An actor who has never shied away from speaking his mind; a producer who doesn’t believe in the ‘formula’, a film curator with a keen eye for detail and good stories, a painter who’s not scared to experiment with colours, and a philanthropist who wishes to leverage his position to bring a positive change in society. Well, that’s in short Abhay Deol, if only the versatile actor could fit in boxes.
Despite coming from the most-filmy family of Bollywood- the Deols, Abhay is a man of few words who lets his work and films do the talking bit. You may call him a non-conformist but Abhay’s panache of portraying complex characters is matched by very few in the cinema world as evident from his filmography that includes films like Dev D, Raanjhana, Manorama six feet under, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Shanghai, and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.
Whether it was acquainting Sunny Deol to Imtiaz Ali for his debut Socha Na Tha, raising funds for Manorama Six Feet Under, or giving Anurag Kashyap the idea to give Devdas a contemporary twist in Dev.D, Abhay always went beyond the traditional responsibilities of an actor even in the early days of his career.
Despite his success with films that have been termed “art-house” and “off beat”, Abhay – right from his first shot has continually balanced and found success both with artistic/indie cinema as well as hugely successful Bollywood blockbusters.
He has consistently taken chances with debutante directors from the start of his career. Be it Imtiaz Ali, Reema Kakdi or Navdeep Singh, just to name a few. He’s also carried the freedom, and his penchant for going against the grain, into his work as a producer — backing newcomers and new storylines.
He has also set up his own production house based in Canada, 'Bliss Point Entertainment' to make global films. His first film under this banner is a horror flick by the name The Son.
With a huge fan-following across the globe, Abhay has always stood for the cause of parallel cinema, which is one of the reasons he became a film curator. He also ventured into the digital medium with Chopsticks and Line of Descent. With a strong social media presence, his #makingwhatbollywouldnt get him thousands of eyeballs on social media where he regularly takes up issues that Bollywood wouldn’t want you to see or talk about. Abhay is known to take a stand divergent to the rest of tinsel town’s herd opinions.