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Measuring success by novelty, not numbers

Updated on: 21 October,2023 07:04 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Priyanka Sharma |

Following up Dahaad and Guns & Gulaabs with Duranga 2, Gulshan Devaiah on chasing versatility over commercial success

Measuring success by novelty, not numbers

Gulshan Devaiah

Building a diverse filmography—that’s what Gulshan Devaiah worked towards since the beginning of his career. He hoped the dividends of pursuing art for art’s sake would follow. This turned out to be the year when his choices were rewarded, as he won glowing reviews for Dahaad and Guns & Gulaabs. The actor hopes to continue the streak with Duranga’s second season. “I was always a confident actor, and it’s in my personality to try different things. But it takes time for these things to pay dividends. You can’t bet today and get returns the next day. You have to patiently curate your career and make risky choices. People organically started noticing [my talent],” he says. 

Gulshan Devaiah and Drashti Dhami in Duranga 2Gulshan Devaiah and Drashti Dhami in Duranga 2

Devaiah is aware that taking the less-trodden path in the industry has entailed risking immediate commercial success. But it’s a gamble he has taken in his stride. “I wish Hunterrr [2015] had made at least Rs 50 crore at the box office; my career would have been different. [But] there are various definitions of success. People noticing diversity in my choices is a success. At the same time, your films making money for other [stakeholders] is also a form of success that empowers you. Unfortunately, everybody talks about box office these days. You have to accept that this is how it is,” he explains. 

But as he looks forward to the second season of the crime drama, and Ulajh with Janhvi Kapoor, the actor is hopeful that his conviction will continue to triumph over the pressure to pursue mainstream cinema. “My career is moving in a positive direction. I am not chasing numbers, but I am aware how important they are. They have value in an actor’s career. People tell me to choose commercial entertainers. Recently, a fan said I should do conventional romantic films. As long as these things aren’t affecting me negatively, I am good.”

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