Bobby Deol made his presence in the industry felt with his very first film, Barsaat (1995), as not only did the film rake in moolah at the box office, but it also earned the actor his first Filmfare Award. Post this, the towering actor went on to star in some cult films, like Soldier, Gupt, Badal, and others. But, his career graph wasn’t without dips, and he did take a rather long hiatus from the big screen, till he was back with a bang in Race 3. The actor has two more projects on his plate now, as he will be seen in the rib-tickling installment, Housefull 4 and is all set to venture into the digital space with the Netflix orginal Class of 83.
The actor is equally excited about both his projects, and gushed about his upcoming laugh-a-thon. “Housefull 4 has an amazing cast and it a full-fledged comedy film. It feels good as an actor to do a light-hearted film because everybody is at ease and having fun. I know the whole team and it’s like a family when we all meet. But, it is all about Chunky and Akshay’s chemistry and I am really looking forward to the film,” he says.
When asked what prompted him to take up his other project, which will see him foray into the popular world of web, the actor says, “Things have changed, cinema has changed and a lot of ‘indie’ films are working. Interesting subjects are being made and the digital world is something that gives opportunities to do so many things that you never get to play on a big screen. So I am interested in and excited about this platform.”
He also points out how OTT platform series are on everybody’s minds and lips and are what people connect over. “The tradition of going to theatres has changed a lot,” he muses. The cause for this shift in viewing habits, according to Bobby, is the audience, who are on the lookout for realistic cinema. “Every generation has their own taste in films, and the newer generation wants to see realistic films. And that’s because social media makes them aware of everything that’s happening around them. I guess things changed so much since I started my career and it will keep changing,” shrugs the actor.
Bobby also speaks candidly about choosing films, and how one’s standing in the industry can impact one’s choices. He reveals that it’s a lot easier to pick films that deal with social issues or realistic subjects if one is considered to be a bankable star. “For me, I am still fighting my battles and struggling; I’m starting my career again, so if I get a good, socially relevant subject, I would love to do it,” he reveals, and adds, “Earlier in my career, I did a film like Nanhe Jaisalmer, which is about kids but those films never did well then. A lot of actors managed to breakthrough and started doing films with social messages, and that is great. But there is a certain way the market works. You need stars or actors to back such roles so that people like it.”
The conversation segues towards Bobby’s break from the big screen, and the actor confesses that it was a lack of interest in doing films that kept him away. “I have goodwill in the industry. People love my family, so they always wanted to work with me but it's just that, at one point in my life, I wasn’t interested. But hard work pays off and I am glad that people are noticing my hard work and giving me more work,” he says.
And what about his son, Aryaman, who has an umbilical connection to one of the most well known families in Bollywood? In fact, rumour had it that he was set to star in Dostana 2. But to this, the father says, “No, all these rumours have come up but it is not true,” and adds, “ I just want my kids to study. It’s very important to educate yourself. My son is very inclined towards education, so I will never discourage any of my kids and force them to do what I do. I will always encourage them in whichever field they are interested in.”
The interview veers towards his actor-turned-politician brother, Sunny Deol, who is the current Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur. Referring to him as the “best brother I could have asked for” and a “father figure”, Bobby says, “I will always stand by him in every decision that he makes. Politics is all about being a good Indian and trying to do something for your county. I cannot predict if he will be the best politician or not but I think he is an honest and true Indian who always wants the best for his country.”
But would Bobby consider following in his brother’s footsteps? “I am not interested in politics for now but you never know what happens in future? So it is no, for now,” comes the reply.