bobby Deol On Losing Stardom, Fighting His Demons, Financial Trouble & Making A Comeback

Bobby Deol will be back on the big screen after four years with the comedy Poster Boys and the actor opens about the struggles which led to this comeback

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Bobby Deol On Losing Stardom, Fighting His Demons, Financial Trouble & Making A Comeback
Bobby Deol was the reigning heartthrob of the ’90s, but this star gradually lost his lustre. However, the younger son of Bollywood icon Dharmendra is ready to make a comeback. Bobby is returning on the big screen after 4 years with Poster Boys alongside big brother Sunny Deol and Shreyas Talpade. met up with him for a tête-à-tête. Excerpts:

Do you believe you have lost the stardom that you had in the ’90s?
I have never let any of that get to me because when I was growing up, I saw my dad going through ups and downs in his career. My dad is a legend, and I have seen him being surrounded by chamchas. These people make you live in a make-belief world and I, for one, have always tried to avoid that. But it's true that I haven't worked for the last 4 years, and before that I did a few films which did just about decent business. So, I didn't realise how I was missing out on good work. Eventually, instead of me being choosy, which I was, people started becoming choosy about me (laughs). So it was a tougher time then. Luckily this script (Poster Boys) came my way.

bobby deol poster boys movie poster
Poster Boys

Go on...
I had been hearing a lot of stories, ideas and scripts. However, not many of them were exciting to me. Plus, I felt that my career would be pushed further back if I signed those films. Then Shreyas (Talpade) came along with this idea, which was a big challenge for me. I have always played rich characters in thrillers and glamorous films. However, here was a director who wanted me to play a small-town school teacher. I was excited and very nervous at the same time. I hope people enjoy watching me in this avatar.

How was it facing the camera after 4 years?

I had asked Shreyas to do workshops before the film went on floors since I had to speak in shuddh Hindi. And it's not just the diction; I was working after 4 years, so I really wanted to do my best. I was nervous on the first day.

This is Shreyas Talpade’s directorial debut. How was it working with him?

Working with an actor-director is a great combination. When I did Dillagi with my brother, he was acting and also directing for the first time and I really enjoyed it. An actor brings out the best in another actor, because they know how to evoke emotions. So it was great doing the film with Shreyas. We finished the film in 37 days in Bhor and then shot for a few more days in Bombay. The film was wrapped up in less than 45 days.

marathi movie poshter boys

Have you seen the original Marathi film, Poshter Boys?
No, I haven’t.

Action-hero Sunny Deol is playing the male lead in a film on the sensitive subject of male sterilization. How did that happen?First of all, taking Sunny Deol in a film which is about nasbandi (Vasectomy) itself is a big deal. It made the scope of the film more exciting. In this industry, you get typecast early on and you cannot do anything away from that. When Shreyas thought of making this film in Hindi, and approached my brother, people told him, 'How are you talking to Sunny for this role?' Then, there was me too in a completely different character. I think it's this combination which makes the film more funny and interesting. 

Talking about the subject of vasectomy...
(Cuts in) That's one word I still can’t pronounce (laughs). There is a dialogue in the film where I say 'Vascetomy', and people respond, 'Yeh tommy kaun hai?'

In our country everybody is embarrassed to talk about it. The basic motive of the film is not to preach, but to let people know that this is what it is. If you can control yourself, then you don't have to go through the surgery. But if you can’t, then you should realise what's happening to our country's population and you should go ahead and do it.

bobby deol and dharmendra in yamla pagla deewana

Does Bobby Deol endorse vasectomy?
It's not about me doing it personally. I have two kids and I don't think I am going to have any more. So I do believe that we shouldn't have too many kids. At the end of the day, how are they going to take care of themselves when there won't be any space for them to live in? 

Sunny and Shreyas have directed films. Will we ever get to see you helm a film?
I am not someone who likes to control people. So I don't know whether I will ever be able to do that. It's a great art and talent. I might try it out someday.

Your contemporaries like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn are still superstars...
In this business, you have to be at the right place at the right time. I am a very shy person in real life. I don't know how to communicate to get work - maybe that’s what is required -- so it tends to make you look lazy and not interested. I wanted to do many films during the period when I wasn't getting any offers. And I think, luck also favours people at times and sometime it doesn't favour others. But I don't want to live my life on luck (anymore). I want to work hard. I went through 4 years fighting my own demons and I have come out feeling more positive, clearer and energetic. I have a long way ahead of me in the film industry.

bobby deol says he does not know how to communicate to get work

Did you ever pick up the phone and ask for work?
In those days, it was different as people didn't have to do that (make calls), but still did it. I didn't and I thought it was the way it was. In the last two years, I approached a lot of people for work, however, it didn't happen. By people, I mean people whom I really wanted to work with. But, I think that makes you even stronger because you realise that you have to fight your own battles and no one is going to help you. No one is going to pick you up and give you a hug and say let’s work.

Did that create a financial crunch in your family?
It did. My family is like any other family. If you don't work, it does affect you. People think that I don't need to work and have enough of everything. But it's not like that. I need to work to survive. More than anything else I am a father now, and I need to take care of my two kids and give them a great life. I just want to work for them. Even if you have enough, when you are a parent, you always keep thinking how you can do more for your kids. That's my only ambition, to take care of my kids till my last breath.

There were also rumours about you battling depression. How true is that?
The news started after I gave an interview. In that article, I spoke about myself. I wasn't fighting any depression, not was I taking medication or seeing shrinks. I was just fighting my situation. As human beings we are not very strong people. When you are going through a rough phase, you take support of things which tend to help you at that point of time, but eventually, you realise that they are only destroying you and come out of that. I went through all of it. I realised that what I was doing to myself was not going to take me anywhere. I don't want to pity myself anymore. I am here and want to work.

shreyas talpade bobby deol and sunny deol in poster boys

Your deejaying stint resulted in you receiving a lot of flak...
I clarified this a while ago. I wasn't deejaying at the do. I was just going to attend an event. I don't know how to DJ. I love listening to music and whenever I go out, I am always hoping that there is a good DJ playing good tracks.

There is a new fad of making remakes of old hits. If you have to cast someone to play the lead in the remake of your debut film, Barsaat, who would it be?
My son. 

And what about the leading lady?
Well, I will have to look for someone.

bobby deol performing at a club
Bobby Deol Performing At A Club

What next after Poster Boys?
Right now am working on Yamla Pagla Deewana 3. Apart from that there are obviously, as always, talks about other projects. I keep meeting people, but there is nothing concrete as of now. 

There are rumours that you are making a film on Changez Khan?
I was working on a film titled Changez, but it was never based on Changez Khan. I had grown a beard for that. That was in those 4 years where I was trying to do something on my own. However, when things are not going your way, it's not easy to make something. I will definitely make Changez one day. 

It's not shelved?
No. It's just that it's kept aside for some time and I hope one day I make that film.

Image Source: india, posterhouse, ibb & hdpics