Bollywood actor Sunny Deol.
Bollywood actor Sunny Deol. Image Credit: IANS

Goa: Film Festivals, where you unabashedly celebrate cinema around the world, can have interesting effects on actors. Unlike the sterile movie promotions where you see most actors pull out rehearsed and politically-correct responses, a film festival where cinephiles’ gather to see their idols in the flesh often sees actors come undone.

Case in point: At the on-going International Film Festival Of India (IFFI) 2023, Bollywood’s go-to actor for tough roles, Sunny Deol, broke down in tears when discussing his career on Tuesday evening. 

Sunny Deol at IFFI 2023
Sunny Deol at IFFI 2023 Image Credit: Manjusha Radhakrishnan/Gulf News

“I have been very lucky if you ask me … But I just get too emotional these days and that’s my problem,” said a visibly-teary Deol when discussing his career trajectory that has seen vertiginous highs and crippling lows. He couldn’t go on because he was sobbing into his tissue.

Currently, his fading career got a shot in the arm when his latest film ‘Gadar 2’, in which he plays the good-hearted Tara Singh, became one of the biggest blockbusters of the year.

But what was his trigger that led to this emotionally-charged moment? Director and Deol’s frequent collaborator Rahul Rawail asked him a simple question about what it like working with directors of disparate philosophies like Anil Sharma and Rajkumar Santoshi, who were all on stage to discuss Deol's career. 

But this seemingly innocent question was preceded by a volley of praises for Deol and how they collectively felt that the Bollywood industry hasn’t been fair to this actor nor tapped his full potential. These three directors, at various points, drove home the point that Bollywood doesn't know what to do with an actor like Sunny Deol. 

Sunny Deol 1-1693233879932
Mumbai, Aug 15 (ANI): Bollywood actor Sunny Deol poses for a photograph during a press conference for celebration of success his film 'Gadar 2', in Mumbai on Monday. (ANI Photo) Image Credit: Girish Srivastav

Director Santoshi, who has worked with Deol in his iconic hits like ‘Ghayal’ and ‘Damini’, didn’t mince words.

“I don’t think the industry has tapped or realised his full potential. But even if the industry hasn’t done justice to his talents, God has,” said Santoshi. The whole room erupted in claps, while Deol was visibly moved by such unadulterated praise. Fortunately, the actor gathered his wits and emotions quickly as he shared the secret to his success.

“Conviction is what an actor needs … no matter how stupid the scene is,” said Deol, son of actor Dharmendra.

The master-class also saw the actor belt out his iconic dialogues from his hit films including ‘Gadar’ and dance to his hit songs.