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Abhay Deol: I would never claim to understand women

Last updated on: May 18, 2013 15:47 IST

Abhay Deol: I would never claim to understand women

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

Abhay Deol is all geared up to make his television debut as host of the reality show Connected Hum Tum, on Zee TV.

Inspired by a hit Israeli reality show Connected, it will premiere on June 3.

Six women from different walks of life will be given cameras to document their lives with their significant others over a period of six months. The purpose of the show may be summed up in its tag line: 'Understanding women like never before'.

Abhay talks to Rajul Hegde about his television debut, understanding women, and why he chooses to keep a low profile.

Please explain the format of the show.

The format is simple. Six women with a camera each will record their lives over six months. They will shoot themselves and bare their souls on camera. It can be fighting with the family, husband, personal issues etc.

It has all the drama of a fiction show but is yet a non-fiction show.

You are known to be picky about the films you do. Why did you decide to debut on television with Connected Hum Tum?

It is an interesting format, out of the box. Especially now, when there has been violence against women in our country, it's a nice way to let people get the point of view of the women.

Television is a powerful medium and through this we can reach out to thousands of people.

I'm not attracted to films that go by a set formula or are backed by big banners, but because of their content. Also I like the fact that they were original. This is a different and honest show.


Image: Abhay Deol
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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'I never thought I would host a television show'

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Why did you take so long to appear on television?

I didn't have any plans to come on television. I never thought I would host a show. It's not a question of time, it's a question of subject and a project.

What will be your job as host?

I will be there in all the 65 episodes, five days a week as a suthradhar.

As the host, I will have to link the stories, talk about the themes, try and get this show to relate to the audience.

Do you think it's difficult to understand women?

I would never claim to understand them because I will be in trouble (laughs). They are a mystery and that is part of the attraction.


Image: Abhay Deol

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'I wouldn't fake something to be famous'

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Given a chance, which three women would you like to give the camera to, to document their lives?

My mother and sister because I hardly stay with them and I will get to know things they discuss and the way they work.

Why not Sonia Gandhi? I think it will be interesting to know things that are going on in the country.

What challenges did you face while hosting the show?

I haven't started yet; if you focus on the difficulties you cant do anything.

How do you ensure that what they are showing is not just for the camera?

That question you can ask of any reality show. There is always an element of faith and trust, that we have given you a camera, we trust you not to fake it.

As a host do you trust them?

I do trust them. There is no prize for them at the end for them to want to win.

I personally wouldn't fake something to be famous, when given a camera and an opportunity. I would like to tell the world what I am going through so that they can understand me better.

That is the intention with which these women took the camera.


Image: Abhay Deol
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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'I wouldn't be comfortable to record my personal life on camera'

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Will you be comfortable if you are given a camera and asked to record your life?

I wouldn't be comfortable.

Do you watch TV?

I watch very little TV. Mostly news, Discovery and National Geographic. No daily soaps and reality shows.

As a kid I used to watch Buniyad, Hum Log and Mahabharata.

You are known to keep a low profile. Is that deliberate?

I prefer low profile because the house I grew up in is a publicly recognised one and we tend to want to hold back even more.

What they write and the impact it has, sometimes it is truthful and sometimes it is lies and it will have an impact on you.

Who would you like to see as a host if next season the tag line is 'Understanding men like never before'?

(Pauses) Rakhi Sawant.


Image: Abhay Deol
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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'I am co-producing a film One By Two'

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Can you talk a bit about your live musical?

It's an hour-long romantic musical, an adaptation of the French opera Carmen. It will be broadcast live on TV from Bradford on June 9.

It's about a British Asian girl who wants to become an actress. I play myself. It's a perfect story to have picked to highlight the heart of Bollywood.

BBC approached me for it and it's not like something you get to do every day of your life.

It also marks the 100 years celebration of Bollywood. It's going to have a mixed audience. I have never done something like this before, like performing; dancing and singing. You can't mess up because you are on live.

You are co-producing and acting in a romantic comedy. Can you share the details?

The movie is titled One By Two. It's screenplay writer Devika Bhagat's directorial debut. Preeti Desai (his girlfriend) and I are paired in this film. 


Image: Abhay Deol and Preeti Desai
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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