February 15, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): There was a strong rumor in the industry last week that Abhay Deol on a high after the accolades and fair amount of profits for ‘Dev D’ was having second thoughts on doing Zoya Akhtar’s film with Farhan Akhtar and Hrithik Roshan.
“Abhay,” said a reliable source, “wants to do only solo-hero projects.”
When questioned, Abhay doesn’t deny that he has indeed so far sought out films where he is the only male lead. “And why not? From my first film ‘Socha Na Tha’ to ‘Dev D’ most of the films that I’ve been doing so far have offered me a chance to be on my own. Why not use the cinema space to create your own rhythm and pace when you are getting the opportunity? Having said that, I‘d be foolish to turn down something like Zoya’s film. It does have three heroes, yes. But all of us have strong interesting and equal roles. That’s why I agreed to do the film.”
Abhay also reminds you that he has done an ensemble cast before. “I did Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’ directed by Reema Kagti. And thoroughly enjoyed myself.”
In fact in ‘Honeymoon….’ Abhay had stepped into a role earmarked for Farhan. A fact Abhay says he wasn’t aware of when he signed the film. That’s where his friendship with Farhan began. Abhay admits if he wasn’t friendly with Farhan and Hrithik he would’ve had a tough time deciding whether to do the project. “So yes, for all practical purposes I will be doing only solo-hero films. Even ‘Aisha’ is a solo-hero film,” says Abhay ,and never if the film’s leading lady Sonam Kapoor’s father Anil Kapoor think she’s the film’s ‘hero.’
Abhay Deol’s latest solo quest with the quirky, Dev Benegal’s ‘Road, Movie’ has been selected for a premiere in the prestigious Competition section of the Berlin Film Festival , the same section where Karan Johar’s ‘My Name Is Khan’ is being premiered though not competing
Abhay is unaware of Karan Johar’s or any other film at Berlin. “I haven’t really had the time to find out details. Ever since I returned to Mumbai I’ve been working round the clock, so much so that I wonder I can make it to Berlin!”
Abhay finishes Anil Kapoor’s ‘Aisha’ and goes straight into his home production ‘Basra’ and Zoya Akhtar’s film with Hrithik Roshan and Farhan Akhtar.
Abhay hopes to spend most of 2010 in Mumbai working around the clock in three new projects which includes Zoya Akhtar’s movie. Abhay has taken a sabbatical from his new home-life in New York and is also all set to do a full-on potboiler.
For now he’s also done with modern literary adaptations. First ‘Dev D’ which was a punk-version “Provided I get one that I like. I can’t just hop genres for the heck of it. But yes a typical conventional commercial film does seem like a good idea right now. And by the way I’ve done the song-and-dance routine in my first film ‘Socha Na Tha’.”
New York is now Abhay’s second home, “I’ve made friends there. But not too many, I don’t make friends easily. Whenever I get lonely I fly down to meet my sisters in California. I’ll be working away from New York during most of the film. But I’ll hardly be in Mumbai. I’ll be traveling to shoot through most of 2010.”
About the welding course in the US Abhay confesses he didn’t attend the classes too regularly. “But yes I can weld stuff. So the course wasn’t a waste.”
Any hopes of winning awards for ‘Dev D’? “Not really. I’ve never really won any awards. I’ve managed to make a decent career without them,” Abhay ends wryly.
– Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire