In his prime, Dharmendra was the nation's heartthrob. In 1983, Sunny's legendary debut was in an out-and-out romantic film. Years later, Bobby made an impression with his droopy eyes and curly locks opposite Twinkle Khanna. And now, if Sunny has his way, his 21-year-old son Karan will continue the Deol family tradition.
The otherwise reticent Sunny spoke about taking Karan through the paces among other things even as he readied to leave for the UK schedule of Yamla Pagla Deewaana. Excited about carrying forward the Deol legacy, Sunny said, "Karan's debut will be sometime next year. As of now, I want him to learn all the essentials required for being a good actor. We will be launching him but whether I will be directing him, I'm really uncertain. Considering we are still looking at scripts and everything is in its nascent stage. But one thing is certain that it will be a love story. That's the way I, Bobby and Abhay debuted in Bollywood."
Incidentally, Karan is already enrolled in Rahul Rawail's acting school. Rawail had directed Sunny's blockbuster debut in Betaab. Quizzed about audiences being more receptive to the Deols as a pack rather than solo, Sunny said, "We've waited for long for the right script to come our way although we've been working actively. We were offered many scripts just for the sake of grabbing attention. However, as we believe in clean family entertainers, we waited for an Apne or Yamla Pagla Deewaana to happen. And the audiences loved these films. Now, we are motivated to do more films. But like before, the story is still the key ingredient for us."
According to Sunny, many actors today are managing to get away with shoddy work, thanks to the PR and marketing strategies they put into motion. "Half of the actors wouldn't have survived with the kind of work they've done, had it not been for their impeccable marketing techniques. But that does not mean they are all like that. Some of them are genuinely talented, along with being good at PR. As for me, I have always been a recluse. However, when marketingdriven movies work for the audience, we have them raking in Rs 100 crore. If I want to see a film in the Rs 100 crore bracket, it will be a Salman film because like us, he too is honest and always himself. And trust me, audiences love your honesty on and off of screen, no matter what," said Sunny.
Asked about his many projects that have been stalled, including his television debut, the actor-producer said, "Whenever projects get stalled, it's easy to blame actors, but in my case, I had shot for the television show a while ago. What happened later only the production house and channel will be able to tell. However, I have realised that I am just meant to do films. So, no more TV for me. This year I am shooting for two sequels: Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 followed by Ghayal 2."