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'Even at 77, Dharmendra has a flair for comedy'

Last updated on: June 7, 2013 15:44 IST

'Even at 77, Dharmendra has a flair for comedy'

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Patcy N in Mumbai
The unprecendented success of Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol starrer Yamla Pagla Deewana paved way for a sequel.

Only this time, Sangeeth Sivan was roped in to helm the project instead of Samir Karnik, who directed the first film.
 
With the film opening in theatres today, director Sangeet Sivan talks to Patcy N about his experience on the sets and divulges some lesser known facts about the famous Deol trio.

Yamla Pagla Deewana was directed by Samir Karnik. How did you come on board for the sequel?
 
That's a question that Sunny and Bobby will be able to answer.
 
I was working with Dharamji and Bobby on a script called Cheers, when Sunny asked me if I would like to direct Yamla Pagla Deewana's sequel.
 
I was apprehensive. I had said no to making sequels of two of my films, Apna Sapna Money Money and Kya Kool Hai Hum because I didn't the story was better than or as good as the first part.
 
I feel there's no point making a sequel if you can't say something new and better than the first time.
 
But when Sunny offered me the successful franchise of a film which was directed by some other director, it added responsibility. I asked Sunny for some time and sat with the screenplay writer Jasvinder Bath. 

We discussed for about two months. We then found a story line that looked good, at least on paper. Then we called the Deols and narrated the storyline to them.

Image: Dharmendra in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2


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'Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 is nothing like the first film'

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Was it difficult to direct the sequel when you had not done part one?
 
The story of the sequel has nothing to do with the first part. It doesn't start from where part one ended. 

What we did was we just took the three characters, Yamla, Pagla and Deewana (Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol) and put them in a new environment, new story, new place. But their relationship and their characters are the same.

Sunny Deol acted in your first Bollywood film Zor. How has he changed since then?
 
When I first came to Mumbai, I had not seen any of Sunny's films. I was given the impression from people in Bollywood that Sunny is an action hero. I started watching some of his earlier films like Ghayal and Ghatak. I tried to make a film that fit his image because in those days a Sunny Deol film had to be action-packed.
 
While making Zor and interacting with him I came to know that in real life he is the exact antithesis of his more popular image. 

He is very shy, introverted, and there is a very vulnerable side to him. That is the side of Sunny I have tried to bring out in my film. I think it will be a good treat for Sunny Deol fans. 

You will see a very different Sunny in this film. But there are flashes of his younger self in the action scenes.

Image: Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2


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'I couldn't imagine Bobby doing comedy because he is a very intense actor'

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Was it different working with him this time?
 
No, he is always the same. The only change is he is a little more open and clear now. Earlier, he was worried about his dancing and songs. Today he has resigned to his limitations as a dancer.

We have added a song in the film, I Will Dance Like This Only, solely based on this attitude

I would say this song is an anthem for non-dancers. Ninety-nine per cent don't know the steps but they like to dance.
 
You have worked with Bobby Deol in Ek -- the Power Of One...
 
I couldn't imagine Bobby doing comedy because he is a very intense actor. I wasn't even sure that he could handle comedy. But in this film he has to do four roles because he plays a con man and keeps on changing his disguise.
 
I was absolutely stunned when I saw him do it with such ease. In fact, he is the most comfortable in the comedy genre in the family. 

Image: Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2

Tags: Bobby

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'Dharmendra improvises a lot and improvisation is what brings life to the scene'

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How was it working with Dharmendra?
 
First of all, to get a chance to work with an actor like Dharamji at this age is great. In my wildest dream, I never thought a boy from Kerala would get a chance to even meet this man.
 
All three are different actors. The one who improvises the most is Dharamji because he has a flair for comedy. 
 
If he feels there is something that will work for the film, he will add it in the scene. He improvises a lot and improvisation is what brings life to the scene.
 
But you have to be careful during the editing.
 
Most days Dharamji was happy with the day's edit but sometimes he would fight to keep a line to see how it looks. But it has been a democratic process.
 
In an action film, you know what action scenes will appeal to people, but in a comedy film it is difficult, as it is all about perception. So we often went by Dharamji's experiences because he knows his audience.
 
One thing I have realised about Dharamji is that he watches the film and the sequences like the audience does. So he will tell you that in this scene my audience will like me or my dialogue. And he is spot on.

Dharmendra was ill during the shooting of the first Yamla Pagla. How was he this time?
 
Dharamji was in the pink of health this time around. We were a little concerned and would ask him to come on the sets only at 10 am, but he would have none of it. 

He shot with me at 4 in the morning and 12 at night too. Till the camera was on he never told me 'Sangeeth, I am tired, let me go.' In fact, he would ask me whether I wanted him to wait for some more time.

Image: Dharmendra in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2


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'Shooting this film was like a family outing'

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There were three Deols on the sets -- was it difficult managing them together?
 
For this film we had the entire screenplay ready. Everyone knew what they were supposed to do and everyone knew their role. 

Everyone was like family, there was no space for starry tantrums. In fact, shooting the film was like a family outing.
 
How was Dharmendra's equation as a father with Bobby and Sunny?
 
Whenever I see them together I wish we had more families like that. Here are three generations staying under one roof and they have no issues with each other. That is a great achievement. 

The kind of human values that they possess is evident even in Sunny's children.

They are well-behaved kids with values. The kind of respect they have for their father, the kind of respect Bobby has for his elder brother Sunny, is rare today. 

Did Hema Malini ever come on the sets?
 
No.

Image: Dharmendra, Sunny and Bobby Deol in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2


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