CHENNAI: The trailers of Cabaret are creating a buzz, especially for Gulshan Devaiah and Richa Chadda’s passionate kissing sequence. After hitting the headlines with Shaitaan (2011), Hate Story 2 (2014) and Hunterrr (2015), Gulshan Devaiyah talks about doing intimate sequences, the turning point in his career and being slotted as a serial kisser.
Has Hunterrr proved to be the turning point in your career?
I have definitely benefited a lot from Hunterrr. Before the film, my roles were more on the negative-aggressive side. Hunterrr changed the perspective because I did a comic role and people accepted both the film as well as me. I would like to thank all my fans, and also those who are not but will be my fans soon.
Were you largely offered erotic films after Hunterrr?
Yeah, loads of them! Almost 80% of the scripts I read were erotic. If something catches people’s attention, they feel like, “Oh! This guy is really great at that”. Earlier, after Shaitaan, I got offered roles about crazy guys. But I resisted the temptation and tried to do something unexpected and different. I am not against doing a particular kind of role if the script is fabulous, but I don’t want to be limited only to that. I feel I have much more to offer and explore.
How different is your character in Cabaret from your previous releases?
In all my films till now, I have played comic, negative and aggressive roles. But in this film, I play the proper good guy who’s troubled and an alcoholic. I play Gaurav Garewal, a promising investigative journalist whose life spirals downwards. At this point, he meets Roza (Richa Chaddha), a famous dancer, and they fall in love. There is a thriller aspect to the film surrounding her life and Gaurav finds purpose in his life as he tries to solve the mystery.
The kissing scene with Richa is very passionate. Were you comfortable acting it?
I am comfortable if the actor working with me is comfortable. It’s really important to trust each other. You take care of your co-actor while doing these scenes or else they won’t commit to it; and if they don’t, the illusion shatters and the audience feels it’s fake. When you do intimate scenes, you have to go through so many takes that after a while it becomes boring and technical. But many people think it’s fun. Someone said to me, ‘You must have had good fun while shooting Hunterrr!’ But it’s not fun, it’s our work. Film-making is a craft. Maybe it’s fun for some people, but for Richa and me, it was our job to make the kissing scene look passionate and real; and I think we were able to do that. There are difficulties and nervousness when you start for the first time, but I think both of us were experienced enough to go beyond that.
An actor’s job is to live out intimate feelings in front of the crew. It requires a great deal as an actor, whether to cry in front of a camera with many other people watching, or to do such intimate scenes. We imagine that nobody is watching us, but there are people on the set. Also it is the responsibility of the director to provide a conducive environment.
Since you are married, does it take a toll on your relationship?
Not at all! My wife knows that it’s my job. Besides, she is an actor herself. I think if you are insecure in your relationship, such things may become an issue. We share a bond of trust.
Would you like to take the serial kisser tag from Emraan Hashmi?
He can have it, that’s fine. I don’t want it. I’m not trying to steal any tag from anybody. But if people want to call me that, it’s cool. He is a very well established star and if I am being compared to him, I really don’t mind. As long as I know who I am and don’t get lost in these comparisons, it’s fine with me.
You seem to have impressed producer Pooja Bhatt. She has also cast you in Love Affair with Kalki.
After Cabaret’s release, they will take a call on Love Affair, which also has Kalki and Ali Fazal, and one of the best scripts I have read. I am waiting to reunite with Kalki (after Shaitaan), as she is one of my best friends and one of the best actors I have worked with.
Any other projects?
Vivek Agnihotri’s Junooniyat will be released next month, but I have a very small guest appearance. I have also finished shooting for Konkona Sen Sharma’s first directorial venture, A Death In The Gunj. I have also completed Candy Flip and have shot one schedule of Pichar.