This interview is based on the telephonic conversation with Deepak Dobriyal on Sunday, 20th-Sep-2009. Deepak belongs to Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand and now he has established himself in Mumbai as a fine actor. Till now he has acted in movies like Maqbool (2004), Omkara (2006) as Rajju, 1971 (2007) as Flight Lt. Gurtu, Blue Umbrella (2007) as The Electronic Fortune Teller, Shaurya (2008) as Captain Jaaved Khan, Delhi-6 (2009) as Mamdu, 13B (2009) as Ashok, Gulaal (2009) as Bhatti etc. His first movie with prominent role was 1971 although Omkara released first.
I was born in Kabra Village of Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. I like travelling a lot. I love playing sports and listening to music. I usually listen to Garhwali songs when I am out on a long drive.
We are two brothers, of whom I am the elder one. Unfortunately I lost my mother 2 years back. I got married to Lara this year. I have spent initial 4-5 years of my childhood in Pauri Garhwal then we all shifted to Delhi as my father was working there as a government employee.
I did my schooling from Delhi, Bheem Nagri in Hauz Khaas and other schools of Delhi.
About your wife Lara
Lara has done her schooling from Mayo College, Rajasthan and from Sophia college, Mumbai. She has done MASS COM and has worked with American Hollywood director as an assistant director. She also worked with Vishal ji in 'Omkara' and in movie 'Kyoun Ho Gaya Na'. She also does ads.
Acting and you
I did higher studies through correspondence as after passing class 12th I joined full time theatre. I did regular theatre for seven years. For first six years I did theatre with Arvind Gaur in Ashmita and then for one year with Pandit N.K Sharma in Act-One.
I learnt everything from theatre. I must say total involvement is a must. I also learnt from real life by observing other people, by seeing them, by talking to them and by understanding them. I saw lots of theatres and movies also and what all I have understood and learnt from it I try by best to deliver that. Then finally I came to Mumbai and I am here for more than seven years now.
My father was a government employee. No one from our family was into this line. In fact when I came here every one said that I was spoiling my life and career.
First 3-4 years were really tough . I struggled a lot. Initially I worked just to survive. With what all dreams I came to Mumbai were all far from me. I came to Mumbai with a dream to act in such a role where I could show my potentials and showcase the character but situation here was just the opposite. The confidence, which was in me, went down day by day due to the struggle. With time, those days became so harder that I started thinking that my decision of coming to Mumbai was totally wrong.
Big questions regarding survival started coming to my mind. Food, rent, bills the very thought of these things was scary ! Even the photo shoot was a costly affair ! Sometimes I did 2 or 3 days work just to pay my rent and you won't believe till now I have changed 20 to 22 houses!
No, not in this term. The sad part is that no one accepts the fact that we can choose 'Acting' as a career. When I was in Delhi people used to ask me what I do. For them 'Acting' was never a job!. They use to think that 'Acting' is only for those whose family business is this. I was without any kind of such support but I was confident. Although my confidence level fluctuated time to time but I never lost hope.
After a long struggle I finally started getting work. My first serial on television was a real life court case, 'Bhanwar' which was telecasted on Sony. There I realized that acting in front of the audience and acting in front of the camera is totally different. I was not having any experience of camera but soon I learnt it. Then I started getting work in movies too.
'Maqbool', your first movie
Yeah you can say that but prior to that I did few scenes in movie 'Samay' also that I did just to pay my rent. After that I did 'Maqbool', 'Omkara' and 'The Blue Umbrella' with Vishal ji. Then I got prominent roles in 'Delhi 6', 'Shourya', '1971', '13 B' and in 'Gulaal'.
Actually 1971 was my first prominent movie which got released after 'Omkara'. Amrit Sagar gave me this chance. Most of the people in this movie were from theatre. In spite of unfavorable weather condition we managed to shoot that movie. We all worked hard for this and finally got 2 National Awards. This movie is the tribune to our Jawaans. I acted as Flight Lt. Gurtu in this movie.
About movie 'Omkara'
I got 'Omkara' through audition although Vishal ji was waiting for me for this role. I gave one screen test and got finalized for the role. It was a big achievement for me as there were big star cast in that movie. As it was my first star cast movie I was very tense but Saif and Vivek became my good friends on day one itself. I thank Vishal ji for giving me this chance. This movie has entirely changed my life.
Experience working with big starts like Saif Ali, Ajay Devgan, Kareena and Vivek Oberoi.
It was a wonderful experience. When you have not met the people and have only read in the newspaper and magazines about them you make a different picture in your mind. But when you meet them personally then you come to know that they are really wonderful people. If they are stars they have millions of qualities in them to deserve it. Everyone was kind and supportive.
Where you find yourself
I don't dream myself as a big star. What I want is that whatever I do, wherever I go people should appreciate my work. Whoever meets me today, meets me with high respect. I want the same respect and appreciation in future also. Generally a person becomes business minded after getting so much fame . I want to remain as a good actor.
My upcoming movies are 'Daayen Ya Baayen', directed by Bela Negi, 'Mumbai Cutting', directed by Kundan Shah, 'Mad Madder Maddest', 'Tanu weds Manu' and 'Teen They Bhai'.
'Daayen Ya Baayen' is based on Uttarakhand. This movie has been shooted in Nainital, Almora, Munsyari, Ranikhet, Chaukodi and in Bageshwar. It's a hindi movie but the feel and background of the movie is Uttarakhand. The message which we have tried to convey through this movie is that we must not leave our native. This happens generally due to lack of facilities. The need is to concentrate on these areas and to develop them.
Words for aspirng actors
I would like to tell them that joing a theatre immediately after school would be of great help. One gets a chance to learn many things and understand their actual potential. Taking challenge, doing regular practice and working hard is must. Those who are new must do their work sincerely.
About Uttarakhand state
Though I have spent little time in Uttarakhand I feel that entire Uttarakhand is my home. I have never visited that place with a feeling that I am a tourist. Being a 'Pahari' I know how to climb a tree, how to walk in narrow path of hilly land. Wherever a sheep or a goat can go I can reach there as well so you can say that I am 'Pakka Pahari'