After the release of his last film, Rajnikanth’s Endhiran/Robot, Danny Denzongpa had gone on a self-proclaimed exile. The veteran actor, known for some of the most iconic roles in Hindi cinema, says he had made up his mind to retire from cinema. Now back with three upcoming films, Danny spills the beans on his ‘elusive’ nature, his son Rinzing and playing the big boss in his next, titled Boss.
Why wait three years before doing your next film?
I feel they should make a part two for Robot based on the grandeur of the film. I had decided if Robot did well, it would be my last film. It was a huge hit and I took off for my farmhouse in Sikkim. That house is fenced from all sides and no one is allowed to enter. I went there, ghar pe tala laaga diya and sadhu ban gaya. I enjoyed the winter and the rains there, which I hadn’t for years.
But you returned.
Last November, I was approached for Boss. When I heard the script, I told the writers it was a shamelessly commercial film (laughs). I thought iss mein zyaada sochna nahi hai. Even Mithunda hai (they are great friends), Akshay hai, so I said yes. Soon I got a call for Siddharth Anand’s film. I told them I would only do it if they shot during the winter. But because they were shooting in eastern Europe through summer, I was okay with it. Finally Sohail (Khan) called me for his next.
So this is your big comeback?
I don’t look at it that way. I have always been like that. I remember in 80’s I was so fed up of the films I was doing. Those days every villain was a dacoit and I remember going on the sets where an actor called Tiwari was my henchmen and my den was a cave with lanterns. Next day I went on another set and I saw Tiwari again as my henchman, and the same lanterns. I asked myself what was I doing? I left Mumbai. I did lot of trekking and did not do films for a couple of years.
What made you come back then?
I told NN Sippy about a script that I had in mind. and he asked me to direct. I made Phir Wohi Raat with Rajesh Khanna and my then girlfriend Kim. After that I acted in five-six films and disappeared again.
What do you do when you are not shooting?
Yeh curiosity badi interesting hai. I am happy that at least this curiosity is keeping me alive and there is an aura around me. Back then in the ’70s there used to be a certain aura around every star. Now the stars and their PRs are everywhere. Yeh bhi koi star hua?
Is that why you stay away from the media?
I never hired a PR and I am not on any social networking site etc. I didn’t have many media interactions even when I was popular. I want a reality check now and then and so I stayed away from these.
Your son Rinzing wants to be an actor now?
Yes, he has friends in the industry. He watched Jackie’s son Tiger shooting and now he is thinking about being an actor. I don’t interfere in what he wants to do and I am clear that I am not going to launch him. He has to fight his own battle. I can give him education However he will have to learn by making mistakes. Woh girega, uthega and sikhega.
Will you direct a film again?
I don’t know as mera taste alag hai. Today the stakes are very high in the industry and the economics have to be correct. I have to make a reasonably good commercial film, which does not lose money.
Are you in touch with your old friends like the Bachchans?
Yes I had waited very long to work with Amitabh Bachchan before Agneepath. He is a living legend and mein unse bahut sikhta hoon. We are in touch over SMS and calls; we also meet during parties.