Rapidly establishing himself as the face of new age Bollywood cinema, Abhay Deol has just gone back to school – to the prestigious Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania to be precise. “I did not go there with a specific theme in mind,” he explains, “I was asked a lot of questions about how the industry has been recently, and how it is rapidly changing. We discussed films releasing in multiplexes versus single-screen ones, the new generation of filmgoers, the possibility of Bollywood going global, and the talent out there which is yet to be tapped.”
The Dev D star stems from a strong Bollywood pedigree, being the cousin of Bobby, Sunny and Esha and the nephew of Dharmendra. Having first started making an impact in Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd and Manorama Six Feet Under, he is also the star of first-rate crime caper comedy Oye Lucky Lucky Oye with Neetu Chandra also shining in her role, and is about to start shooting for Anil Kapoor’s Ayesha with Sonam Kapoor, a reworking of Jane Austen’s “Emma”.
Abhay is perfectly happy to be seen as a bit of a maverick in his life. He is currently living mainly in New York where he has been following a welding course as part of his artistic leanings. “I’ve had to fight for what I believed in, but I received acceptance from critics and audiences much earlier than the that of the industry,” he explains. He has recently completed filming for a Dev Benegal film, as yet untitled, alongside Brick Lane’s Tanisshta Chatterjee. It’s a fantasy odyssey about a man traveling across India in his old truck and collection of 1001 DVDs hoping to find himself and his destiny.