Actor Abhay Deol who turned producer with One By Two dispels reports about his financial crisis and is optimistic that the tussle over the royalty issue involving music artistes and record labels will eventually be resolved.
As he engages eagerly into a conversation, one can see that Abhay Deol has gotten over the debacle of One By Two, his maiden home production. The slice-of-life comedy in which he was paired with real life beau, Preeti Desai didn’t fare well at the box-office. Understandably, the actor, who after eight years of having been part of the film industry decided to turn producer, was disappointed. But, like he says, ‘we all move on in life, putting our failures behind us’.
“Sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. Generally when things go well, we don’t question why. It’s only when things go wrong that we start to analyse . But I always scrutinise the reasons on both occasions; when things go well, I wonder what worked in the film’s favour and when things don’t hit the mark, I ponder as to why it happened. In the case of One By Two I don’t think I really know the answers. I can only guess. But judging by what people have told me, it’s an actor with my sensibilities trying to make a more commercial project which didn’t work for it. In the past too, I had always maintained ‘let’s go against the commercial stance’ which worked most of the time. People wanted to see me in the Manorama Six Feet Under and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! kind of films. Something that is edgy, character-driven, you know, a film in which there’s one central character that carries the film,” dimpled Deol.
Going into flashback mode, the actor says that he was in a worse position after the edgy Manorama Six Feet Under that only got appreciation over a period of time. “Even Manorama didn’t do that well when it released, it’s over time that people started to say that it is a great film. So you never know. Even when my debut film, Socha Na Tha first released, people said, ‘what is this?’. So this kind of reaction was there even before.”
One By Two released in January this year, and the actor has bounced back and is raring to go. The debacle has not put Deol off production, but it has made him cautious to the kind of films he should produce. “I had a good time shooting it, Viacom (Viacom 18 Motion Pictures) was a very supportive studio and I worked with good people. But, now I will become a better producer than before. I have understood that as an actor I should do commercial films and as a producer, I should do the opposite, sticking to making films which are not commercial,” he said with a laugh.
Presently, he is concentrating on some acting assignments—he has signed three films. According to Deol, two of them are quite edgy and in the thriller-suspense kind of space, and one is a very big action adventure. One of them should take off in May or June. “But I leave the announcements to the producer.”
Right now, however, he does not want to talk much about his production plans of films, like the Bounty Hunter, in which he will act and co-produce, as there’s still time for it to go on the floors. “There’s another film as well, making it five films in all. So, while I am shooting for the three films, things can be put into place for Bounty Hunter and the other production.”
Deol turned a real life hero after he took on a music label over the royalty issue, risking the music release of his own production One By Two. The launch of the music was delayed. It finally released online first by Unisys and then the music albums were released by Crescendo. Ask him if he will continue to stick to his stand when it comes to his other productions and he is confident that the issue will soon take care of itself.
“I believe two new music companies have come up, right after my protest, so that’s great. I mean now there are more people buying music, so the issue will automatically be taken care of, as other people will also put in efforts to make this a fair play. One director even told me that he will be going to this new company. So there you go,” said the pleased actor-producer.
Deol also rubbised reports that co-producers Viacom 18 Motion Pictures apparently also suffered monetary losses because the music of his film could not be used for promotions as the music release was delayed, and were planning to sue him at one time. “Viacom rubbished the article and didn’t want to sue me. They issued a statement regarding the same. There was nothing to settle, that was a false article,” said the actor with finality.
Reacting strongly to reports that he had taken a loan against his Juhu (Mumbai) flat, and that with the film faring poorly at the box-office, he had incurred heavy losses and was facing a financial crisis, Deol said, “Like the Viacom article, this was also a complete lie. I did not incur any losses. I would like the reporter to prove it! Obviously there is a trend amongst some journalists to sensationalise stories that lack creativity. So what do you do? Sue them? But I am not that kind of a person. Instead I would be wary of that publication in the future.
“Taking a loan against one’s property is a regular thing. I had also taken one earlier during Dev D. It’s a normal procedure to raise money. I am not broke or anything like that. The story damaged my image and there is no truth to me selling my house. After the article appeared, I called the journalist, and she apologised. But it was not rectified,” said an annoyed Deol.
As he signs off, Deol says he is charged and eagerly looking forward to start work on his next project. Not his home production this time, but a movie the actor is excited to sink his teeth into.