"Stories are influenced by what’s happening in our society."
Bobby Deol has responded to the criticism Animal is receiving for portraying toxic masculinity.
The film has been a box office success but it has divided audiences.
While viewers praised the acting performances, others have been critical of certain elements, including misogyny and toxic masculinity.
Reacting to the criticism, Bobby said:
“I am an actor who wants to play characters.
“I am not out there promoting anything. I do roles which challenge me. What is storytelling? Stories are influenced by what’s happening in our society.
“It’s just that people don’t want to talk about those things because they want to believe that doesn’t exist. I am just an actor trying to entertain.
“Box office collections itself says that people are loving it.”
Audiences have been especially praiseworthy towards Bobby, who plays the villainous Abrar in Animal.
The actor has been left overwhelmed, saying:
“I cannot understand how to process this.
“As an actor, you are always waiting for that moment when you get recognition, it is like a dream.
“God has been kind. Hard work turns into luck. I always had self-belief, I knew I had so much to give.
“Thanks to my director Sandeep Reddy Vanga for changing my life.”
One viral video showed Bobby breaking down after leaving a Mumbai theatre.
He told Hindustan Times: “Imagine you waited for an opportunity in your life to happen, it’s been long.
“And you have been working hard too. Anybody in my place would break down.
“The passion I have for my work, the love I have for my industry… I didn’t know how to control my emotions.”
Although Bobby Deol only had 15 minutes of screen time, fans loved his presence.
“I was sitting in my house one day and got a message from Sandeep. I wasn’t sure it was him, so I asked my manager to check.
“When I called him, he wanted to meet and then showed me a picture of me from my cricket league days, when I wasn’t working at all.
“I couldn’t believe that an out of job picture got me work. He is a genius. I knew I only had to shoot for 15 days, and I was mute on top of that!”
Other celebrities have given their thoughts on Animal.
Indian cricketer Jaydev Unadkat called the film a “disgrace” for glorifying misogyny. On the other hand, Anurag Kashyap defended Animal.