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The man's got talent!

Veteran actor Dharmendra is all keyed up to make his television debut.


I myself was a successful candidate of the filmfare talent contest in 1958.

Photo: V.V. Krishnan

Still in the raceDharmendra.

Dharmendra will be finally seen on television to the great satisfaction of his countless admirers. In his usual affectionate voice he answers on telephone from Mumbai, “I will anchor the show, ‘India Has Talent' for Colors Television. It is an interesting show in which young talents from every walk of life will participate and I will be the main judge. The winners of the final round will be rewarded rightly.”

What inspired the evergreen Dharmendra to opt for television? He says, “It is a medium very different from that of cinema. If handled properly, television can reap rich dividends, spread social awareness and even educate people about right values. I was initially reluctant but the concept of the show and its social value inspired me to opt for it. I will continue acting for the big screen and also experiment with television.”

Dharmendra fondly remembers, “I myself was a successful candidate of the Filmfare Talent Contest in 1958 and it was because of Bimal Ray's X-Ray eyes that I received my chance to face the camera. I have still not forgotten those days of my struggle and yearning to become a hero.”

Forthcoming release

There are no full stops for Dharmendra whose last starrer “Yamla Pagla Deewana” along with sons Sunny and Bobby Deol was a hit. He is now awaiting the release of “Tell Me Oh Khuda”, produced and directed by wife Hema Malini in which he performs the character of the father of daughter Esha Deol.

Elaborating on his part in the film, Dharmendra says, “I have a positive role in “Tell Me Oh Khuda” and it was a new experience of working with Esha who is not only spontaneous but a competent actress too! We have some beautiful emotional scenes together and Hema has of course shown her brilliance as a director.”

The actor will soon be producing “Cheers” which will star himself along with Bobby Deol and will be directed by Sangeet Sivan. Explains Dharmendra, “It is a father-son story with a difference and will have an ideal blending of emotion and comedy. We will shoot the film on actual locations of Simla, Chandigarh and New Delhi. We are currently finalising the other cast and credits.”

The promos for “Haqeeqat” (in colour) show Dharmendra like never before, dashing, handsome and confident. He smiles at the mention of his favourite war film, “I still have countless people calling me Captain Bahadur Singh based on my character in ‘Haqeeqat'. It is one of my prominent performances and I am eagerly waiting to view the version in colour.”

He ends on a happy note, “I will be in Kolkata soon for the audition of ‘India Has Talent'. Then I will fly off to Toronto to receive the special award for my 50 years in films at IIFA.”

RANJAN DAS GUPTA

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