“I have realized that most people here are hypocrites. They are sweet to you on your face. But the moment your back is turned, they start bitching about you.”
(Filmfare Online, Oct. 1999)
Son of screen legend Dharmendra, brother of actor Sunny Deol and actress Esha, Bobby Deol has walked a rocky road to success in spite of his family connections.
It was perhaps inevitable that the brother of Sunny Deol would be typecast as an action hero. Though Bobby has tried to expand his repertoire with romantic leads in Kareeb, Dillagi, and Hum to Mohabbat Karega, the films’ poor returns have prompted him to return to his forte as the Bichhoo- and Badal-style tough guy.
However, despite his success in those films, the media has been reluctant to promote him, perhaps because Bobby gives them so little to write about. Though he will gladly wax poetic on his love for wife Tania, he steadfastly refuses to discuss more controversial issues pertaining to his personal life — like his recent quarrel with Kareena Kapoor.
Apparently on the sets of their film Ajnabee, Bobby’s wife helped co-star Bipasha Basu with her wardrobe. In an industry where heroines more often view each other as competition than friends, Kareena, whose family has long been friendly with the Deols, considered Tania’s act tantamount to betrayal.
Kareena’s own tale differs slightly from the gossip: “Actually, there was a problem with his wife. She didn’t behave properly with my mother. And I didn’t like that.” (Filmfare, March 2002) Whatever the exact cause may be, the two are not speaking, and Kareena’s sister Karisma, who heretofore considered Bobby a close friend, has apparently sided with her sister, giving the Deols the cold shoulder. In turn, Bobby fields questions about the incident with vocal displeasure over Kareena’s decision to talk about it to the press. Beyond that, he will not comment.
He refuses to apologize for his obvious distrust of the press, and attributes his wariness to past experiences with both journalists and co-stars. “I have changed a lot [since getting into this business]. I have realized that most people here are hypocrites. They are sweet to you on your face. But the moment your back is turned, they start bitching about you. Initially I used to get hurt by all this but now I’m learning to be indifferent. I enjoy my work and I keep to myself. I know now that every person I meet is not my genuine well-wisher or my friend. So I am learning to be friendly but not trusting.” (Filmfare, Oct. 1999) As a result, his work must speak for itself.