I’ve stopped looking at the figures: Abhay Deol
Buzz is, you are in talks with Kumar Mangat, have signed Ajay Bahl’s next, and given the nod to Ashwini Chaudhury’s action film set in Chambal.
I’ve been meeting people, some whom you mentioned. I don’t like talking about a film till I’ve signed it. I’m told Ajay’s BA Pass was good. But I’m yet to catch it!
Will you continue to produce?
The focus now is on the acting. But if something interesting comes up, I will produce it. Maybe I can sketch out an idea and give it to a writer to develop. It’s been a while since I came up with the concept for Dev D. Production isn’t easy but then neither is acting.
I’ve stopped looking at the figures.
Did going against Bhushan Kumar and turning up for a press conference with a cosmetically designed black eye, hit the film adversely? Not only did you not earn from the music rights but even the songs weren’t promoted?
I did what I felt needed to be done to highlight a larger issue. I wanted to focus some attention on the ongoing tussle between composers and music companies over the issue of royalty.
The film premiered officially on Facebook on the day of its release and is available to overseas viewers at $4.99 for 48 hours rental. Has this first-ofits kind move for Indian cinema helped you recoup a part of your investment?
That’s hard to say. We’re only in the second week. But it has given filmmakers a new platform to showcase their work. I’m always looking to explore new avenues. Recently, on a panel discussion on joint collaborations with foreign producers and the Secretary of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry, I learnt that a co-production treaty between India and Canada was signed recently after years of discussion. It’s good to see that our government is keen to promote India as a shooting destination and open to collaborations.
One By Two engaged the viewers initially with its novel concept but then the story meandered off…
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. What I like, you may not. Some of it is constructive criticism, some is spiteful criticism. I prefer to focus on the former.
If you had a chance to remake the film, what changes would you implement?
I would make the boy and girl interact a little more with the audience, spell out the story more. But it’s time to move on.
How do you react to the One By Two jokes on radio and the social networking sites?
(Laughs) I haven’t heard any yet. And ignorance is bliss!
Will your next production also be with a debutant director?
As an actor, I’ve done a lot of work with debutants. Anurag Kashyap and Prakash Jha were the only two experienced ones. And I’ve learnt since then, what sets an experienced director apart, is not talent but experience. So maybe next time I will work with one of the directors I have already collaborated with.
What was the response to your film at the Berlin Film Festival?
The German audience liked it a little more than our desi viewers. (Laughs) I tried to marry traditional Bollywood with something more contemporary. And marrying an alien to an earthling is difficult!
You’ve always been averse to marriage, yet you were dancing with girlfriend Preeti at cousin Ahaana Deol’s wedding?
I’m not anti-marriage. When the time is right maybe I’ll go through with it too. And weddings are a time to party!