‘Naksha was a great experience’
Srabanti Chakrabarti

Sunny Deol believes in doing his own stunt scenes
Sunny Deol believes in doing his own stunt scenes

Sunny Deol, despite being the superstar he is, never participated in the rat race of reaching the top. He did good films, but refused to talk about them. He won awards but refused to attend the ceremonies to receive them. He got involved in controversies without coming out in the open to clarify.

He continues to maintain that reclusive image of his—rarely seen in Page Three parties or any other media events apart from parties of his films. Little wonder that the media got a chance to meet him during a party of his latest film Naksha—almost after a year of his last release Jo Bole So Nihaal. As one catches up with the magical macho man, one finds, to one’s surprise, that Sunny is far away from the serious image that people usually have of him. Excerpts from an interview:

Naksha has not fared too well at the box office. Of late you have been very choosy about your roles. What prompted you to accept Naksha?

Whenever I choose a role, the storyline of the movie is extremely important for me. Naksha appealed to me on a number of counts—the story, special effects, the scale at which the movie was being made and of course the character I was supposed to play. I play a Forest Officer in the film and after a long time have done a number of stunts myself in the movie. It was a great experience working with the team at Naksha. I feel the mythological touch added to the movie’s appeal.

You did your stunts despite the nagging back problem you have been suffering from for the last few years?

The back problem doesn’t bother me any more! It has become part of my life and I have learned to live with it. I have realised that if I keep on thinking about it, I will be not be able to work properly. Plus, stunts have become much safer now. Today you get so many safety measures on the sets during the stunts—something that was lacking when I started my career. But the bottom line is that you need to work very carefully during stunts—that is what I am doing now.

You have always been known to work with new directors. Naksha and Sachin Bajaj is the latest addition to the list. Any specific reason?

(Smiles) It is true. A number of established names today, including Raj Kumar Santoshi and Rahul Rawail, have worked with me during their initial days. I have worked with a number of directors—new and experienced— during my career and have found that the passion and creativity with which debutant directors work is fantastic. With Sachin it was no different—we shared a fantastic give and take relation during the making of Naksha. I gave my inputs whenever I felt and vice-versa—the combination worked very well.

Why do you maintain such a reclusive lifestyle? You are not seen at the award ceremonies, parties or any media events apart from your own releases. Is Sunny Deol media shy?

(Shrugs) Actually it is nothing like that. Somehow I have been carrying a serious image ever since I entered films. Basically I am a shy person and take some time to open up. But once I am friendly with someone, I am very free and frank with him or her. It is very difficult for me to take the initiative and talk to the media. (Smiles) I have decided something. I will work in at least four or five films every year so that I can meet the media at least during the launch parties and talk to them.

So what are the four or five films your fans can expect from you in the year to come?

(Smiles) Kafila, Deodhar Gandhi, Fool and Final and Apne. And before you ask me, let me clarify Deodhar Gandhi has got nothing to do with Mahatma Gandhi. Just that we liked the name and went ahead with it. It’s quite an old movie and had got stuck due to some reasons. Finally it is being released this year. I am pretty excited about it. And of course about Apne where dad, Bobby and I are acting. It’s like a dream project for us and deals with the father-son relationship in the backdrop of a story around boxing. Shooting for the film was like a family affair.

Any plans of venturing into production?

I have experienced this earlier as well—I don’t have any problems with the creative aspects of the movie, but had a lot of issues related to financing of the project. After Dillagi, I decided that I would work on the script myself. I have entered into a tie-up with K Sera Sera productions and am working on a few scripts. Hopefully next year I should be able to start working on my projects.