The internet can be a strange place. On one hand, there’s trolls creeping out from every virtual corner, and on another, it becomes a turning point in someone’s career.
It happened to the younger Deol brother, Bobby in 2017. The actor gave an honest interview to HuffingtonPost where he poured his heart out about his dwindling career. The interview went viral. And Bobby Deol was in the news once again.
"I wasn’t prepared for what was to follow. Honestly, I didn’t think anybody would care or even read about it. I thought I’d sound boring and nobody would be interested. But people did. It was almost as if they were waiting for somebody to talk their heart out." - Bobby Deol to Huffington Post
In another sit-down a year later, Bobby Deol reassesses his life since then. Once again, Bobby speaks about his struggle to keep pace with the changing landscape of the film industry, his need to return to the silver screen and much more. Bobby’s candidness is refreshing in a world of stars who like to maintain a near-perfect persona.
Besides getting a lot of appreciation from fans, Bobby was surprised to receive calls from the industry once again.
"It was quite insane. Anurag Kashyap called me up. He sent me a script to read. My friend Nikhil (Dwivedi) read the interview and passed it on to Salman Khan, who promised to meet me to understand what was going on. A digital start-up offered a web-series. Imtiaz Ali reached out and we had a chat Suniel (Shetty), my old friend, called up and said he was really touched by the interview." - Bobby Deol
Even as the actor was signed on for Race 3 with Salman Khan and Poster Boys with his brother Sunny Deol, he was filled with self-doubt and anxiety. And though he turned to the bottle, he quickly realised that he needed to stop wallowing in self-pity and get back on his feet.
He hit the gym and started calling the people in the industry who could offer him a chance to perform on the big screen.
"While there was an out-pour of love after the interview, I was very conscious that I didn’t want people to pity me and give work. I wanted to earn it, work towards it, and deliver on what was expected of me. I also had to ensure that I choose wisely as I couldn’t, or rather can’t, afford to go wrong this time around."
Though, it took a lot of strength, Bobby overcame his fears.
"I was caught up with these demons in my head ... that I wasn’t good enough. I had to get out of that zone. I started questioning - do I even know how to act? Do I still have it in me? While people kept calling, assured there’d be work, I had to prepare myself to face the camera. It had been a while."
He also spoke Salman Khan’s undying faith in him.
"There was a time when no management company wanted to touch me. I asked a very good friend of mine, who runs a talent management firm, to help me out and he said, ‘No, man. I can’t.’ I was so crestfallen I said, ‘You could’ve just said you will try, man.’ But if such are the people in this industry, there’s someone like Salman too. He’s been extremely supportive and I can’t thank him enough."
When Bobby decided to make his “comeback”, he knew being fit was extremely important. Besides, Bobby was “well aware” of his fan-following among the ladies in the 90s.
"I was very well-aware of it. And that was because I always wanted to be attractive, especially for women. I was an insecure, overweight kid who had major confidence issues. It was only when I turned 17 did I muster some courage to talk to women. In college, a senior girl came to me and said, ‘Do you eat a lot of tomatoes?’ I was petrified. And I started going red on my face. Then she yelled, ‘Because you are so RED.’ I ran away or something, muttering under my breath, ‘What the hell does she mean man.’ After going through these instances, I was quite pleased to be considered a man who women would swoon over."
Bobby also candidly spoke about how depressed he was, in his 2017 interview.
" Very. There was a particular phase where I turned to the bottle and was on the verge of becoming a total alcoholic. My wife, Tanya, who is the most beautiful person in the whole world, a source of constant support, told me, “What’re you doing? This isn’t going to help. Why are you being so self-destructive?” And I am like, I was looking after myself for so long, kya hua? Did the producers and directors chase me? No. And then there was an awakening. I was like, ***k this shit. I am not going to sulk in self-pity. Not working makes you ill, sad, depressed. It ages you. I am going to bounce back no matter what. "
And now Bobby is looking not just to play the lead role but any role that gives him a scope to perform well.
To your second innings, Bobby.
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