Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar

With a lot of zest and in his fittest form, Bobby Deol is set for ‘Race 3’. Just excited to be working at the moment with a great line-up of projects ahead, Bobby settles down to chat about his upcoming release, overcoming negativity and coming back after a lull…

What was the most exciting part for you when ‘Race 3’ came along?
I’ve had a little lull in my career, things were not going my way, but that just made me realise I had to fight back and get myself going. So, that slight positive energy which is there inside me, really helped. I wanted to be prepared, ready whenever work came my way and I was doing ‘Poster Boys’ which came my way. It didn’t really do well at the box-office but it really gave me a lot of courage to work harder. Then I really was into fitness, I was just keeping myself as fit as I could. And when I met Salman a year and a half back, he said, ‘dadhi kya badhaa li hai. Sabka career upar neeche hota hai, jab mera career waisa jaa raha tha toh main tere bhai ki peeth pe chadh gaya tha’. He did films with my brother where he was the second lead. So, I told him, ‘toh mere ko teri peeth pe chaddne de na mamu.’ So, he kept that in mind. And then Sajid also knew I wanted to work with him, so that’s how even ‘Houseful 4’ happened in my life, because he saw the energy and positivity in me so he took me for the film. If people don’t see that in you, they won’t be interested. I am dying to work every day of my life. Suddenly, Mamu called me and asked, ‘shirt utarega’. So, I said, I am ready to do anything. During ‘Soldier’, Rameshji wanted me to remove my shirt and I said no. That’s when the transformation began. I started training with his trainer Rakesh, and his assistant. And then I was following a Keto diet with my dietician Jaideep, so all that helped. I tried my best, and hopefully, with every film, my physique will be better. So, in general, I was excited because everything looks on the right track at the moment. When the trailer came out as well, the reactions were so genuine. That really gave me more strength, they are realising how much I am craving to do good work. So, I’m excited now for ‘Race 3’, ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana 3’, ‘Housefull 4’.

So, your training and fitness regime has paid off…
It has. And it’s important because now a days, everything is changing. An actor should be a complete package.

While one remembers a ‘Race’ and it’s such a big franchise, do you think, films from the earlier days like ‘Gupt’ or ‘Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya’ still have their own charm?
The thing is, times have changed. The audience’s way of looking at things is different. We might be from those times and we enjoyed that. But now the audience has changed and we have to give them what they want to see. So, we have to move ahead with times, otherwise you are left behind. I wasn’t moving ahead with times, that’s why I was left behind.

What was that point of realisation or that moment of change in perspective?
It was before ‘Poster Boys’, I had already decided that I have to help myself. Nobody can help you until and unless you are not looking prepared for that kind of work. So, that was the turning point, where I really worked hard for ‘Poster Boys’. I was just doing normal training with them, and slowly, it started increasing. So, you learn with time.

Is there now a slight change in the way you also approach characters?
Every film is an experience, every day of your life is an experience. As an actor you are growing every day. You meet people, you see their reactions, and it starts working on your mind. You start feeling those emotions. So, experience is the best way for an actor to grow. Like in ‘Poster Boys’, people can’t imagine me to play a small-town school teacher so I really did a lot of workshops, worked on the language, and people loved it. Your phone doesn’t ring till the time people haven’t liked your work. I got a lot of messages and lovely reactions. So, that gave me strength to keep working.

What has been your biggest take-back from ‘Race 3’?
You take back things from every film you do. You learn something from every film. There’s a lot I’ve learnt. The dedication which I’ve seen in all the actors from ‘Race 3’, especially Salman. He is so dedicated, so obsessed with his work. Anil Kapoor, full of energy, obsessed with his work. Everyone sets an example for you and everyone learns something from everyone.

You know, there’s a lot of vulnerability one sees in most of your characters, especially earlier films. Does that come from how you are as a person?
I guess it does. I’m a little too over-sensitive. I’m a very emotional person. I cry easily. I think our entire family is like that – my dad, my brother, my mother. I don’t know why we are like that, but we are. It’s difficult when you are very sensitive because you start taking everything so negatively in your life. But you have to realise, that you can be sensitive but you can’t be negative. That’s what I realised that I got negative. You can’t let that happen.

What’s lined up after ‘Race 3’?
I will start shooting for ‘Housefull 4’ from July and I’m hoping for better projects and roles.

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