I don’t know how to be larger than life: Sunny Deol

The actor, who is almost ready with his comeback film, gets chatty about stardom

Behind the firm-fisted actor is a doting father who is keeping a watchful eye on his sons. The reclusive Sunny Deol cannot identify with many aspects in the lifestyles of actors these days, social media being one of them. But he is happy with his own contribution to cinema, promises fans that they’ll get to see a lot more of him in the coming days. Excerpts from an interview.

Why did you decide to become the invisible man?
I was too focused as a director and producer with Ghayal Once Again. I will be seen now from now on. In fact, you will see me doing something every month.

Is the shoot of the film complete?
Nearly done, about 95 per cent is shot.

What is a day in Sunny Deol’s life like?
I have always been an early riser, you could say that’s been my USP. I like to wake up before sunrise, it has been that way ever since my childhood. I do everything as long as I am enjoying it. I don’t have any goals or any kick. I am not someone who believes in body-building. I am blessed with a good physique, courtesy my genes. Nowadays, most youngsters are very focused on fitness and it’s nice. But they are on the wrong track, using wrong things to achieve it. They take supplements. But why do they want to become body builders? Are they competing for the title of Mr World? We are actors, we are supposed to act. That’s what I have advised my kids and I am happy they are not into these things. They do their workouts. They know all that is not going to make them an actor.

Of course their father is watching and won’t allow them to take anything unhealthy?
(Laughs) I mean I am blessed that they don’t do it, and I try my best that they don’t get into it. They don’t work out with me though.

Do they wake up as early as you?
I am the last Deol in the family who wakes up early.

You will be launching your sons soon. As a father, were you concerned about anything in particular?
Not really. I believe you become what you want to become. They want to become actors, they see a lot of world cinema, they try to understand what they need to do and they are passionate about it. I did it my way, they are doing it their way. But neither of them wants a six-pack. (Smiles). As a parent, I am there to support them and their journey begins after their first film releases. I was launched, my brother was launched and my cousin too was launched. So I will definitely launch my son. As a father, I want to do that.

Ghayal completed 25 years last month…
Honestly, when we were making that film, nobody wanted to produce it then. It later turned into an iconic film and I am proud that I have certain films that have that stature. That’s the reason I am here today.

Any personal favourites among your own films?
As a matter of fact, I have rarely watched my films. I have only seen them while dubbing or just before their release. Now when I want to look back, I go online and see my earlier films and I tell myself, ‘It wasn’t all that bad’ (laughs). At that time, I used to shout and criticise these movies, which I now enjoy.

Apart from your own films, other films you have loved?
I love watching my dad’s (Dharmendra) films. Satyakam and Phool Aur Pathar are my all-time favourites. And in comedy, it is Chupke Chupke. These kinds of films we don’t get to see anymore. They were so well written and so well performed. Now we are just picking up products from here and there and remaking them.

Earlier, actors would enjoy longevity in stardom. With the invasion of social media, do you think the young actors will also get to enjoy stardom for long?
I really can’t say much because technology and lifestyle has changed so much. It’s very difficult to predict anything. For the new generation, it is a way of life to be on social media. They don’t know what they have missed out on. And I don’t know how to go ahead with this medium.

Would you give in if your fans demanded that you join social media?
I have been asked and I have tried many times to get into it, but somehow I find it very difficult. I can’t do that 24/7. I don’t know how people can do that, pretend to be things they are not. The world is doing it but I can’t see myself doing it. I have got so much to do. I don’t know why others are wasting so much of time on it.

Social media created a lot of panic when Dharamji got admitted into a hospital recently…
That was a big problem. It became the reason why we didn’t visit the hospital too many times. The media would wonder then why his children are visiting so often. Dad also said ‘mat aana’. So, yes, social media has become a disturbance.

Could you recall for us the time when you first felt people had started to recognise you?
I don’t know exactly. I was staying in Mumbai and where I used to study, people knew whose son I was. So all the time, you are treated either good or bad. That’s the reason I went abroad, to be myself. But again, the minute I came back, I was being launched and the awareness was there. People knew me as “Dharmendra ka beta”. They still say that. (Laughs)

The reserved person that you are, how do you feel when you step out and fans approach you for pictures?
I enjoy it because they come with so much love. Initially, I had no idea about the impact of our work. But as time went by, I realised the impact we actors have on people. Some say they saw a film and joined the Air Force, you know, things like that. Suddenly I realise that without being conscious of it I have done cinema that has done so much good to people’s lives.

Do you feel you have not utilised your larger-than-life image to its full potential in the past few years?
Yes, I know, but that’s something I don’t know how to do. It’s very difficult for me to become like that. To be honest, I don’t know how to take it ahead.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story