Gautam Gulati had a turning point in his career when in 2015, he emerged as the winner of the reality show Bigg Boss 8. Since then, he had been a part of several small projects but he recently had his first big breakthrough in Salman Khan’s Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai. He played the negative character of Girgit, a psychotic villain and one of the henchmen for Randeep Hooda’s antagonist portrayal.
In an exclusive conversation with Spotboye.com, Gautam gets candid about working on the film, the offers he was getting after winning Bigg Boss 8, the kind of work he is looking for now and more. Read excerpts from the interview:
How has the audience’s reaction been to your role?
The reaction has been very good. People are going online praising me and saying nice things. I haven’t read anything bad written about my work yet. It feels good that after so many years, I did some good work and it’s being appreciated.
You played a dark and negative character in the film. How did it affect you personally?
Actually, it did not. Since childhood, I have been a fan of negative characters and always wanted to do one on similar lines. Now I am more happy and ready for such characters. Since people loved my work, I hope to get more anti-hero or grey shade characters, so that I can impress the audience. I do have some offers with me, but I am waiting for something better, to leave an impact on the audience.
You play one of Randeep’s henchmen in the film, and he has an experience of playing negative characters before. How was your experience of working with him?
When I started working with Randeep, I was intimidated by the fact that he is such a brilliant actor and I would have to share screen with him. But I was in character throughout, and when I am acting, I don’t let these things affect me. I just wanted to show my deadly side and when he used to say lines opposite me, it would be very impactful. He would nod at me and give me cues and validation when we did scenes together and it impacted me in a good way.
We had shot for a big scene together in the film, which didn’t end up being a part of the final cut. I was shirtless in the scene but we forgot that I was shot in the previous scene, and there were certain other issues and eventually that track was cut from the film altogether. But it ended up being a very good scene. We had developed such a good jugalbandi by then that we were understanding each other as actors. We knew when which person had to pick up the scene and it was all done through the eyes. We did not need to even learn the dialogues.
Randeep is an amazingly intense actor and I love that intensity of his. Even if he gives a subtle reaction, you can feel it and that is how an actor should be.
You had earlier shared a story about how you hit Salman by mistake during a scene in Radhe and how he made you feel comfortable after that. What is the importance of such gestures by a big star like Salman, when you are at such an initial phase of your career?
It feels like a dream. What he did for me and how he treated me on set in front of people, how he loved and respected me, more than the film, that was a bigger achievement. He not only gave me a film, but also respected me, gave me a lifelong friendship, and used to sit and eat with me. He treated me so well that I can never forget it. He is so caring and even today when I speak to him, he checks up on me and assures me that we will sign a good and bigger project next. It feels good to have him in my life guiding me and have him as a support. I am always motivated when I speak with him. He pushes you to be your best without asking anything in return.
Salman was there to guide you in the Bigg Boss house and now he guided you through your first big break. How special is it to have him in your life to be a mentor to you?
We were actually meant to meet. Even in Bigg Boss, he was the only one supporting me from outside, while inside everyone was against me. And now in life, there is no one who helped me as such in Bollywood, but he helped me.
If you want to work in Bollywood, you need a little support from someone and Salman bhai did that for me. He noticed that I was capable of doing good work thus he gave me this chance. Nobody did that before for me. And not just him, everyone around Salman bhai is very motivating and positive. The most professional people work on a Salman Khan film and it feels like a celebration working with him.
People who know and work with Salman say that he is like a school in himself. What did you learn from him?
I learnt from him that in personal life if you can help someone without expecting anything in return, you should do it. When you help someone, it makes you feel good and happy. When I help someone, I feel the same. So, after being with him, I have turned more positive and now in future, I won’t think much before helping anyone. Even if it's not anything big, we can help by just giving a smile to someone or giving forgiveness to someone we have had issues with. That is something I have learnt from him.
Your last project was Virgin Bhanupriya and your role there was drastically different from Radhe. How was your experience different in both?
When I feel I can do something different and give something to a character, I say yes to it. In Virgin Bhanupriya, I had a completely different role. He was like a hero who was also funny. It was based on a friend of our director and I had to prepare differently for it. Radhe was a completely different ball game and in future also I want to do something different that can stun the audience.
Winning Bigg Boss 8 was a turning point in your career. It took you six years to reach here and get your big break. Do you feel you are finally getting the work you wanted?
Honestly, I just feel very happy right now. When I won Bigg Boss, I got similar offers like all Colors shows or some films that I don’t even know have released or not. People used to say I had an attitude and I don’t sign projects easily, but the films I said no to didn’t even release anywhere. Whatever I said yes to, at least released and reached the audience.
My whole concern is that a film should be with a good production house, has a good role for me and should be released. Radhe is my biggest release and in future also I hope people believe in me to play impactful roles. I don’t work for money. I have said no to a lot of projects and lost a lot of money because I believe in the kind of work that should be impactful and entertaining.
So, what other offers do you have right now in your kitty?
I have a couple of projects—one web series and two films, that I have to read. But they are not very well produced and I don’t think they are going to release well. So, I am looking for something better that can leave an impact on my audience.
Image Source: Instagram/welcometogauthamcity, spotboye archives
Image Source: Instagram/welcometogauthamcity, spotboye archives
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