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July 6, 2000

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'Nobody's a threat to anybody'

Bichhoo It's a warm and sultry afternoon. Strains of a melodious love song can be heard above the din of the generator van at Bombayís Mehboob Studio. The shooting of Indra Kumarís Aashiq is in full swing. Bobby Deol has just canned his first shot of the day, for the song sequence being picturised under the guidance of choreographer Lollipop and his pretty assistant, Jyoti.

A break is announced shortly thereafter. Bobby strolls out for a smoke. He seems unfazed by the debacle of his latest release, Hum To Mohabbat Karega. He also seems to have struck a balance of sorts at the box office, with four hits and four flops notched against his name.

His ninth film, Bichhoo, is to release tomorrow. But Bobby refused to acknowledge any kind of Friday blues, as he nonchalantly goes about answering rediff.com's questions. The only ones he ducked were the questions regarding his half-sister, Esha Deol's entry into Bollywood.

What went wrong with Hum To Mohabbat Karega?

I donít know. I think it was a bad film, thatís why it didnít work (laughs)!

How would you describe your role in Aashiq? What is it like to work with a director like Indra Kumar?

Aashiq is a romantic film, even though my character is a rather aggressive guy. You could even call it an intense romance. And working with Indra Kumar has been an excellent experience. He is a great director. I've always wanted to work with him and I am lucky that, today, I have got this opportunity to be in his film. He is terrific for an actor as he makes things so simple and easy.

Hum To Mohabbat Karega Lately, the way you act seems greatly influenced by your father's acting style. Are you trying to imitate him? Or is it that you are feeling pressured to measure up to him and your brother?

No, I am not really trying to act like my dad. Itís just that I have a father whoís done those roles. If it was somebody else doing those films, you would not be asking that question. Basically, my fatherís done so many films. If I do any film resembling his film, then people say I am trying to imitate him. Since I am his son, I tend to look like him which, I guess, is quite natural.

And I have never thought myself to be under any sort of pressure as far as being my father's son or Sunny's brother is concerned. Itís the people who come and ask me. Why should I be under pressure? People are now watching my films because they want to watch me. If they wanted to see me as a star son or a star brother, they watched my first film. After that, it is my performance which they come to see. So I donít think I am under any kind of pressure.

Are you planning a shift of image -- from action to comedy? Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I am not considering shifting my image from action to comedy or romantic comedy. I have done or am doing films which are action-oriented, comedy roles and romantic-comedy roles. Believe me, it is not an attempt to change my image.

Bobby And, five years from now, I still see myself doing films. I've done eight films so far; I think I still have a long way to go. I donít want to create any particular kind of image, I just want to do different types of films. This is rather difficult in our kind of cinema because, once you get labelled in a certain image, you are stuck forever.

But I still want to do different kind of films and I am waiting for the right scripts, which do not come my way very easily. Actually, what has happened is that all my action roles have been appreciated much more, while the films in which I played romantic roles have not fared to well. So I have been bracketed in the action image category. This is a reality I cannot ignore.

The inevitable question -- do you feel intimidated by Hrithik, Abhishek and the Khans?

I think it's a whole lot of bullshit! Everybody has their own space. Everybody does their own kind of films, nobody's a threat to anybody. I admit Hrithik is really good, but this thing about the Khans dominating Bollywood, it all sounds as if a war is on. I think it is really all just media hype.

Bobby Deol spoke to Sanjay Singh Badnor.

Do tell us what you think of this interview

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