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Journalism of Courage

Bobby Deol on facing tough times in his career: ‘In this profession people use you for their benefit…’

Bobby Deol is happy about how his last three performances have established him as an actor and his father’s Dharmendra’s response to him experimenting with negative roles.

Bobby Deol 2.0Bobby Deol was last seen in Aashram 3. (Photo: Bobby Deol/ Instagram)

Bobby Deol 2.0 is here to stay. After the success of the latest iteration of his OTT series, Aashram 3, the actor in this interview with, shared how he feels the need to do more work, exhibit more versatility and his need to be remembered as an actor and not as a star.

Bobby found a second wind in his career courtesy the streaming platforms, with Prakash Jha’s directorial Aashram being one of his outings. “I am seriously grateful to my God and the new fans that I’ve found. I think hard work always pays off, and people have seen me in this industry for 26 years now. They know how hard I’ve worked to reach where I am today and I am very grateful for that. I’ve been trying to do my best, hopefully choosing the right kind of work and it is not that easy. We make decisions but we never know the outcome. I still believe that you have to believe in what you decide and give your best, rest is up to the audiences and how they react. The incredible positive reaction that I have got for playing such an intensely negative character, it is just amazing.”

He is glad he is being recognised as an actor. “I don’t think this work has given me my due as such, but yes, it has given me recognition as an actor. It has given me an opportunity for people to start believing in me, makers especially. Fans always believed that the actor can do everything, but it’s the makers who have to start believing in that. And definitely, playing a negative character was a big step because I didn’t know how my fans would accept me. But, I think, they also know my journey and they’ve also seen where I began and where I’ve reached and the journey in between. The audiences have matured so much now, they’ve seen so much more now, they’re exposed to so many different movies and web-series. This generation is allowing actors to experiment.’

Bobby was a significant star in the 1990s and the early 2000s, but by the time 2010s rolled in, he disappeared from the limelight. This was despite him being the son of yesteryear superstar Dharmendra.

At a point Bobby was called unprofessional, while the actor believes he was stereotyped. Bobby says, “That’s what an actor lives with. Anything that has worked for you, stays with you. It has happened, but now, after looking at my body of work, I think the fear of being typecast is less. I think filmmakers like to play it safe, but they might now be able to see me do different roles, or at least I am hoping for that to happen. It was difficult for me to break it then, but I have managed to do it now. If you have faith and belief in yourself and if you’re focussed and hardworking, you can achieve anything in life.”

He explains citing his body of work. “I was sick and tired of being typecast and then I got these roles, in Class of 83 and then Aashram and Love Hostel, these roles have taken me forward. It also makes me nervous because it is not that easy to get great scripts. Luckily, for me I have got three different roles that changed everything for me.”

Being a Deol can be daunting especially if things don’t go the way your family expects from you. On this, he says, “Every actor’s journey is difficult, no matter how successful they are. Yes, I am a son of a legend and a brother of a superstar, obviously the pressure was there, but I believed I had my own identity and style. I think it is my style that kept me going for so many years. And if things didn’t work out for me, it was because of my choice of films at that point and the fact that I lost my focus. But, yes, I was never able to live up to a lot of things which I wanted to, because I have such an awesome father, and every father dreams of his son being the best thing in the world. I know that my father is proud of me, and understands where I’ve started from and where I’ve reached. It makes him so happy to see me doing stuff that is so different, something the sort of performances they never ventured into. Lot of actors are scared of playing negative roles. He’s glad I took this bold step and that people have appreciated my work.”

Talking about how things have changed from his lean phase to now, the actor explains, “When you are successful, everybody is singing your praise. If you are unsuccessful, no one even talks about you. That’s how it is for an actor, but it only makes you stronger. You cannot cry about it. Koi gile shikwe nahi hai mujhe kisise bhi. I’ve nothing against anyone because everybody is doing their job. We are in a profession where people use people for their benefit, and when you’re not useful… That’s how the process of this system is, that’s how our professions are. It has only made me stronger; it has made me believe that nothing is impossible, I really believe that if you really put your mind in something it will work out for you, it might take time, but it will happen.”

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Bobby accepts that he made some mistakes in his career. “When you start off, you are so young and immature. Your thought process, the way you look at life, is so different. You are so naive and irresponsible. With time you start maturing and become more responsible. So, I think, I can’t regret (the choices of my past), as it is the process of growing. I was learning. The only thing that I regret is that I gave up once, and I wish I’d never done that. I don’t know what made me give up. Today I want to be known as an actor more than as a star because stardom doesn’t last forever. As an actor your work speaks for you and you’re always appreciated,” Bobby concluded.

First published on: 29-06-2022 at 10:38 IST
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