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I was never after money: Dharmendra

Friday, June 21, 2013
By Suneel V. Gaur & Rajesh V. Gaur

Dharamji, what are your expectations from Yamla Pagla Deewana 2?
I want the film to be appreciated but not only in monetary terms. It was never about the money for me right through my career, and still isn’t. All I wanted was love and admiration for me, and I am still getting it. Sunny and Bobby are also receiving it, and that makes me happy.

Is YPD 2 a continuation of Yamla Pagla Deewana 1?
We were lucky that YPD 1 clicked with the audience and it was its success that made us think about Yamla Pagla Deewana 2. But, YPD 2 is not the sequel even though the characters are the same. We still have the two con men and the nice gentleman, but the script is completely different.

What was the reason behind shooting a major part of YPD 2 in the UK?
YPD 1 was set in Punjab because it plot required it to be. Our target this time, however, was a very rich UK-based Indian. The shoot was lovely, despite it being extremely cold. The beautiful locales and the warmth of the people kept us going. In fact, we never even felt that we were away from home.

Being the producer of YPD1 and YPD 2 are you thinking of continuing the franchise with its third sequel?
We are toying with the idea of going in for a third part and are intending for it to be much better and bigger than this. But we first have to look at audience’s response to YPD 2.

Do you think you have been given your due by the industry?
Honestly. I don’t think I have and I also know that I will never get it. The fault is mine actually because I have never asked for it. I don’t have PROs, neither do I know how to develop networks. Perhaps, I am unfit to get my dues.

There was a time when you were among the top ten most handsome men in the world. How did you react to that?
I was naturally excited, but still found it hard to believe. I always wondered how I could be one of the ten most handsome men in the world, since I was always dissatisfied with the way I looked on screen. I would constantly ask my directors for retakes, insisting that the angle was not making me look my best.

At 78, how do you feel?
I know that age is catching up with me, but I actually am quite young at heart. I understand that life has to come to an end, and everyone has to go. There have been ups and downs, but I have never allowed myself to get frustrated. Similarly, I did not allow success to get to my head. We become actors to be loved and admired, and I am lucky to have been showered by the love and admiration of my fans. In fact, I need to give some of it back to the people who have loved me unconditionally.

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