It was a conscious decision that Abhay took of not venturing into the territory of Deols and the formula-driven films as a whole.
"It wasn't only a decision of not doing films that they (Deols) do but of the industry as I could not relate to formula films... that had nothing to do with my family. It's the industry that makes formula films, not my family,"he said.
As he treaded an unusual path, the journey was not easy.
"It wasn't easy because I was doing non-formula films. And that's why I had five films with debut directors back to back. Those who were in the system could have afforded a change, but they were perpetuating it further by keeping it going, why would they want change?"
"The only person who wanted changes were from outside and it was hard for them. As an outsider it's much tougher to raise money, market, distribute the film... there was one difficulty after another. But I am happy to have reached here," he added.
Abhay has silenced his detractors by proving his versatility with films like Dev D, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Shanghai.
"I would like to thank them (who did not believe in him). It was because of them that I suppose things were difficult. And it was due to this difficulty that things were resolved," Abhay said.
Now with Prakash Jha's forthcoming film Chakravyuh, Abhay is in for some real action, synonymous with Deols. So the comparisons are inevitable.
"The comparison with the family will be there as people feel it is an action film, people expected me to do this (action) but I didn't. When I entered the industry I knew there will be comparisons... after I did seven-eight films it started to slow down. But now again I am compared with them. I am used to it," he said.
'Chakravyuh' explores the Naxal problem, with Abhay essaying the role of a young rebel without a cause that changes him forever.
The film will see Manoj Bajpayee and newcomer Anjali Patil essaying the role of Naxalite leaders. Om Puri plays the role of a professor, while Arjun Rampal and Esha Gupta will be seen playing the role of courageous police officers. The film is up for release on October 24.