Dharmendra: I am born to love and be loved!

The legendary actor talks about why people love him and his movies, why he chose to get into the comedy genre and how people’s reaction to his films move him

DharamJi, you decided to produce this film as well as act in it, reprising your loveable role from Yamla Pagla Deewana

After Apne, a thought came to us that Apne was such an emotional picture and people loved it and I felt that they loved me in it and when we were watching in the cinemas we stopped at, I could see their reactions through their tears. When people came out of the theatres I asked a few how they liked the picture and they said it’s very good, but you made us weep and weep and cry. So I said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll give you something nice – some comedy to make you laugh and laugh and laugh’, without knowing if we would get a subject or not. So Sunny, Bobby and I decided to look for a good script for a comedy, of course with a tinge of emotion in it. Then this idea of YPD 1 came and luckily it clicked; and after that we started to think about Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. It’s something that happens in the industry – to continue with the same title and different scripts. YPD 2 is not the sequel, but a totally different script.

What can we expect in this one?

Our characters are the same. Two con-men and one nice gentleman! (laughs). We picked England, as we wanted something different; the last movie was set in Punjab, with green fields. This time, it’s to do with the recession all over the world, and England also. Our prey this time is a very rich UK-based Indian – we’ve come all the way to con him. The UK shoot was lovely, despite it being very, very cold. The locales and the warmth of the people kept us going. It is beautiful countryside and I love the UK! As there are so many South Asian people here, we never felt that we were away from India. And Sunny’s wife is from Oakham, so we would go stay there as well.

You believe strongly in the concept of infinite love and sharing joy…

It all comes from the response of the people. I’ve given them love through my films and they have reciprocated. In my personal life also, I am born to love and to be loved. That’s my nature – I give and get it back. It is the strength of my soul. Everyone likes to be admired, I guess. I believe that you all own me and that I own you all – our relationship is such. Sometimes it feels like it’s thicker than real relationships in life. Even if you’re so far away from me and I’m so far away from you, I feel it and that reflects in me. God bless all of you!

By Ashanti Omkar