Bollywood actor Bobby Deol, who will be seen in a villainous role in his upcoming film Love Hostel, said he is scouting to play characters that are unusual and impactful. Written and directed by Shanker Raman, who helmed the acclaimed Pankaj Tripathi-starrer Gurgaon, the crime-thriller is set against the backdrop of rustic North India and traces the volatile journey of a young couple (Vikrant Massey and Sanya Malhotra) being hunted by a ruthless mercenary (Deol).
Citing the example of his recent outings like Class of 83 and his upcoming Love Hostel, Deol said the attempt is to break his onscreen image and look for varied roles. He also said he is not restricting himself to playing the main lead. “When I did Class of 83 I was not the main lead, I was one of the characters which is important to the story. Ditto with Love Hostel, I am playing a character in it, I am not the main lead. I enjoy doing these characters because they are very impactful,” Deol, known for films such as Gupt, Soldier, Ajnabee, Humraaz, told PTI in an interview.
“I am trying to break my image and try to do different roles. The audience has changed so much they are ready to accept an actor with different avatars, characters. I am glad I got the opportunity to play this role,” he said.
The 53-year-old actor said he is looking to play strong and challenging characters, that people would not envision him, like the web-series Aashram, in which he was seen as a self-styled godman.
“I want to play characters that stand out whether in a film or a web-series, no matter how much the length of the character is, it is about how much people enjoy them after watching the project and how the character has stayed in their mind,” he said.
“Even with cinema and I am working on a film, I want to look for characters that are interesting and have substance and are not just frivolous,” he added. Deol pointed out it is not just on OTT that he is getting an opportunity to play a diverse role.
In commercial films, there are characters that stand out too, besides the stars, the actor observed, adding, “It (cinema) is not just about heroism. The stars will be there and if you are part of a project where they are there and you have a great character to play, you also get noticed.”
In Shah Rukh Khan-backed, Love Hostel, Deol will be seen as Dagar, who he says is a ruthless man. “Dagar’s character is someone who has been through so much in his life and what he is because of what happened and that is why he is so cold and ruthless,” he said.
It is difficult to play such characters, Deol said, recalling how he would feel uneasy after essaying the role of Baba Nirala in Aashram but has learnt the art to switch on and off between his roles.
“I have never done a negative role to that depth (referring to Love Hostel). When I was doing Aashram I used to feel a little uneasy, why do I have to express these emotions. I would come back to the hotel to the same actors, with whom I was being mean and rude in the scenes.
“Eventually, I learnt how to switch on and off. There are some people who can’t handle it. I have a beautiful family, have strong upbringing. When I come home, I talk to my family and feel relaxed, nothing drives me nuts.”
He said it is always challenging to play roles that are negative or have shades of grey as they are completely different from their real-life personality. “It is always challenging to see how best I can make this character unique,” Deol added.
Besides Love Hostel, the actor will be seen in season three of filmmaker Prakash Jha’s Aashram and two films titled Animal, co-starring Anil Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra and Apne 2 with his father Dharmendra and brother Sunny Deol.
Speaking of Apne 2, the actor said, it is always his dream to do as much work as possible with his family.
“To be in a frame together with them is something that I cherish and even our fans cherish that. I am looking forward to Apne 2 and I am waiting for the script to get ready. The producers will announce it,” he said, adding he will begin the shoot of Animal later this year.
Love Hostel will make its debut on streaming service ZEE5 on February 25.