He is the classic example of now you see me, now you don’t. Abhay Deol will headline a film or two, only to go on a hiatus soon after. “No one is giving me any work,” he grins when we catch up with him at the promotions for his Netflix film, Chopsticks. Explaining his long absence from the big screen, he rues, “The kind of content I want to be part of, is hardly made. At the same time, I have not closed myself to anything. As long as it excites me, I am game for it.
With its quirky storyline and an eclectic cast in Mithila Palkar and Vijay Raaz, the Sachin Yardi-directed vehicle seems right up Deol’s alley. “There’s also a goat in the film, who has acted better than all of us,” he says, displaying his signature dry wit.
Arguably one of the most un-Bollywoodised actors in the industry, courtesy his middle-of-the-road films, Deol argues he wouldn’t want his career shaping up any other way. “It is a choice I have made. The kind of stories I like often comes from debutant directors. So, to ensure that the film sees the light of day is a long process in itself,” says the actor, who completes 15 years in the industry in 2020.
“I haven’t bagged awards or made any landmark project, so there won’t be much to celebrate. If you go against the mainstream narrative, you do not get the [desired] visibility.” Even though the Deol family has two MPs in Sunny Deol and Hema Malini, he has little inclination to join politics. “I am not cut out for it. I am striving for change in my own space.”