He loves dark humour and likes to keep people guessing what his next film will be. Maverick actor Abhay Deol has now signed on for political thriller Shanghai and he says he plays "not a very nice man".
"I look for stuff that perhaps is not seen before in our industry, (if) there is some form of reality in it... I love dark humour; so it'll be nice if there is some form of undercurrent humour. Also I like variety to be thrown in so that people keep guessing what my next one will be like. I try to do that," Abhay told IANS in an interview.
But the main reason he's doing Shanghai is director Dibakar Banerjee, with whom Abhay has worked earlier in critically and commercially acclaimed Oye Lucky Lucky Oye.
"I've worked with Dibakar before and we have always discussed working together again. He had kind of mentioned this film long ago and the case was that whenever he is ready he should tell me so that I can see my dates and everything. I didn't even read the script to say yes," Abhay said candidly.
And the actor, who is yesteryear's hero Dharmendra's nephew, can't stop praising the filmmaker.
"I love the kind of work that Dibakar does. He is a genius and a smart guy. In his films, he defines the culture for its finer aspects as opposed to whatever is obvious. He has his own way and that's what I like," Abhay said.
Shanghai is an official Hindi adaptation of political thriller "Z" written by Greek novelist Vassilis Vassilikos on the assassination of a politician. It has been adapted by Banerjee, who has made it relevant for Indian audiences.
The film will also star Emraan Hashmi and goes on the floor in April.
Talking about his role, Abhay said: "I don't know much about my role. I know that he is not a very nice man and this character gives Emraan's character a tough time."
"It's a political thriller essentially. I have an idea of what I'm going to do with the character, but it's not something that I have defined yet because we will start shooting in April.
"In the next few months I'm going to get a better definition of this character and Dibakar will also have a say in how he wants me to play this character," the 34-year-old added.
So will he be reading the book on which the film is based?
"I don't think it's important to read the book because I have read the script. The book was written in the 1950s and Dibakar has taken the politics of the day and made it relevant to our country.
"What's more important is to know what is happening in our country today and how businesses are being set up... How economies are being used or abused. With that understanding I'll be able to play my character better," Abhay said.
The female lead of the film hasn't been decided yet and the film is being made on a budget of approximately Rs.30 crore (Rs. 300 million).
Abhay, who entered Bollywood with the low-key Socha Na Tha in 2005, has endeared himself to audiences with offbeat films like Dev D, Manorama Six Feet Under, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, and Aisha.