'I like my lover boy image'
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- Published 3.11.10
|Fans and friends: Dev on a signing spree at Priya cinema where he had dropped by to catch Dui Prithibi with members of the Dev Fan Club. “We have been watching Dada’s films together since Poran Jai Joliya Re. He has been joining us since Le Chakka,” said club member Agnirupa Acharya, a first-year student of Asutosh College. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee|
In between slogging out on the sets of Rajib Kumar’s Paglu, co-starring Koel Mullick, in Hyderabad, a happy Dev shares his Tolly plans with t2 after the success of Dui Prithibi...
You are learning martial arts for Paglu...
Yes. I actually started training five months ahead of the shoot. Two instructors from Dunlop would train me at my South City residence for two hours every day. I am learning the Nunchaku form of martial arts, which Bruce Lee had mastered. This form needs you to fight with two sticks tied with a chain. It’s very, very difficult and I would hurt myself badly in the initial days. I am still not very good at it. My real test begins today; we start shooting the fight scenes. Let’s see how I fare. I am a little nervous!
But why Nunchaku?
Because though Paglu is a love story, it has lots of action. A major chunk of the film will be shot abroad and there are about six fight sequences. I will have to use Nunchaku with foreigners who are experts in it! So, I am doubly scared.... Actually, we wanted to do something different with Paglu. We wanted the fight sequences to have a surprise element. At first we thought of kick-boxing but later we chose Nunchaku because it’s going to be visually interesting. Besides, I honestly wanted the fight scenes in Paglu to be different from those of Challenge, which had less action and more attitude.
What do you play in Paglu?
I play a college kid called Dev in the film. I am excited to have my real name in a film! Dev is a crazy fellow who would pick a fight for his friends anytime. He meets Koel’s character, who studies in his rival college. The two fall for each other but Koel’s father (Rajatava Dutta) is the villain. He is a minister in America! So Koel is forced to leave India and Dev chases her. There are some very interesting moments in the film, specially the chase scenes.
Do you prefer Dev the action hero or Dev the lover boy?
I prefer my lover boy image. See, I still have time to do action films and establish myself as an action hero. I can do action films or family dramas even six-seven years down the line, but the lover boy image is transitory. It is there as long as I have age on my side. I think it’s more sensible to play a lover boy right now. Besides, people have liked me in romantic films and I want to enjoy it a little more! I like it more than my action star image. Let me age a little and then I will take up full-on action movies.
What’s the feedback to your act in Dui Prithibi?
Honestly, Dui Prithibi is the first film for which people are complimenting me on my acting skills! For all my earlier films, people had praised my dance, my attitude and my looks. But now people are telling me good things about the way I played Shibu (the thief with a heart of gold) in Dui Prithibi. I realise I have done the right thing by choosing Shibu over Rahul (a rich man, played by Jeet).
So you had the option of choosing between Shibu and Rahul?
Yes, I was given the option by the producers (Shree Venkatesh Films). While reading the script, I was relating more to Shibu. I also felt that I had already done the Rahul kind of roles... you know, where the character is the slightly brooding sort and has loads of attitude. I have played such a role in Challenge, for instance. Moreover, I had decided to experiment with my films in 2010 and do something completely different.
You recently said that you’d love to do Prosenjit’s role in Autograph...
Yes, I want to. I want to see how I fare in such films. But I am not sure if directors would consider me for such roles. They should offer me a film like Autograph. I know I can improve my acting with films like this, but having said that I don’t want to lose my hero image either!
Now that you are a successful commercial film hero, are you looking at off-beat films?
Well, I consider Dui Prithibi an off-beat film. It is not like Challenge or Paglu. No acting is needed for these two films. You just have to talk and walk like a hero, and look glamorous. In Dui Prithibi, my character required serious acting. It was all about proper body language and dialogue delivery. I didn’t even have a heroine in that film (laughs)!
Have you improved as an actor because of Dui Prithibi?
People are taking me seriously as an actor and I don’t want to disappoint them. I want to improve with every film and win the audience who think Dev cannot act. I have fallen in love with Tollywood and I am not happy with the five per cent of audience who say Dev is a good dancer. The rest 95 per cent have to say that Dev is not just a good dancer, he’s a good actor too!
What, according to you, is your weak point as an actor?
I have to improve my acting and my diction. I think I need to improve in every department. I need to improve my comic timing, action scenes, romantic scenes.... In fact, I don’t think my dance is strong either. I like to torment myself with the thought that I have to be the best and work very, very hard.
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