‘Anil Sharma is one of the finest directors in the industry’ – Dharmendra


Veteran actor Dharmendra is all set to light the silver screen when Anil Sharma’s Apne releases later this month. It will be for the first time that Dharmendra will be seen alongside both his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol.


The actor is just back from the IFFA Awards, where he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. In a tête-à-tête with Businessofcinema.com, the ‘Punjab da Puttar’ shares his experience on working in Apne and more.


Excerpts: 


What is Apne all about?
The film traces the relationship between a father and his two sons. It’s an attempt to reinstate the cultural values among the youth of today. I’m proud that my family still cherishes the age old custom where parents are regarded as semi-gods. This film will showcase this reality in a palatable and contemporary flavor.


How did you feel working together as a family?
Well, it has been a great feeling coming together in a film that has so much to say about relationships. Though there were earlier offers where people wanted to cast us together, but somehow I was never wooed by those stories. When Anil Sharma (director of Apne) narrated this story to me, I was taken aback by the interest that it generated. Now that the film is ready for release, I hope that the audience too will love it.


Anil Sharma is primarily known for action films and so is the image of Sunny, Bobby and of course you. Was it difficult for him to narrate this emotional tale?
Not at all. Let me tell you that action is also an emotion. So there is nothing wrong if someone specialises in a particular genre. But to tell you the truth, Anil Sharma is one of the finest directors in the industry today and he is capable of directing any genre in the most sensitive manner. Moreover, the filmmaker’s chemistry with his actors is of paramount importance to a film’s sensibility. I share a great rapport with Anil and so do Sunny and Bobby and that makes a filmmaker’s job easy.


Do you feel that the industry has realized late that you deserve a Lifetime Achievement Award?
I don’t think so. In fact, I was never used to these award ceremonies and I’m not bothered if I don’t win any. The fact that people love me as an actor is a huge compliment in itself. All awards seem lesser before that reality. Nevertheless it is a compliment and a symbol that I have played my part well.


Tell us about some memorable experiences while shooting the film?
Oh! There are lots. But something that touched me most is when I visited my ancestral village Sahnewal in Punjab during one of the shooting schedules. It was after a gap of 23 years that I got an opportunity to visit the place. When I arrived there I couldn’t get down from the car. I was face to face with my childhood and the earlier part of my life. It was an emotional moment for me. I think the film, apart from being a tale about relationships, is also special since it’s rooted in my past.


Have you considered wearing the proverbial director’s hat?
Well, I have always wanted to do so, the only hitch being the technical aspect associated with filmmaking (laughs).


I am currently writing poetry and want to explore new creative outlets. I believe there’s a lot I still have to say through my acting and poetry. Maybe directing a film will provide another outlet to my creative energies.

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