‘Appreciation works as pension for me’

Debarati Palit
Monday, 29 January 2018

Actor Deepak Dobriyal talks about his new movie, Kuldip Patwal: I didn’t do it!, and how he approaches his role in a multi-starrer

Deepak Dobriyal’s last film Kaalakaandi failed to create magic at the box office. The multi-starrer with names like Saif Ali Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapoor, Vijay Raaz and others, didn’t do well as expected but Deepak isn’t disappointed. “The film was made for a niche audience with 80 per cent dialogues in English. It wasn’t for the masses. I watched five shows of the film in theatres and they were houseful. People were enjoying the movie.”

He adds that director Akshat Verma hasn’t compromised on the content to make the project commercial. “He made the film the way he wanted to, so I am happy with the response it has got,” points out Deepak. The actor will next be seen in Kuldip Patwal: I didn’t do it!, produced and directed by Remy Kohli. The film also stars Raima Sen, Parvin Dabas and Gulshan Devaiyah. It is set to release on February 2.

Deepak, who plays the title role of Kuldip, says that he liked Rahul Ramchandani’s writing. “He had a written a beautiful script and has imagined each character very differently,” he says, adding that it’s been a long time since he did a political thriller.

Kuldip Patwal... is a story of a common man who gets charged for the murder of a chief minister. The actor says that anyone can become a victim today. “Look at what is happening around us. We do not have jobs but we are fighting for different causes. I have seen that around me so I did not require to do too much of research on the subject or the character. I have tried to balance the character, between fiction and non-fiction, which I found very interesting,” he says.

It was reported that the star cast did not know the ending of the film. When asked about it, Deepak says, “In the beginning we didn’t know the ending. It was an experiment done by Remy. But I am confident about the film.”

In his career, the actor has worked in both commercial and unconventional films, which Deepak says is because he always goes with the story. “Sometimes I like experimenting with the story. It’s fun doing that. I don’t want to be part of films where I am just playing a character. You should play a character which will be remembered by the audience for a long time. Otherwise, we are working for the sake of money,” he says.

He adds that earlier he was rigid about the fact that he would do a certain kind of cinema. But now he has kept his options open. “Anyone who has got the conviction to make a film, I will give more prominence to him/her. The script matters the most to me and then the director. The director should have something special in him or her that I feel the need to work with him. There are few directors with whom I enjoy working and if they approach me, I do not look at anything else.”

The actor has been part of several mutli-starrer films like Hindi Medium, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Tanu Weds Manu and others. How does he create his own identity while working on his character? “A lot of hard work goes into it and that’s the learning. At the back of my mind, I always keep thinking about the character actors of yesteryears and the injustice done to them. Earlier, we used to shoot in reel, which used to be very expensive. So these character actors were told to do the same thing they did in the last film because makers could not afford retakes with them. Only the leading actors were allowed retakes. When I am representing the common man, I have to work hard so that people do not forget me. My effort is to present the character differently without tampering with the story or the plot,” he says.

“Appreciation works as pension for me. For example, I am still enjoying the pension for Omkara, Shaurya and Gulal. I am, therefore, more inclined towards conviction rather than the hype and lies that’s created around actors.”

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