MUMBAI, WNS: After Netflix movie Class of ’83, actor Bobby Deol is looking forward to the release of his next OTT project, MX original series Aashram. Directed and produced by Prakash Jha, the web series’ plot will focus on the rise and fall of godman Baba Nirala. In a recent interaction with indianexpress.com, Bobby spoke about what drew him to the project, reinventing himself for the new generation and more.
Excerpts from the conversation.
What drew you to Aashram?
The most attractive thing about Aashram was that it gave me a chance to work with Prakash ji (director Prakash Jha). All these years, I had been watching his movies, waiting to work with him one day. I was so excited the day he called me to his office, and when he narrated the idea to me, I was like ‘wow’. I was amazed because as an actor, I am always trying to look for different kinds of characters to play, and it is not easy to catch hold of good parts. The last project that I did for an OTT platform, I was not the first choice. But for this project, I was happy to hear that I was Prakash ji’s first choice.
This was a very challenging role because now in my career, I am looking for roles that would push me to give my best. I am trying to portray characters that people would not imagine me playing on screen.
Were there any blueprints you had in mind for playing this character?
I didn’t want to get influenced by anything. I merely followed what Prakash ji said. He said, ‘Just read your script, go through your lines properly and do your workshop.’ So that’s what I did. I didn’t try to imitate anyone. I would sit and go through my lines for 3-4 hours to get a grasp of the language that this man spoke. His Hindi was so ‘shudh’ (pure).
What drives you to make the career choices that you have been making of late?
As you know, I was away for sometime, and the young generation is not so aware of who Bobby Deol is. So I have a chance to start from a clean slate and create a new image for myself as an actor who does different kinds of roles.
According to you, what would attract people to watch Aashram?
The nature of the show itself. Prakash ji has always picked topical issues, and I think the thought behind this is to create awareness.
Religion and faith play a key role in our society, as it does in Aashram.
Yes, it does. That is the whole point of the show, to make people aware of the conmen who take advantage of people’s blind faith and innocence. But despite this, I don’t think we would ever be able to do away with religion completely. It is a part of our culture. After all, faith is the thing that gives you strength to move forward.