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Gulshan Devaiah: Want to direct an action film some day

Updated on: 23 August,2022 08:09 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Gulshan, who is seen in a grey role in 'Duranga', on the joy of playing eccentric characters and his directorial aspirations

Gulshan Devaiah: Want to direct an action film some day

Gulshan Devaiah

After toying with fashion, Gulshan Devaiah quit the field to experiment with acting. It has been a thrilling ride since then. He doesn’t know what the future holds, but he is enjoying the present, relishing the diverse roles. If ZEE5’s 'Duranga' sees him essay the role of a serial killer, he plays a strait-laced teacher in MXPlayer’s Shiksha Mandal. In a conversation with mid-day, Devaiah talks about his eccentric tag, his future plans, and playing the good guy for a change.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

You don’t fit into the regular mould of an actor, going by your projects. Has it been a conscious decision to keep surprising yourself?
I am conscious of what I don’t want to do. [The idea is] to keep trying different roles. If I am true to myself, I will keep trying new things until I feel like I am done.

Do you think there will be a day when you’ll feel like you are done?
Most definitely. When I was doing theatre and realised one day that I was not having fun anymore, I stopped. There is a strong possibility of that happening [laughs].

Gulshan Devaiah in Duranga
Gulshan Devaiah in Duranga

Do you feel typecast in eccentric roles?
You end up getting similar offers after a project. After 'Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota' [2018], I was often offered quirky characters, and villainous roles after 'Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela' [2013]. But it is up to me whether I wish to take it up or not. 

Also Read: Exclusive! Gulshan Devaiah: The business model of theatrical release is the most difficult

What was your approach to the role in Duranga?
I found the character intriguing because I didn’t know how to play it. Then I discussed some ideas with the directors [Pradeep Sarkar and Aijaz Khan] and Goldie [Behl, showrunner]. Once they gave me the go-ahead, it felt like a good idea.

Were you surprised watching yourself in the series?
I haven’t watched it yet, but mostly it is terrifying to see yourself on screen. I enjoy as well as don’t enjoy watching myself. It is quite exciting to see the character unfold the way you have envisioned it. [But at the same time], it is impossible not to be critical of your own performances. I try not to be too hard on myself.

A similar character was attempted in Ek Villain. How different is Duranga?
I have no idea about Ek Villain [2014] since I haven’t watched it. Duranga is an adaptation of the Korean show, Flower of Evil, which has been sufficiently changed to suit the Indian psyche. It is an exciting and entertaining thriller.

The show has a twisted theme. How dark is too dark for you?
Of late, I haven’t watched any content that is too dark [laughs]. We’ve emerged from the light-hearted [content] and can explore slightly darker concepts. Having said that, I don’t think 'Duranga' is dark. It is a thriller and has some psychological elements.

Also Read: Bombay Bol: Gulshan Devaiah explains city's lingo

After playing eccentric characters in your projects, how different is it to play an all-white part in Shiksha Mandal?
In the show, I play a teacher, which is something I have done briefly. I took my job seriously and enjoyed it. I believe I was quite good at it, my students said so. So, I connected [with the role]. It is about a regular person who has to deal with unpleasant circumstances. It was a nice change for me to play the good guy.

What did you teach?
I have graduated in fashion. So, I used to briefly teach fashion for two to three years. I enjoyed it, then I started to not give a s**t about my classes. I started showing up unprepared for classes. That’s when I decided that it was time to quit because it was not fun anymore.

If you had to make another career switch, what would that be?
I haven’t thought of it. Maybe I will try to tell a story or direct a film, or maybe go back to fashion. Some people have suggested direction, but I don’t know if they were serious or making fun of me based on all the suggestions I keep giving directors [laughs]. I do have some far-fetched ideas, but I am not ready [for direction]. I want to direct an action film someday, but I want to do it without using any of the usual tropes. I want to approach it like a drama.

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