Actor Dharmendra, whose new film Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se is set to release, does few and far projects now. But he says he has never been away from show business.
“I never felt that I was away from the limelight, but here only in the mind of people who have shown their love for me for years. It is a natural human tendency to be loved and admired by people in one’s lifetime. Even I have that dream. I am fortunate enough to earn that because people have loved me so much in cinema,” Dharmendra said.
The actor, who had no formal education in acting, said earning money was not the reason why he entered the world of cinema.
“I watched a film of Dilip Kumar sahab and his on-screen aura just got into my mind. I was thinking how someone could mesmerise people with his performance and screen presence like Dilip sahab does. I started imagining becoming a part of that world,” he said.
Asked how he gained the confidence to face the camera, the Sholay star said: “ I was the elder in the house so I had a certain responsibility. It was important for me to analyse if I am capable to take the responsibility of not only the family but of a film.”
Dharmendra packed his bags and came to Mumbai from Ludhiana and made his movie debut with Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere in 1960. There was no looking back as the actor then became part of some iconic films such as Soorat Aur Sirat, Bandini and Anpadh among others. He starred alongside Hema Malini and delivered some of the most commercially successful films such as Seeta Aur Geeta, Sharafat and Sholay to name only a few.
“For me, acting is mostly about reacting emotionally in a situation. The fact is, all of us have emotions, but for a performer it is about how we are bringing it out. I am an emotional individual, so I knew that I will be able to act. How will I do that was of course a thing that happens in the process,” said the much-loved star.
Dharmendra, who will feature with his actor sons Sunny and Bobby in Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se, admires new talent in the industry.
“I think today’s filmmakers are very smart in serving to the audience. I find some of the films are really great. I can talk about Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh... Both are very good actors and very talented. I also watched Dangal and it really touched my heart. I was in tears... Some good work is happening,” added the 82-year-old.
Anything that he finds missing nowadays?
“People are busy these days. Pehle dino jaisi tehzeeb aur tameez aajkal dekhne ko nahi milti [We don’t get to see the discipline and manners that we had in our time]. People were more connected with each other on face and our way of respecting women was different. These days, people’s approach is different. But I guess such change happens with time.”
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Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se releases in the UAE on August 30.