MUMBAI — The story began way back in 1960, when Dharmendra took his first steps as a hero. In 1983, came his son Sunny Deol. Since then, younger son Bobby Deol and sister Esha Deol have also come in, respectively in 1995 and 2002. The legacy continues...

Karan Deol, son of Sunny Deol, makes his screen appearance in this week’s “Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas” directed by his father, who has also co-produced it. The unusual romantic story, with a new heroine in the best tradition of the debut films of his daddy and uncle Bobby, stars another new face, Sahher Bambba. We meet the youngster, prone to hearty laughs, for an interview at Mumbai’s Hotel Novotel.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: It’s been a while since we have been hearing of your debut. But on a lighter note, was the film more challenging or all these interviews?

A (Laughs heartily): The interviews, of course! In a film, you know your character and his lines. Here, I have to make and say my own lines! And our family never believed in anything but speaking our heart. Though that’s good, it can be bad too!

Q: Was it always acting for you as a third generation in your family?

A: As a child, how does one know one’s dream or ambition? I was five when I watched “Star Wars,” and I loved films so much that after that every evening I would go into the world of Papa’s films for relaxation. Films would take me to a different zone, especially along with good food! (Laughs)

At 18 years, I told mommy but never told dad that I want to be an actor. Mommy was always my go-to person, papa se darta tha (I was a bit scared of dad). She told dad and they both stated that if I could handle the emotional turmoil, the negative criticism and was emotionally and mentally ready for flops and the evil side of the industry, they would support me. They then started my training.

Q: And that was?

A: I went to the Rahul Rawail School of Acting — he is my dad’s first director. Then I worked with Atul Mongia. Before that, I had done a five-month filmmaking course at the University of Ealing in the U.K. I also did workshops. I had assisted on “Ghayal Once Again” and “Yamal Pagla Deewana 2”— to assist is important. I would bring water to the crew, as without them, you cannot even make a film.

Q: How did your debut film happen?

A: There were many scripts vetted, and we were talking to many directors but nothing was clicking. Then Papa took over and the scripting took little more than a year. The film is about two characters from Delhi and Himachal Pradesh. I am the edgy guy, who loves sports and river rafting, and runs a home-stay in the hills. Sahher is a rich girl from Delhi who does a travel show blog and comes to interview me.

Q: What did your grandfather teach you?

A: I have grown up listening to the stories he told me. For grandpa, acting is all about reacting, it’s that simple, he says. And he told me that the growth never stops, unless you think you are a know-all.

Q: What does he think of you as an actor?

A: He watched the trailer thrice and cried each time!

Q: What is the one quality each you would like to follow of all the Deols?

A: I would want Papa’s intensity, Bobby chacha’s dancing skills and uncle Abhay (Deol)’s bravery at taking risks for creating his own identity. From Dada (Dharmendra), I would want two qualities — his wittiness and improvisation.

Q: How do you look at fans?

A: My father tells me that as a Deol, I cannot run away from their action images. And I can’t think of baggage all the time or it will affect my work. He also told me, “Criticism is good. You can’t expect everyone to like you!” And I can’t go and ask someone, “Why can’t you like me?”

Q: What are your expectations now?

A: I am happy to be an actor. There are no set expectations, but I hope people love my film. I hope I am appreciated too, but the box-office is a different ball-game.

Q: And how do you react to your father winning the Lok Sabha elections?

A: The entire family was happy after a long time when the election results came in.

Q: Cliched question, but in which Sunny Deol film’s remake would you like to star?

A: No one can play Sunny Deol, and to do any remake you should be coming from the right place, not just to cash in and make money. Today, most songs are re-creations. We have become lazy; we need to push ourselves and be original and creative just like people were in the 1980s and ‘90s.

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