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Gulshan Devaiah upbeat about first film as lead protagonist

Having been a part of ensemble casts in most of his on-screen outings, actor Gulshan Devaiah has finally stepped into the territory of a protagonist for the first time in his upcoming film "Hunterrr".

Gulshan Devaiah
Gulshan Devaiah

The 36-year-old actor has not just landed the lead role but also a chance to shed his villainous image with the Harshwardhan Kulkarni-directed comedy about a boy and his obsession with sex and women.

"I have mostly been part of ensemble casts. I had the opportunity of playing a lead in 'Hate Story' but it was a negative role. Harshwardhan saw something in me which a lot of people didn't see," Gulshan told PTI during a recent visit here.

The actor, who had starred in films like "That Girl In Yellow Boots", "Shaitan", "Hate Story" and " Ram Leela", said he may have been getting similar roles but he does not blame anyone for it.

"Of course, you get tired of doing the same kind of roles, but I don't blame the system for that. I have been doing theatre since I was 5. I have done all kinds of plays. I have grown up doing Shakespeare, slapstick comedies etc. I feel as an actor my craft is quite versatile or I can be versatile," he said.

Gulshan said he is happy "Hunterrr" came his way. When the film was offered to me, it was nothing new for me. People like Harsh looking at me differently is more important to me than trying to do something different," he said.

In "Hunterrr", Gulshan has channelled yesteryear actor Amol Palekar and his mannerisms to portray Mandar Ponkshe, a regular guy, who has a unusual, excessive lust for women. The actor said the moment he got the script, he instantly knew that taking cues from Palekar would be apt for this middle class character.

"We met and Harshwardhan asked me to read the script and get back. I read it and one thing kept coming back to my mind that the character, the mannerisms is what Mr Palekar played in the '70s. I told him that this guy has to be like that, have that middle-classness. Like Mr Bachchan was the angry young man, Palekar was like the average young man. Right from the time I got the script I had a grip on the character."

"Hunterrr" also stars Radhika Apte, who plays Gulshan's lovw interest.

"They are a complete mismatch. Trupti is pretty and smart while Mandar is ordinary. This difference between them creates an intrigue for their story."

Gulshan said he is happy to be a part of the film industry at a time when content driven films are being made. He hoped that the recent success of films like "Badlapur", "Dum Lagake Haisha" and "NH10" will encourage people to go and watch "Hunterrr".

"There's a very good lineup of films. From 'Badlapur' to 'Byomkesh'. Once there is a good film then it is like a chain reaction. I hope it continues for our film as well. It's a wonderful time for cinema. Different types of films are being made with different sensibilities and stories. I am fortunate," he said.

Post the release of "Hunterrr" this Friday, Gulshan will start shooting Soni Razdan's "Love Story" with Kalki Koechlin and Ali Fazal, followed by "Cabaret" and an indie film set in Goa.

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