Chit Chat

I want to do more films with my sons: Dharmendra

No matter how tired from film promotions, marketing events, performances…the one thing you’ll never find the Deols in is, a discourteous mood. And that is what delineates this lineage of actors as the true blue, magnanimous Punjabis.

When the Deols came to Chandigarh to talk about their film, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, they were visibly exhausted from the endless media conferences, a concert, greeting the fan and with the rising temperatures compounding problems. Yet, the effervescent Dharamji, as he is fondly called, had a warm word for everyone, his charming younger son Bobby had a smile on always and the mind leader of this gang, Sunny yielded to almost anything anyone requested for. Now, if this isn’t called the full bodied spirit of Punjab, what is!

I am looking for a strong script
Though Deols are working on a Punjabi project, it’s still in a nascent stage and is yet to take a final shape. Not revealing much Bobby, when asked, says, “Dad is involved in it. We will talk about it once it has finalized.” Since YPD2 has a Punjabi backdrop with Sunny sporting a turban, we asked whether they are keen to dub it in Punjabi too. “Can’t say,” Bobby says, “Though Hindi movies are often dubbed in different languages.” While Sunny is busy producing films, papa Dharam with his dancing, this junior most Deol is busy scouting for scripts for their next. “Interesting scripts are becoming extinct now. We are looking for something which is a complete entertainment package.” Playing a conman in YPD2, Bobby defends newcomers as heroines in their sequel as against star names. “Established actresses are too busy and giving dates for films was a problem for them. So, we took on Neha and Kristina who are talented, though new.”

In the industry since his Barsaat days, Bobby may have understood its finer nuances but there’s one thing that still baffles him. “Why to label Hindi industry as Bollywood, and Punjabi industry as Pollywood? I hate these terms…but kya karon people don’t understand and continue to repeat these words.” For Bobby the title ‘Indian film industry’ is most apt. He is also open to a regional film, only if the script has punch.

I want to do more films with my sons
Like every father Dharmendra has been protective about his children. But, he never behaved like a typical dad (strict and dominating), and brought up his kids in a friendly atmosphere. “My sons are like my buddies. I share a different relation with them,” he says. Though he admits Sunny is shy, he says he understand everything deeply. About Bobby he can only say, “It’s not that Bobby is pampered. He’s equally responsible.”

While everyone’s eagerly waiting to see the familial chemistry between the trio once again on screen this Friday, Dharmendra is thinking ahead. “Everyone used to say ‘when can we see you working together?’ Then Apne came, after that YPD, and now its YPD2…my bond with Sunny and Bobby is strengthening with each film. I am looking to work with them more,” says the original Punjab da puttar who plays Yamla baba.

With the image of being toughies of Bollywood, what prompted them to act as funnymen? “Only tough guys can make you laugh properly,” he says, adding that the YPD franchise will have a threequel too. In real, Sunny and Bobby have seen Dharmendra through several moods. But on screen they see him breaking into a jig, dancing in careless abandon to an item number (Tinku Jiya in YPD1). “That was funny. Bobby and Sunny were shocked that I could dance to an item number.” Though YPD 2 doesn’t have any such track, Dharam’s open to the offer. “I want to do more item songs,” he laughs.

I can never dictate my dad
Even as Dharmendra would like you believe that his son Sunny Deol is turning into his ‘baap’, the doting puttar laughs it off. “My dad is my dad. I can never monitor him,” says Sunny sporting a cream coloured turban that becomes every bit of him as a robust sardar. But he agrees to the fact that he has to act tough as the film’s producer and brain behind family’s film production house. “As someone who is a producer, there are many things that I have to control to make it successful. And now when I am a producer I know this job has no value in the industry, despite the poor guy shelling out all the money.”

For Sunny, the bigger paradox is churning out a comedy that is in tune with his papa’s ideology of a “neat and clean comedy,” in an age when comedy is crass. “We come from a family of actors that believe stories should not go below the belt. If its comedy, it should appeal to all in a family, including kids, elders.” This is reason why YPD 2 introduces the fourth hero, the orangutan, Einstein. “He is from UK,” Sunny tells us, “And he will keep very young kids also entertained in theatres.” The other thing that Sunny says will always feature in their films is his dad’s dancing. “People love my dad’s dancing, though dance is not my forte at all. But dad has his style which is why the song Mein Aidan Hi Nachna is picturised on him.”

Release YPD in Russia: Akheeva
For half Russian, half Aussie model Kristina Akheeva, working in India has turned out to be a fruitful experience. Also, with support from industry’s pillar, Dharmendra, she’s already feeling attached to this land. “I never thought I will land up in India one day and even do a film!” says an excited Kristina who plays Sunny’s love interest in YPD2. While Russians are besotted by Bollywood, Akheeva wants to bridge the gap besides bringing two nations closer through films. “When I told my mom that I will be doing a Hindi film, she was excited. In her childhood she used to watch Hindi movies. Moreover, Bollywood has always been a rage in Russia. People still croon old songs like Awara hoon, Jimmy Jimmy aaja aaja.” Akheeva is keen for YPD2 to be released in Russia. “I can’t wait to go back to Russia and show my family the work I did,” she said.

Dharamji is very lively: Neha
While Neha Sharma didn’t fear facing the camera, what left her actually petrified was the presence of Dharmendra on the sets of YPD2. “Being a junior in the team I was scared. I was doing everything with extra care so that there’s no room for any mistake,” she said. However, later it was Dharamji himself who motivated her and lessened the burden she was carrying. “You know, he’s very lively. Also, he’s completely in contrast to what Bobby and Sunny are.” If you thought the shooting was going on non-stop without any jokes, you are wrong. Neha told us that in between the shot, there was shayari happening. “Dharamji would recite a sher and soon Annu Kapoor jumps in with his signature vaah vaah. It was a learning experience.” In the industry where politicking is common, Neha said she’s yet to touch that aspect. “Once I get into it, I will tell you my experience. But I prefer not to take that route and concentrate on my work.”


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