This is the year that Abhay Deol firmly established himself as that not-so-common thing in Bollywood – an actor’s actor. In recognition of this, he has been named as one of fifteen people in India who mattered most in 2009. Others on the list are from the world’s of science, security, politics, sports and the arts. “Abhay has been invited to endless number of acclaimed film festivals across the globe,” explained a source, “He was also a speaker for this year’s Technology, Entertainment and Design conference.”
Abhay’s films have included a charming role in Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, the wonderful Navdeep Singh movie Manorama Six Feet Under, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, the groundbreaking Dev D and the festival favourite Road, Movie. His allegiance to three of Bollywood’s most interesting directors, Dibakar Bannerjee, Navdeep Singh and Anurag Kashyap is particularly strong.
Abhay has just signed up for Navdeep’s Basra, which will also star three of Bollywood’s strongest actresses in Chitrangada Singh, Shahana Goswami and the rising Soniya Mehra. Described as an edgy and dark action thriller about drugs and human trafficking, it already sounds like a mouth-watering prospect for 2010. Abhay plays the role of an undercover agent and there are plans to shoot the film in Iraq as well as other Middle East centres such as Dubai. “Basra is an edgy and dark film,” said a source, “Soniya will play a teenage hippie who is involved in drugs and eventually becomes a victim of human trafficking after being kidnapped.”
Abhay’s also keen to work with Dibakar Bannerjee once again and has signed up to an action thriller with him, to be made later next year. “The film is based on a European novel published in the mid-1960s,” Dibakar explained, “We are still negotiating for the rights of the book. Ever since I read the book, I wanted to convert it into a film. Abhay plays a South Indian judge, while the other characters are a journalist who sells soft porn to magazines and an expat social worker, who will be female.” Abhay is so keen on the movie that he is learning Tamil for the part.
Meanwhile, Abhay is finishing off his work on Aisha, the Emma-recreation which also stars Sonam Kapoor and is expected to be released next summer.