Thursday, November 30, 2023

Passing the torch and carrying the ‘Deol’ legacy ahead

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Budding actor Rajveer Deol, who made his debut with the recently released Dono, gets candid with The Pioneer about growing around the legendary ‘Deol’s’, his first meet with the co-star Paloma, and more.
Tejal Sinha
After decades, Indian cinema and movie buffs saw the Deol-Dhillon chemistry on screen. Well, this time, it wasn’t the Sohni Mahiwal actors Sunny Deol and Poonam Dhillon, but their kids Rajveer Deol and Paloma Dhillon in the recently released Dono. Directed by Avnish S. Barjatya, son of Sooraj R. Barjatya, the film is produced by Rajshri Productions, known for their conservative, saccharine-sweet story-telling, yet their actual, accessible storylines and characters managed to strike a chord with audiences.
The fresh chemistry of Rajveer and Paloma has surely enraptured hearts ever since the film was announced and the promotions began. Dono has been a special film for the team in its own ways, and of course, along with the cast, it also marks Avnish’s directorial debut.
A lot of feelings and excitement had gone along! And so did it for Rajveer, who was initially all anxious, nervous, and excited and was waiting to see how people reacted. In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, he shared having no space to get anxious since he was all decked up with the promotions.
Growing around some great evergreen superstars, Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, ‘Dream Girl’ Hemamalini, and Esha Deol, he recalls, “We’ve always seen their work ethics, and for that, I guess it’s been at it. In fact, recently, after, I guess, 22 years, Gadar 2 was such a success. This shows that times do change, and you have to keep at it.” Now it has become a really unpredictable task to think of which film would be a hit or a flop. However, as a debutant, it becomes much tougher, so keep a plan B prepared beforehand.
For Rajveer, he says Plan B would be, “To keep my head down and still work, and hopefully something happens, and that’s about it. I want to act and want to be in this industry, so I’m just going to keep working on myself. I just want to make myself happy with the roles I do, and if my work speaks for itself, then critics or whoever will like it.” Going further, he recalls the first time he met his co-star Pamola, and guess what? It was via Zoom call.
“Since it was a lockdown, we did a screen test over Zoom, more like a reading because, I think, it was to break the ice. Avnish and Paloma went on Zoom, and we had a meeting and did a reading. Two days later, we shot a screen test together. So I was taken aback by how easy it was to work with her, how chill it would be to work with her, and her professionalism. It was such a support since we were on the same boat.”
What better than your family to see you take the first step towards your career? Not only did his dad Sunny Deol grace the sets of his debut film, but also his grandpa Dharmendra. He shares, “My dad actually gave my first clap on set. It was raining a lot that day, and I remember that I just had to walk to the door; it was just a simple back shot of the character, who goes to the office for a meeting. I walked too fast, so Avnish was like, slow down, but I was so excited, my adrenaline was pumping. You would have thought I walked right through the door.”
While the film marks the debut of its director, we asked him about Avnish’s approach and whether he had his father’s approach in his art too. To this end, the budding actor states, “Definitely, there are influences you can see, but in this generation, you prepare more. Back then, there were no workshops. They used to come on sets, and dialogues used to be written on sets. Now that everything is online, you learn things much faster, and people critique things more. You tend to over prepare sometimes and work with extra hard work.”
On a concluding note, he recalls having heard about the lead actor’s parents’ film shooting Samundar and said, “I’ve heard about them shooting in the Maldives when they were shooting Samundar. They talked about how they thought the boat was going to sink once because they had to keep shifting islands and go on this small boat.”
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