I choose the story first and then think about the character: Gurmeet
His image in the industry, his relationship with the director and the gut feeling he has about the film, cozily formed premise for a heart-to-heart conversation with Gurmeet Choudhary.
Ranging from his preference between television and films, to his style of choosing roles, the TV sensation who has made a mark in the film industry spoke to Pandolin about his most recent venture, Wajah Tum Ho and more.
Tell us something about the film and your role in it.
Wajah Tum Ho is quite different from the other films that Vishal Pandya (Director) has made so far. He is a filmmaker that I have always looked up to. I had loved both Hate Story 2 and 3. In fact, I think they were good films and it is not easy for two good films to see the day at the box office back-to-back. When I first met him, I went up to him and told him that I would really like to work with him. The person that he is, he just smiled and nodded. Quite some time passed after the incident, and it was in January this year that he called me again. He said that he is working on a new story and if I would be interested in working with him.
I said yes, without even a second thought, but he insisted that I hear the story since it was not a sequel but a stand-alone film. I called him for a narration, and I mentioned to him specifically that I wanted to know the whole story, and not just my part. He did that, and I was bowled after the narration. I stood up and gave him an applause. It was more than clear that I was doing it.
Wajah Tum Ho is an unusual story and yet is in that genre of an exotic thriller
You said you wanted to hear the story and not just about your own character. Is that your general approach while choosing a film?
Yes, definitely. As actors, you get biased once you hear about the character that you are going to play. You look at the whole story and the entire screenplay from the eyes of your character. You judge the story basis whether there is meat in your role, whether your character is important etc. And in a situation like this, you lose perspective of the actual weightage of the story. So I keep my judgement intact by choosing the story first, and then thinking about the character. Also, I feel this is what is going to be the way going forward. The audience these days only wants to see good content. You cannot cheat or fool them, you will get caught. Therefore, I try to make sure that all the films I do are built on good stories.
Like you mentioned, you put content over everything else. Is this one of the reasons you took the plunge from TV to the big screen?
Everyone who comes to Mumbai to be an actor, comes here to star in films. And that is the dream that I came here with as well, to feature in movies. But easy as it sounds, there are lakhs of actors who share the same dream. It is, obviously then, not easy. So you have to start somewhere. The late Mr. Yash Chopra told me this when I met him early on in my career. He said never undermine the power of television, it will help you start with something and will eventually lead you to films. And that is what is happening now, and I can’t even express the gratitude that I feel towards him.
Honestly, even this wasn’t easy. Every time I went in front of the camera, during any of my shows, I gave my hundred percent. At the back of my mind I always had the thought, ‘May be this shot will get me a film’. This is what always kept me inspired, and here I am. Perhaps that is what has got me here.
You have been typecast in intense roles. How comfortable are you with that?
To be honest, I really don’t mind it. I feel grateful that the audience has accepted me in some role at least. I know whenever there is a requirement for an ‘angry young man,’ I’ll be the first one to get a call. Specially so if there is a romantic side to the character. I have made my peace with that and I sort of enjoy it. At times it is good to be associated with a certain kind of role, because you carve your own niche at that and you know that for that kind of a role, you will be the first preference.
Everyone who comes to Mumbai to be an actor, comes here to star in films
What do you think should draw the audience to the film?
This is the first time that a live murder is being shown on screen. Wajah Tum Ho is a really unusual story and yet is in that genre of an exotic thriller. I think the audience will come in just for its content. And I am quite confident that they will go back satisfied. From all the experience and judgement I have, because I saw the final cut recently with my wife, I think that it will be a film that will make everyone think. And that in itself is an achievement.