Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY
You clearly know you are witnessing a Golden Era of Indian cinema, where we have legends like Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, and Rajnikanth still working hard and entraining us. We speak to the evergreen and Hi-man of the industry Dharmendra Singh Deol about the evolution of Hindi cinema, his third installment ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’ and how he still loves to be admired, loved and of course watched on the silver screen. Excerpts:
How was your entire experience coming back with Bobby and Sunny for the third time?
I don’t feel I was away, I feel I was here only with my sons. It’s a human nature to be loved, to be liked and to be admired and I think this is the only place where you get these the maximum. I had not come here for money, I had seen Dilip Sahab’s film ‘Shaheed’ and he touched my heart and then I thought this beautiful face needs to go to a place where it’s meant to be. I was the eldest in my family so had the sense of responsibility and then started analyzing myself if I can do it or not. Acting is reaction, for me, now when you’re looking at me you are not acting, you’re reacting, and a very emotional person reacts really fast. I had not gone to any acting school, didn’t learn any acting, I’d just come from my village. So how to manage it and how much intensity you need for emotions like anger, love, romance, and all these qualities he (god) has given me. I am witty, naughty so combing all of this something good is come out of me as an actor.
Do you miss your era of acting?
I miss my people. I miss my colleagues, I miss my place. Sometimes when I go to the studio I remember all the artist I have worked with and are no more now, it hurts. Our studios use to be a temple for us. Mohan studios and Natraj studio, they were like a Gurukul to us. I remember the day when Bimal Da selected me for the film Bandini. I am attached to all those thoughts and I am a very emotional person so I often remember the good old days.
What do you think about today’s generation films?
Movies according to this generation is very much to the point, nothing wrong, they are very good according to the audiences, the filmmakers are magician’s they know what people are liking and according to that they serve. So I think they are doing well.Ranbir is a fine actor; Ranveer Singh is also a fine actor. I saw ‘Dangal’ and I cried because it got me emotional in the scene where the elder daughter doesn’t give respect to the father. With today’ time and age the films are really good, in my era, films were very much predictable; the audience knew before my scene that I would come and hit the villain and they use to be ready to applaud.
Do you miss coming onscreen now?
I was always and I am still in love with acting. It is not my profession, it is my beloved and I love it. My love for it keeps growing. I never worked for money or be to rich. Richness is an addiction. Money will come and go but what remains is love. Love is something that remains in our hearts always.
‘Phool Aur Patthar’ which was a great hit, was that a turning point in your career?
Definitely it was a turning point. But myself respect is so high that I left the film on the 3rd day. Because I wasn’t getting the kind of respect that I expected and I was upset and went home and told my mother ‘Let’s go back to Punjab’.
You as an actor were accepted in all roles in your time…
Yes, I am blessed. I am romantic, naughty and witty and also jolly person. I have all the good traits inside me and I am a very emotional person. And the emotions within me add beauty to everything I do.
How did you feel working with Shatrughan Sinha after all these years?
I loved it and it was really beautiful. It was like Bharat Milap. (Smiles)
What is the secret to your energy of doing films and promotions together?
I have given a commitment to give a small starter before dinner. It’s a small treat to all viewers before the release of the film. This use to not happen during my time but now it’s all about visibility, to be seen everywhere for promotions.
Do you think it helps in the business of the film?
It has started helping, otherwise the audience will think that we don’t do anything to promote the film so the film won’t be interesting or entertaining. Hence with that fear we do promotions and spent the money on it.
What is your opinion about a biopic being made on you?
I am not in favor of doing a biopic on me.
Do you feel the pressure of box-office numbers and in that case for ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’? Pressure is always there. My mother always said, “I pray that a person’s son should not become an actor. ‘You live with every film and die with every film’. Be brave”. These were my mother’s words. Pressure is a part of the project. There is always a big investment involved.
What is your view about comedies?Comedies are difficult. It is even more difficult than doing romantic roles. It has timing. I and Mehmood got along well when it came to doing comedies. We worked together in many films and we always had a perfect timing together we had a good time working together.
Did you miss doing comedies as you were never offered much of comedies?I always accepted any role that was offered to me. I didn’t have a selected preference to anything. Comedies are fun and I hope you have watched ‘Pratigya’. I didn’t have a methodic acting style. I kept changing my style with every film and every role and people accepted me in all ways and I am happy about it.