Sunny Deol remains one of the most-macho men to have ever graced the silver screen be it in Indian or world cinema. Such has been his impact in the action genre that despite having made a smash debut in a romantic film, we barely got to see him in anything other than testosterone-driven films a since debut, and some of his adrenaline-pumping dialogues and fight scenes have become the stuff of Bollywood folklore. However, the flip side to this is that Sunny never got to break free from this macho image in spite of being a fine actor, and the audience is likely to forever remember him as an action icon.
During a recent interview with the actor, he opened up on this macho image and why he’s been unable to balance it out with diverse roles, citing the lack of good writers and Directors for his choices, and how things would have been different had he’d been during the era of his legendary father, Dharmendra.
“Somehow this macho image has stuck with me because people believe that when I beat up others on screen, it’s really happening. I wish I was born in my dad’s era. You saw him in these kind of good action films, plus great Directors would also offer him other kind of roles that are lacking now. You see, his body of work has so much variety in it. He did Phool Aur Patthar, Satyakaam, Chupke Chupke, Bandini along with films like Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Sholay, Jugnu, and Yaddon Ki Baaraat. That’s because there were such subjects then and such roles were also being written to match the subjects.
“Like when Tom Hanks did Sully, you felt that you were seeing a true character. But when we portray real characters, many a time it ends up Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Instead of getting into the character of Milkha Singh, we’re more interested in making his body, how we’re running, what the camerawork’s going to be like. Those things, while important in their own way, shouldn’t be placed before the essence of the character.
“I feel we’re not getting into the essence of the character anymore because our writers and Directors don’t believe in so many important things. Characters in our films lack soul nowadays. At the end of the day, it’s always the story that gives that gives an actor the ability to overcome an image. Without a good story, we can’t do anything. Thankfully, I at least got to do a lot of action films that had good stories, and where my roles were well written.”
Very true words and extremely valid concerns raised by Sunny Deol – a man who’s been there, seen it all ,done it all, and knows what he’s talking about.