Abhay Deol is an Indian actor and producer, who works predominantly in Hindi language films. Born in the influential Deol family of the Hindi cinema, he began acting at a young age in theater productions at his school. Deol made his on-screen debut in 2005 with Imtiaz Ali’s romantic comedy Socha Na Tha.
After the modest success of his debut, Deol garnered praise for his performances in films including Manorama Six Feet Under (2007), which won him the Best Actor Award at the Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival, and the commercially successful Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008). His breakthrough role came in 2009 with the starring role as Dev in Anurag Kashyap’s critically and commercially successful Dev.D, a modern-day adaptation of the Bengali classic novel Devdas. With the success of the film, Deol gained wider recognition and further praise from film critics.
Deol mainly appeared in independent films early in his career, but that changed in 2011 when he starred in Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a road film that went to become one of the highest-grossing films in Bollywood. His performance in the film was well received, and earned him his first nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. Deol has since appeared in commercially successful films including the drama film Raanjhanaa (2013), and the romantic comedy Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016), while simultaneously working in independent films including the drama Road, Movie (2010) and the war film Chakravyuh (2012).
Deol continuously garners attention for his portrayal of complex characters on screen, and is vociferous in his support for parallel cinema in India. He has often been labelled as a nonconformist or an unconventional actor by Indian media. Deol owns a production company, Forbidden Films which was established in 2009. In addition to his acting career, he is also an active philanthropist and supports various NGOs.
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