In this conversation, the actor opens up about his latest ZEE5 series, his acting process and more

In this conversation, the actor opens up about his latest ZEE5 series, his acting process and more

Gulshan Devaiah is all geared up for his upcoming thriller show Duranga on ZEE5. In this official adaption of a successful Korean show Flower Of Evil, Gulshan plays the character of the suspected serial killer Sammit who is chased by his own wife, crime branch officer Ira, played by Drashti Dhami.

In a free-wheeling chat, Gulshan speaks about his acting process, measuring success in the industry, and weighs in on the boycott trend and the South vs North debate.

Tell us something about your upcoming show and the character you play in it.

Duranga is a romantic drama/thriller and I play a character named Sammit, who stays at home and takes care of the house. He is a very reserved character, one who doesn’t really show too many emotions. But you can see that there is something about him that seems a bit off.

After playing multiple characters, is there a lingering fear still when you approach a negative character?

I’m not afraid, but I do turn down a lot of stuff if I feel that the role is similar to what I have done before, or when I feel that I can’t add any new perspective to this negative shape.

How do you choose a character?

What interests me is how detached from me a certain character is. Yes, sometimes I do play characters which are similar to who I am. But the more detached the character is, the more fun there is. While acting, you can be somebody you are not, and get away with it.

As an actor what is your approach to a remake?

I didn’t watch the original Korean drama — I only watched the trailer — because I didn’t want to be influenced by it. If you are remaking something then you should try and have a fresh approach to it. I interpret the text and use my creative imagination, my craft or my life experiences to make it as interesting and authentic as possible.

There will always be comparisons with the original, especially among the fans of the original show. However, winning them over is also a challenge.

Gulshan Devaiah

Gulshan Devaiah
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Do you have a benchmark of success?

I’m on an endless journey. I don’t know how far I will go. Maybe I will get tired and decide that I am done. As long as you are sincere and authentic, and you try to do your best, I think something good should come out of it. There was a time in my life when I thought that being good is not good enough. But maybe being good is good enough.

What is your acting process?

I have a very simple process. It is based on reading the text, trying to have your own interpretation of it, and then building the illusion of the character piece-by-piece in your imagination.

Initially, I used to be a bit more particular and would make a lot of notes in my script. However, I found that to be very detrimental because if there were any changes, it used to throw me off. Now I have decided that it is better to have a sound understanding of who you are playing. If you do that, you will know how the character will behave regardless of the scenario you are put in.

What do you think of the current boycott trends against Hindi films? Does it worry you for your own films?

I do get trolled sometimes for something that I have said, but there doesn’t seem to be any serious hatred towards me. I don’t think I have said or done anything that would disturb the ecosystem. Having said that, I am conscious of the fact that sometimes, something I say might hurt some people and I’m ready to take responsibility for that.

When it comes to the boycott culture or the cancel culture, I think it is useless and nonsensical. It’s an extremity and we shouldn’t be so extreme.

What do you think of the North-South debate?

There are five films that have been successful this year. Four of them were Telugu films, and one of them is a Tamil film. I think too much is made out of it. It is wonderful that cinema from other parts of the country is penetrating the mainstream. It is a really great time for cinema. However, I don’t think this means the end of something. It’s probably the beginning of something new.

How do you think it will change the way Hindi films are made?

We should stop copying trends. The reason why some of these films have worked really well is that they are different. Maybe we are getting a little stale and stagnant with the way we are telling our stories. Perhaps, we can should diversify and tell stories that are not region specific.

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By Dipak

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