Abhay Deol

  • Actor, Producer

Mar 15, 1976  in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Also Known as: Dimpy, Abhay Singh Deol

No ads

One of the most influential names in independent cinema in Bollywood, Abhay Deol belongs to a rare group of actors who achieved mainstream success through offbeat movies. An acting career that began with the Imtiaz Ali rom-com Socha Na Tha (2005) has since flourished through a number of brilliant performances in path-breaking movies, among which are Manorama Six Feet Under (2007), Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008), Dev.D (2009), Road, Movie (2010) and Shanghai (2012).

But the versatile actor`s repertoire is not just restricted to parallel cinema or indie movies or a particular genre, and he has been equally compelling in movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Raanjhanaa (2013). In addition to acting, Abhay also owns a production company named Forbidden Films, which was founded in 2009.

Born in Chandigarh, Punjab into a Jat Sikh family to producer and director Ajit Singh Deol, and Usha Deol, Abhay is the nephew of the celebrated actor Dharmendra. He is the first cousin of Sunny, Bobby, Esha and Ahana Deol. He completed his graduation from Mumbai University and was actively involved with theater groups since his childhood. Before venturing into the world of entertainment, Abhay headed to Los Angeles to study Fine Arts and also did a two-year course in acting.

Abhay Deol was reportedly in a relationship with model-turned-actress Preeti Desai. The couple had been living in together since 2011 and had never shied away from openly accepting their relationship. However, they parted ways in 2015 for reasons unknown.

Popular director Imtiaz Ali launched Abhay Deol in his maiden directorial film Socha Na Tha opposite Ayesha Takia in 2005. Produced by his uncle Dharmendra, the film received a mixed response at the box office. In 2007, he starred in Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd with an ensemble cast which included Minissha Lamba, Amisha Patel, Boman Irani, Shabana Azmi, Raima Sen, Diya Mirza and Ranveer Shorey. Directed by Reema Kagti, the movie fared well critically and commercially. His subsequent release Manorama Six Feet Under was a thriller film with Raima Sen and Gul Panag. The film didn`t do well commercially but was a critical success.

In 2008, he played the leading role in Dibakar Banerjee`s Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. This Bollywood black comedy film was inspired by Devinder Singh alias Bunty, a real-life "super-chor", originally from Vikaspuri, Delhi. Abhay then played the titular role in Dev D, a modern-day take on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay`s classic Bengali novel Devdas. Directed by Anurag Kashyap, Dev. D garnered widespread acclaim for its unique style of storytelling. Along with Abhay Deol, the film also starred Mahie Gill and Kalki Koechlin in lead roles.

In 2011, Abhay starred in the runaway hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, co-starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin. Abhay played the role of Kabir, an architect who along with his friends sets off on a trip to Spain. In 2012 and 2013, Abhay Deol starred in Shanghai and Raanjhana respectively. Both the movies opened to positive reviews and his performances were praised by the critics and the audience alike.

In 2014, Abhay produced and starred in the romantic comedy One by Two, which proved to be a disappointment both critically and commercially. However, the actor registered a strong comeback in 2016 with the well-received romantic comedy Happy Bhag Jayegi, where he starred alongside Diana Penty. In 2018, Abhay starred in the romantic comedy Nanu Ki Jaanu, which was based on the Tamil gothic horror movie Pisaasu (2014). The film received mixed to positive review upon its release. In the same year, the actor appeared in a cameo in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Zero (2018), which was directed by Aanand L. Rai.

Among Abhay`s other recent projects are the crime drama Line of Descent (2019), the Kollywood fantasy movie Idhu Vedhalam Sollum Kathai (2019) and Hero (2019).