‘In my head I am still 25,’ says Sunny Deol

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By Karishma Upadhyay Which is your favourite Sunny Deol film? Tell t2@abp.in
  • Published 19.11.13
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Sunny Deol sat down in his sun-soaked garden in Juhu to talk about turning a year older (on October 19) and another generation of Deols being readied for Bollywood.

Belated happy birthday! How did you celebrate?

Arre, what is there to do? I spent the day with my family. We are Arya Samajis, so we have a havan at home for everyone’s birthday. And the family had dinner together.

You turned 56. What is the best thing about being in your 50s?

It’s just a number. I don’t feel old. I am still doing all the things I love doing. In my head I am still 25. I only feel old when I realise how much my kids have grown up. Or when my body makes me realise that it can’t do the things it could. Like I don’t play squash any more. I always tend to overexert myself.

You were down with a back problem for almost three years before returning with Yamla Pagla Deewana. How do you stay fit now?

I used to look at my back problem as a challenge that I had to overcome. So I would fight the pain only to make it worse. Over the years I have realised that I have to work around it. So I picked up table tennis after giving up squash. I still wake up at 5.30am and work out for an hour-and-a-half every day but as soon as I feel a strain in my back, I take it easy. There is no use fighting the pain because it will only get worse.

You have been doing action films for long. How have they changed over the years?

It’s become easier. There are so many safety precautions and cable work now. Fear factor today is just 10 per cent.

There was a lot of debate earlier in the year when Hrithik Roshan had to undergo an emergency brain surgery after a stunt went wrong on the sets of Bang Bang...

Yeah, I heard about it. I don’t know… everyone has had accidents. Some become media stories while others don’t (shrugs).

Singh Saab The Great is your fourth film with director Anil Sharma…

Yes. Sharmaji and I have always done interesting films together. This one is about an honest collector who is pushed around because of his principles. His family supports him through all the trials without a single complaint. The film mirrors what is happening in our society with rampant corruption. I am hoping that after watching the film, people realise that violence doesn’t change the society. You have to educate and convince people to start thinking correctly.

Earlier you mentioned that the script reminded you of one of your father’s films.

That’s right. My father did a film called Satyakam in 1969 which was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It’s one of my father’s best works. He played an honest man who doesn’t compromise on his principles all his life. But when he is on his deathbed, he is tempted because he wants to help his wife and son prepare for a life without him. And that’s when his family stops him. They choose a life of hardship instead of giving up on his and their ideals. It is such an important film of our times.

Singh Saab reflects our society today. How clued in are you about what is happening around you?

I know about the scams and all the corruption. Filmstars don’t lead insulated lives, you know. Today, to achieve anything you have to compromise. If you don’t, you are forced to do so by the people around you. It’s a sad, sad situation. All I can say is that one has to be mentally strong to be able to walk the path of righteousness. As a nation, we have everything to make us the best country in the world. What we are lacking is that mental toughness. There has to be someone who works for the good of the society and not just to line his or her pockets.

You sound like a politician. Any plans to enter politics like your father once did?

My father will disown me if I even think of politics! He has been there and knows that it’s not for the Deols. I am an actor and I am happy doing what I do. If I did enter politics, it would be on my terms — honesty and complete transparency.

Your younger son Rajvir has said that he wants to act. When will we see the next generation of Deols in Bollywood?

Hopefully, soon. Both Karan and Rajvir are grooming themselves. I want them to go through stunt, dance and diction classes. While they are doing their prep work, I am looking for the perfect script and as soon as I have one, Karan will be launched.