Published by: Anurag Kashyap
Published: on Jan 19 2009 @ 11:06 pm
Abhay deol is the face of “independent” cinema , not just according to Man’s world but lots of others. Rightfully so. He is so independent that he can be very difficult to work with if you don’t know what you are doing. Why? because the man asks questions. Pointed questions. My first instinct whenever i am asked questions or made suggestions to, is to dismiss them, then i can’t help but think over them , about them and sometimes try to answer them or incorporate them, but the work flow never stops. Abhay can stop your flow. His questions can bring a pause to the proceedings. As involved that he is , he sometimes ends up living the character he is playing and when he does that, it can be a nightmare sometimes. Not for me as much as it can be for the assistants. Abhay did just that on Dev.D.
He became Dev. I told him to come straight from bed, with his unwashed hair and all, he said he will not touch the hair but will wash his face, i said no , he said,
” you will get what you want fucker but hygiene is my prerogative.”
One day Abhay did not turn up on the set on time. We partied late the night before, he overslept and i screamed at him, he screamed right back, well the party was in my room. But my ego would not accept it, not that i reached the set on time, I wasn’t even there when i screamed at him. I got a call from my assistant that he has not reached and i called him and started screaming , from my hotel, i had not left it either(talk about hypocrisy). So after the screaming match he reached the sets and i did too. I wasn’t talking to him and he wasn’t talking to me. I would give him instructions without looking at him, addressing my associate nitin(presley no.2 from EA) and he would respond to him. Poor nitin didn’t know what to do. He would look at me and him. We were shooting a very difficult scene and i knew abhay could be temperamental. What if he decides to get back at me. He did the take, he improvised, he threw his legs on the ground , kept tapping and grinning, he even improvised a line that was brilliant,”what are you, florence nightangle tonight”. I wanted to say brilliant and i said O.K. So he wanted to get back to me by doing it better than expected, so i decided to get into the showoff mood too. I kept improvising takes and he stayed deeper in the character. Once he gave me a chance to reprimand him when he spoke the line in english and i said,
” please tell the actor that the dialogue is in hindi”
loudly and he continued in english. I said this is not an english film. He said the line in hindi in next take. Eventually i kept the English one. This went on for three days, the whole set was tense, Rajiv asked me,” is it alright between you two.”
I said ,”no”.
Everyone was silent on the set for those three days. Worst three days for the assistants. But the best three days for the film. The output of those three days was the best for both Abhay and me. He was brilliant and i was on my toes. Best from both of us was on those three days. I have known him forever and we always wanted to work with eachother and three days is a long time, on the third day i complimented him directly and he looked at me said thanks and went away. I went to see him in the room. His room in the hotel nearby. I knocked. He opened the door . I looked at him and said sorry, he smiled and said sorry. We hugged and let loose all the ego.
Drama is not always on screen.