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Choosy, who me?

Famous for not mincing words and speaking up for what he believes is right, the 37-year-old makes no bone about the vanity of stardom or the purity of his profession. Thrilled about playing a students’ leader in his upcoming film, Abhay talks to CS in a candid chat about topics ranging from career to cinema:


Promotional Feature/Editor: Shubha Shetty-Saha

Not choosy, just conscious
I am more of a conscious actor and I look for relatability more than anything else -- provided I fit the bill for the role. I have always believed that you have a choice to make and the quality of your work depends on your choices. And that is the reason why I have been choosy enough to have stuck to films that are high on good content. To me, there’s no commercial cinema or offbeat cinema as such. There are only formula and non-formula films.

The other Deol
I just do what I feel I should be doing and most of the times, I find myself thinking with my heart and not my head. People look at the Deols as boisterous, but I choose my films with the focus on exhibiting my individuality. And I think, if you do things you’re creatively inclined towards, then you will get the image that you want.

Clubs in cinema
If there’s a film out there, it has something to do with commerce or else it won’t be there in the first place. So, in that sense, every film is commercial. Besides, who wouldn’t want to see his or her film in the 100 crore club? It’s just a matter of perception and hope for a platform where even offbeat films can gain a better reach without resorting to just the niche audience.

Rising outsiders
There are many people from the outside coming in and that’s allowing experimentation. The industry is family-owned and family-run and I don’t see that changing in the near future. But at the same time, outsiders have been wholly embraced and the general outlook towards innovative ideas has broadened. Earlier, films were categorically either action or romance or comedy. Now, there is much more to expect from cinema.

Facing the facts
Looks are superficial. You can make an average person look handsome or you can make a beautiful person look disgusting. That’s the power of the camera. So, I don’t feel that more actors with non-conventional looks making it big in the industry is an indicator of Bollywood maturing. There are many other markers to conclude that Hindi cinema is moving ahead. One needs to look for those!

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