This week I was extremely lucky to have the chance to meet a Bollywood legend, the bad man on screen but a gem of a guy Gulshan Grover. To be completely honest I was SO nervous about interviewing this guy whose movies I have grown up watching. Read my interview to find out his current favourite movie, who he thinks is the sexiest actress and his top tips for being a villain!
Apart from you of course, who do you think is the great villain of all time?
To be very honest to play a villain, one has to be an exceptionally fantastic actor and the Indian screen has been very lucky that we’ve had some of the greatest actors who have chosen to be villains: Ajit Saab, Pran Saab, Jeevan Saab, Kanhaiya Laal Ji, Amrish Puri Ji, Prem Chopra Ji, Amjad Khan Ji, Danny Ji, Ranjit Ji – some of these wonderfully talented actors were, at times, far better looking than the heroes themselves but chose to play the bad guy and I’m just someone who inherited, observed, and envibed each one of these villains qualities and what they have created.
It’s hard to choose a favourite as they’re all fabulous so how can you choose? How can you forget Ajit’s demeanour, with the white suit and the ‘lion ke naam; se line how can you forget Amjab Khan and Gabbar Singh or Amrish Puri and Mugambo. They have created an exceptional brand, unfortunately I am the last ‘specialised villain,’ so you can say that the specialised villainry ends with me, but I’m here for another 50 years so don’t worry.
Priya Mulji with Gulshan Grover
Moving on from the great villain, who is the sexiest actress?
It is very difficult but very relative, Katrina is from the UK and she began her career opposite me as my romantic interest in Boom, and also she has been wonderfully fantastic even after Boom and in her scheme of things Boom not being one of her best films, she has been truly fantastic, so Katrina Kaif is very, very beautiful and sexy but I am being very unfair to the rest of them.
What is your favourite film?
I don’t know what it was in the past but presently it is called Beeba Boys. Beeba Boys has some very unique traits. A director (Deepa Mehta) who has directed sensitive films like Fire and the Oscar-nominated Water, is suddenly dealing film a film that has guns, blood and people dying. People getting shot and this director is going to create a different resonance from the sound of the bullets. That resonance will be emotional. So I am looking forward to Beeba Boys and of course I am in Beeba Boys playing the opposition to these Beeba Boys. Every mother thinks their kid is ‘beeba’ and on the streets of Canada, these kids are fascinated by guns, the charm and the glory of crime, the fast cars, the jewellery, the girls, the feeling of power of having a gun in their pocket. And I am the man they aspire to be, Grewal the kingpin who rules the streets of Canada. I am very positive that when people watch it at the London film festival, that it will become their favourite as well.
So, what are your top tips for being a bad guy on-screen?
Right now there is only one tip! You have to be an exceptionally fantastic actor to be a great villain and a good human being
Has playing a villain affected your personal life at all?
It hasn’t affected my personal life but all those great people who play the bad guy are subject to a certain kind of social behaviour as are their families, wives and kids in school. They are subject to a certain way of looking at things. They make these sacrifices, I did too, I allowed people to think about me in a certain way, I am an educated guy and have a masters in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce and a formally trained actor, I am an actor who is one of the first Bollywood actors who has made a transition and created a mud path from Bollywood to Hollywood and I’m proud of the fact that this mud path is being followed and cemented by wonderful actors like Irfan Khan, Amitabh Bachcan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher and so many others but because I play the baddie, many times people look at you in a certain way so yes your life does get affected but it has reduced considerably after people have seen us on television, because when you see that real person, interacted with them, in certain circumstances in social gatherings, so things change and people look at you differently.
I thank Gulshan Grover for his time and giving me this wonderful interview. I can’t wait to see Beeba Boys which is out in October, and hope that it is a huge success.