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Acting is a lonely job, says Gulshan Devaiah

Last seen in Hate Story, he’s playing a pivotal role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next. CS caught up with him for a chat.

Gulshan Devaiah

Animal kingdom
I don’t have formal training in acting but I’ve worked extensively in theatre so I have some understanding of what’s really required on the sets. As a part of my homework, I associate the character I’m playing with animals. Acting is a lonely job and whatever you learn, know and apply comes from you. It can’t possibly emanate from anyone else. The traits of a sheep are distinct from the traits of a wolf. And the role at hand decides who I’m going to be.

Many shades of grey
I have consciously opted for roles that challenge me. I’m not scared of being stereotyped as it’s not up to me to control others’ perception. But what’s within my control is the arena that encompasses a rolling camera and my skills. I’d love to play a full-on romantic hero someday soon but who’s in a hurry anyway?

Bagging the best
I bagged a pivotal role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film because of a weird reason: I don’t own a vehicle. So, I walk around a lot in Versova. Shruti Mahajan, the casting agent of the film happens to live in my locality and had apparently seen me ambling around. She suggested my name to Bhansali as she had seen my previous films. Fortunately or unfortunately, the director hadn’t. So she called me asking me whether I’d be interested to play the main villain in SLB’s film. It was the best call I ever received.

Cinema no bar
People often tend to take a leaning to a particular set of films or a peculiar genre of their own. In my case, I find taking sides tedious as I enjoy all sorts of cinema. I have the sensibility to appreciate the aesthetics of a Ship of Theseus and the madness to enjoy the brazenness of a Dabangg. What you like or don’t like is your personal preference but having an opinion without even knowing what a film is all about is something I don’t subscribe to.

Mumbai meri jaan
It’s been a little more than five years since I moved to Mumbai and unlike others, I felt at home from day one. I knew that this city is made for me. My life here is neither too fast nor too slow -- just at the perfect pace. I’m not rushing and I’m not sitting bored either so, yes, I’m just happy. The few times I think of Bangalore is when I miss my parents or when the IPL is going on (smiles). 

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