At 70, Danny Denzongpa has featured in hundreds of films in a career spanning almost five decades. The Bollywood baddie has no immediate plans to retire from acting, but he says it’s something that he can live without. In the last few years, Danny has featured in movies like “Naam Shabana” (2017), “Baby” (2015) and “Bang Bang!” (2014). He has certainly slowed down but has he ever thought of pulling the plug on all his movies and leading a life without acting?
“I can do that. I can meditate and go around the world. I can paint and do gardening. But it is nice to do a film when there is a good script. I keep getting scripts, I read them and then I do one film a year which is a nice change,” Danny told IANS on the phone while travelling in Sikkim. “I mostly shoot in winter so, it’s a very relaxed situation for me. I am not in a rat race. I have never been. I have my own place,” he added.
After making his Bollywood debut in 1971 with “Zaroorat”, Danny made a spot for himself in the industry as a suave villain. His work in films like “36 Ghante”, “The Burning Train”, “Bandish” and “Agneepath” as an anti-hero is still remembered by many. In fact, he is one of the rare actors who has played a villain in films led by stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra and Hrithik Roshan.
“It has a different charm (to play a villain). In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the villain was the most important character after the hero. Without the villain, there was no script. “It was exciting in the sense that there well-written dialogues and scenes. We enjoyed that although, it was a little loud. Times have changed. Nowadays, you see the heroes doing the negative part,” he said.
Actor Sanjay Dutt had reprised Danny’s iconic role Kancha Cheena from “Agneepath” in the 2012 version of the 1990 film. “Previously it used to black and white. The hero used to be white and the villain used to be black. Then came the grey shades. Leading actors must be also fed up of dancing around trees and doing the same thing again and again. I like to play different characters. Everyone wants to do that.
“Sanju (Sanjay) did. For them, it is a new thing (to play a villain). They must be enjoying that as it is a new experience,” said the veteran actor. Talking about taking up different characters, Danny will be seen playing the title role in “Bioscopewala”. “It is not special because I am playing the lead role. It’s not like I am singing songs or dancing around trees. It is a realistic kind of film. It is a very unconventional kind of a lead role,” he said.
The film is a modern retelling of Rabindranath Tagore’s classic short story “Kabuliwala”. “The story is the same. The little girl has grown up. It’s been juxtaposed and intercut. The relationship between the girl and Rehmat Khan is the same. The time frame has been brought a little forward. Instead of 1930s, it is 1980s.” On the importance of box office success, he said: “It doesn’t have big stars like Salman Khan. It is a small film and so is the budget.”
“I want to just relax and have fun and see how people react to this film (when it releases on May 25). The movie is little different. I generally play the villain and suddenly, I am playing an emotional character. I want to see people’s reaction to that.” His next is “Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi”, starring Kangana Ranaut.
“Shooting for it was very tough. There is a lot of action, sword fighting and horse riding and it felt hot in those costumes. I will dub for it in June or July when rain comes in Mumbai, then it is cooler. It should hopefully release in September or October,” said Danny.
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