Have you met Veerinder?

Published: 13 November, 2011 09:02 IST | Correspondent |

The Deol family tree had a hidden gem, who was a superstar in Punjab in the '80s. Abhay Deol's cousin Randeep Arya is determined to uncover him

The Deol family tree had a hidden gem, who was a superstar in Punjab in the '80s. Abhay Deol's cousin Randeep Arya is determined to uncover him

Veerinder Singh may be known in Bollywood as Dharmendra's first cousin, but back in Punjab, the late actor was an iconic star -- all the 25 films he made in a span of 12 years were blockbusters. His phenomenal career was terminated abruptly when Punjabi extremists gunned him down in 1989.

Randeep Arya, Veerinder's son, will play his father in a biopic on the
late Punjabi superstar's life

Now, 22 years later, Veerinder's son Randeep Arya will acquaint Bollywood with the Punjabi legend. Arya has got a team of writers together to script a biopic of his father. Arya will essay the role. The film will take the audience through Veerinder's 40-year journey into superstardom.

"Veerinder's legendary status shows no signs of diminishing in Punjab. And the actor's elder son is a replica of his father," revealed a source.

"After my father's untimely death, my mother, sister and brother were at a loss over what to do. I was sent away to England, where I worked as a model for three years. The idea of a movie on my father's life has been with me for some time. I've decided to get cracking on the idea now," said Arya, who moved to Mumbai in 1976.

Explaining the work he will need to put into the character, Arya said, "I've to get into the best physical shape. I've starting working out rigorously. People say I resemble my father. Playing him on screen is a big responsibility."

Reliving his father's death is understandably difficult for Arya. "I can't recount what my family and I went through, so it'll be tough to enact his death on screen. How will I do it, is a question I'm asking myself repeatedly. But I owe this film to my father and his fans, who remember him to this day."

Arya will start shooting the biopic next year and release the film on his father's death anniversary on December 6.

All in the family

Though Veerinder was close to first cousin Dharmendra, Arya has practically grown up in the house of Ajit Deol (Abhay Deol's father and first cousin to Dharmendra and Veerinder). "Ajit Uncle and my father were married on the same day to two sisters. So Abhay's mother is my maasi. The two-way relation with Abhay's family explains why I am closer to them. But Dharam Uncle is also very sweet and supportive."

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