‘I don’t want to be a padding for another actor’: Abhay Deol

My actions and their implications. It’s tricky to speak up. My latest is The Odds, a series for the digital medium that I have produced and acted in. People in this industry don’t take up the cause of change. I am sure now that I am not going to be a padding for a protege and son of a filmmaker. If you ask me how these children of mine will get a release, I don’t know. Aware of? They are Indian films funded by international producers. I play a rockstar, but it’s more of a special appearance. Films such as Manorama Six Feet Under have taught me that lack of resources for distribution and marketing can often decide the fate of a film. All my upcoming projects are not Bollywood. I didn’t inherently like the formula, so I attract the other — the idealistic lot who make films on provocative subjects but have very limited means. It’s easier to take a stand on non-political but relevant issues, such as fairness creams that I spoke up against. Advertising

We see you in phases. Your last major outing was Happy Bhaag Jayegi in 2016 and now you have six projects scheduled to release this year. Whenever a celebrity does speak up, the real issue gets sidelined, whereas the person becomes the news. I have stuck to my original agenda — be provocative, raise the bar, break the formula. So, they focus on working within the system and using the formula. Many talented actors play second fiddle to heroes in films. The Odds, directed by Megha Ramaswamy, is more about the two kids. But I got to make the movies I wanted to. Were you never tempted to seek fame? But the fear of being mired in court cases for taking a political stance discourages most of us. I realise that people from the outside or those just starting out have less to lose, so they can be more idealistic, whereas people who are in a position of power cannot afford that because they stand to lose a lot. People see me that way even today, which means I have a longer shelf life. I am aware that the window to stardom can open up again due to the digital medium, which is a lot more democratic than Indian cinema. Stardom isn’t as much about talent as it is about marketing yourself. Is that why the big names in Bollywood are mum on the subject of elections? I will do fewer projects and focus on developing my own projects. But I am glad I am past that. At that time, I could have worked with top producers and chosen to market myself. Why do you still end up making such films? A quirky, abstract, unapologetic project, it shows millennials just how they are. Mumbai, where my work is, has become too noisy and polluted, so I tend to escape. There is Chopsticks, a Netflix film; Jungle Cry, a film based on a real instance where adivasi children playing football as a recreation were trained professionally; JL 50 is a sci-fi movie; Line of Descent is a drama; and Idhu Vedhalam Sollum Kadhai is a Tamil pulp-fictionesque film. Popular Photos

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Have you seen these photos of Ranveer Singh, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor? If court procedures didn’t take years, more people would be vocal. Advertising

You come from a film family, which has its own advantages. People don’t care about doing the right thing and that is okay. I didn’t market myself, so I got the image I put out — of an actor, not a star. Speaking truth to power gets you blacklisted. Also, I am more aware today. We don’t have freedom of speech in this country. It premiered at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, where it was the closing film. There was a time, yes. I make indie films and, by tradition, indie films do not have a godfather. It’s Megha’s tribute to John Hughes. 0
Comment(s) These films are tough to market and distribute. Latest Videos


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Most of these projects have me playing the lead, with the exception of Line of Descent, which is an ensemble with Brandon Fraser. I spend my time between Goa, Los Angeles and Mumbai. But I have been working, which is why these five films are almost ready. So you no longer focus on playing lead characters?