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Gunaah actor Gashmeer Mahajani: ‘I don’t have an entourage’

Updated on: 18 June,2024 07:06 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Claiming that he is respectful of producers’ budgets, Gunaah actor Gashmeer on aiming to give his money’s worth for every project

Gunaah actor Gashmeer Mahajani: ‘I don’t have an entourage’

Gashmeer Mahajani

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Gunaah actor Gashmeer Mahajani: ‘I don’t have an entourage’

Even though he is miles away in Romania, Gashmeer Mahajani is constantly keeping tabs on the audience’s response to his latest release, Gunaah. During the day, the actor is busy shooting for Khatron Ke Khiladi 14 (KKK), and by night, he is transported to the world of the Disney+ Hotstar series. But then, multi-tasking has always come easily to him—in his 14-year-career, he has juggled Hindi and Marathi projects. It has afforded him a ringside view of the functioning of both industries. In a recent chat with mid-day, Mahajani talks about juggling the two industries, the rising costs of entourage, and how he goes to the set only with a spot boy in tow.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

How has the response to Gunaah been?
I am loving the audience’s response; [they are talking about it] on X and Instagram. People have also been sending me [congratulatory] messages on WhatsApp. I am missing [witnessing] it in person because I am in Romania shooting for Khatron Ke Khiladi. Usually, after a show, I’d often meet people in my building’s lift or at the gym who would approach me and talk about my show.

Are you watching the episodes as they are releasing?
Yes, every night. I finish my shoot, come back to my hotel room, watch an episode and then hit the sack. We have shot the first season, which is streaming now. I have enjoyed playing this character so much that if the makers plan another few seasons, I wouldn’t say no.

Surbhi Jyoti and Mahajani in GunaahSurbhi Jyoti and Mahajani in Gunaah

With two shows going on, how are you mentally dividing time between both?
KKK is entirely dependent on luck, not only on skill. So, I can multi-task from here. Even if you are the best stuntman in the world, if something goes wrong at that moment [of doing the stunt] or luck is against you, you could fail. While doing such a show, you have to realise that it’s not in your control, so there is no point in stressing over it.

What is your take-away from Gunaah?
I usually don’t learn much from my characters. I believe that an actor lends a lot to the character he plays, unless it is a biopic. With Gunaah, the character is a figment of someone’s imagination. So, to make it real, you have to lend it bits of your personality. One thing about Abhimanyu that stays with me is his goodness. He is a grey character, who then becomes an anti-hero and is on the path of revenge, but every mother will pray for a son like him. There is inherent goodness in him that I feel has been transferred to me. Some tell me that it’s not good to be nice to people. They say if you are too nice, people will take you for a ride. But I suddenly see myself being too nice.

Having worked in Hindi and Marathi entertainment, what is the one thing that each industry lacks?
In Marathi cinema, we are not preparing heroes. We have content, but we need a bit of heroism [that] can create mass appeal. We have to be bigger with our imagination. The breakout time is just around the corner. As for Hindi cinema, I think we lack work ethics and the discipline of working within a stipulated time and controlling budgets. For instance, if you take four days to shoot a scene that actually requires only two days, you are creating a loss for producers.

Recently, producers have highlighted that actors’ entourage costs often burden their productions.
I am sure that happens on a big-scale movie. An actor must evaluate his value as per the revenue he can earn for his producers. However, this is for films that are budgeted beyond R100 crore. Smaller actors also bring their entourage, but they shouldn’t be overpriced. I don’t have an entourage. I have a boy with me, I adjust my fee to incorporate his reimbursement. I do my own make-up. When I went for the KKK promo shoot, they had asked me if my make-up and hair team was coming. If they want to give me extra money, I don’t have a problem with it, but I believe in creating value for both [the actor and producers]. You have to decide your value. Say, I charge you R10, then [I should] earn you a profit of Rs 15.

How has your experience on KKK been so far?
It has been a different experience. You know you have a re-take while doing stunts in films or series. But here, if luck doesn’t favour you, you are gone. Even if you are the world’s best stuntman, you might lose.

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