Actor Gulshan Devaiah is best known for his roles in 'Shaitan', 'Hate Story', 'Ram-Leela' among many others. The versatile actor is now prepping up for his next 'Hunterrr', a film which is being mistaken as sex-comedy! In a candid conversation, Gulshan talks about his film, working with three actresses - Radhika Apte, Sai Tamhankar & Veera Saxena, his upcoming films and more. Read onâ€¦
'Hunterr' is being mistaken as a sex comedy. What do you have to say about it?
It will work in the favour of the film because more people will come to watch the film as they think it is a sex comedy. The problem is of the word association. The moment we say it's a sex comedy, one feels there might be jokes on sex or double meaning dialogues. But our film is not about that. It is a simple story of Mandar Ponkshe and his sex life. It is a coming of age film. You could classify it as sex comedy but we would prefer not to.
What attracted you to sign up 'Hunterr'?
I loved Mandar Ponkshe's character and it reminded me of Amol Palekar. Not that I was a great admirer of his films, but I liked him as an actor. I loved the kind of films he did. There was a period in 70s wherein there was this wave of commercial cinema which highlighted middle class stories. On one hand we had Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and others playing the larger than life characters, whereas on the other hand we had actors like Amol Palekar, Farooque Sheikh and others playing real characters. So this film reminded me of it. It had lot of relatability for me.
Are you open to doing sex comedies?
Before 'Hunterr' happened, I was offered many films, which can be termed as out and out sex comedies, the way people would perceive it generally. I didn't want to do it because it is not my sensibility as an actor.
You have been part of numerous films but it was with 'Ram-Leela' that you gained popularity. Do you think that film was your turning point?
No, the turning point in my career was 'Shaitan'. And I knew that this is going to be a make or break film for me, when I was signing it. Surprisingly, more people recognized me from 'Hate Story' than 'Ram-Leela', although the latter was a much bigger release. So I think 'Shaitan' was the real turning point.
'Hunterr' has three actresses - Veera Saxena, Radhika Apte & Sai Tamhankar. How was it working with them since all come from different background?
All three come from different background and sensibilities. Veera was debuting with the film but she had the capability of becoming a fine actor. She is my favourite because we discovered lot of things. She is an amazing and a beautiful actress. Sai was an established star in Marathi industry and we were slightly surprised when she agreed to do this film. I knew her reputation and even Harshvardhan was skeptical about her. But she willingly accepted the role and really wanted to do this character. Radhika is a friend and it is always easy to work with a friend. I have seen more of her plays than films and was secretly hoping to work with her.
Did you face any awkward moment while shooting for 'Hunterrr'?
Yes there were a few. While I was shooting in Pune, there were people who were curious to know who the hero was. When they came to I was the hero, their reaction was 'Yehâ€¦ yeh hero hai'. That bruised my ego completely. The second time I felt awkward was during the intimate scenes. Harshvardhan likes to do lot of rehearsals. He made us do full blown rehearsals even of the intimate moments, which was slightly embarrassing. When you are kissing somebody, there is only that much you can kiss and when you do it for hours, it becomes incredibly boring. But of course, it made us comfortable.
Comedy is termed to be a difficult genre. What is your opinion?
Not at all because I have been doing theatre since I was five years old. Short plays, skits, mime shows - I have done it all. And most of them, I think 70% have been comedies, all kinds of comedies - comic comedy, Shakespearean comedy, slapstick comedy etc. I have done imitation shows of Charlie Chaplin. So I don't think it is difficult at all for me as an actor because there is a way to approach it and which I think I have it.
Going with the current censorship scenario, do you think the country is moving towards a regressive nation?
I don't think we are moving towards a regressive nation but I really don't know what they are trying to do. I suppose they have a responsibility and from their point of view, they trying to do something and make a difference. If one has to argue, we would find both kinds of people, one who would agree and disagree. In a country like ours, it is necessary for Censor Board to exist to remind people that they do have social responsibility. Using bad language just for titillation requires censorship.
Anurag Kashyap and Milap Zaveri got into a twitter war recently. What do you have to say about the issue?
It was slightly an older video which Milap must have come across. Anurag is a very passionate man who doesn't mince his words. I don't think he meant it personally towards the director or writer, but the film represents a certain sensibility which Mr. Kashyap doesn't appreciate. That's the point he was trying to make. Sometimes you take names and this is the problems of taking names and also Anurag for some reason, people have started labeling him as a controversial character. He is a very sweet man, sensitive gentleman and it wasn't a personal remark on any of the filmmakers. I think Mr. Zaveri should let it go and not mind it at all.
Lastly, are you feeling the pressure now that the film is nearing its release?
I am not really feeling the pressure. On 19th I might feel the jitters.