Dhundh-turning point in life-Danny Denzongpa
How did acting happen to you?
Dhundh was the turning point in my life. Mr. BR Chopra had come to my college as an examiner. After the exam he called me in the evening and told me to meet him in Mumbai. When I came and met him, he was making a film with Dilip Kumar. Later, when I had already worked in two films he called me again and introduced me to the best of five writers in industry and asked me to critically analyze the film.
Did you ever face rejection?
In my struggle days, one of the filmmaker out of concern asked me to go back. Owing to my unconventional look he believed that most I would get to work was as durbaan, or waiter in films. That was the era of family films and I do not look like anyone’s brother or father. I had joined a film school then, and would come to Mumbai on Friday and Saturday to struggle. I remember sleeping on Juhu beach then; I also slept on the benches of Shivaji Park. It was a very tough period.
Why do you do very less number of films?
I have done 160 films, less than even my juniors, but on an average I have given 60 percent hits. So you should not be greedy about doing films and end up looking stupid onscreen. This is how you upset your fans.
Had you not been an actor?
Had I not been an actor I would have been an army officer. I was the best cadet in NCC. But at that time 1971 Indo-China war broke then my mother became apprehensive about me getting in to army. Then I thought to become a musician, as I use to play flute. I tried in FTII and out of 1000 people I was selected. I did ask them for the reason to select me; they said they selected me because I was the only one to not copy anyone.
As a senior actor do you make suggestion to your new-generation directors?
Yes, I did suggest these guys to make my character mute till the end and reveal in the climax that he is not mute, but they did not listen. I also suggested to the makers of Frozen to let the child-bomb blast and kill them, but these FTII guys don’t listen.
What do you do when the films are not made the way it was narrated to you?
Once you have committed you cannot back out. So I do try pursuing the makers for the changes, but if it is not accepted I give them all my dates and try to finish the shoot as soon as possible to get rid of it.
You don’t watch most of your own films and don’t even remember names?
I don’t watch them because we watch it so many times during the dubbing itself.
When was the high point in your career?
When I did lot of films it was the low-point in my career. As most of the films in 70s and 80s were bad quality films, but were hit at the box office. Films that I am proud of did not do well.
Where has director Danny disappeared?
People from Indian film industry are not convinced of my style of working; they still live with kumbh ka mela concept.
-Deepa Mishra/ Sampurn