Bala treats each actor differently: Gulshan

Gulshan Devaiah plays a double role in ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’.

Gulshan Devaiah is probably one of the most versatile actors we have in the industry. He is recognised for his role in films ‘Shaitan’ and ‘Hunterrr’.

His role as Psycho Jimmy and Karate Mani ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ has been well-received and appreciated by critics and fans.

In a candid chat with Anila Kurian, Gulshan spoke about working in the film and more.

You’ve always been known for playing experimental roles. Is your role in ‘Mard...’ similar?

I started theatre at a young age, and I worked on all different kinds of plays.
My craft to act definitely came from the theatre. I do believe that I have the diversity and versatility as an actor and that’s what I try to do; I try to see how I can spread myself through these roles. That’s been my goal from the very beginning.

What are the five things you cross off on your list before you take up a film?

I need to know how engaging the script is — you get a fair idea within the first
20 pages. The role offered to me and how well I can play it. I also like to build a rapport with the director and ensure that we can get along; it’s alright if we don’t agree on things, communication should be clear. If you’re lucky, you will get to work with some interesting actors and most importantly, how good this film is for my career.

What was the brief given to you by director Vasan Bala?

Bala does not give briefs. He gives you the script and lets you interpret it. He actually directs each actor differently. There’s definitely a comfort level as we have worked with each other before. We discussed a lot about scenes, characters and so on. Many times, there’s an exchange of ideas and references which helped with the final output.

The last time you came to Bengaluru for a movie promotion, you had a cane and braces on your knees. You had a surgery too. How was work after that?

It was such a relief! I had made up my mind that I will take care of my leg and health, but the time frame that I thought I would give was 8 to 10 months. It was just too much time to not work. So, Bala came as a saviour and offered this role to me. I realised that though I am good at other things, being an actor is the only thing I do.

Would you say that this is your best performance?

No way. I have definitely done better work. I rate my performance on how efficient I am on sets. Having said that, ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ is the most important film for me. It gave me the confidence that I can do difficult things and do them well.

You’ve been in the industry for a decade now. If you could go back to the 2011 self, what would you tell him?

I’d tell him not to be scared. I was a good hustler, but I wasn’t prepared for everything that came with it. I didn’t know how to channelise the attention that I was received. I didn’t know how to present myself during interviews; I hate being myself in front of the camera. I was just scared.

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Bala treats each actor differently: Gulshan

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