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“Hunterrr was originally titled Vaasu” – Gulshan Devaiah

Pic Credit Akshay Sabale

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In most of his films, Gulshan Devaiah has played characters that come across as real. After playing a bad guy in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Goliyon Ki Raas Leela – Ram Leela’ in 2013, he was recently back on the big screen as Mandar Ponkshe, an awkward guy who lacks confidence. Happy with all the accolades coming his way post the release of ‘Hunterrr’, the actor talks about the experience of playing a ‘Hunterrr’, exchanging notes on acting with wife and forthcoming projects.

‘Hunterrr’ has done steady business in its opening weekend at the box office. Your performance has garnered a lot of appreciation. How do you feel?
Well, to be honest I was expecting the movie to do well as it was getting good response from the private screenings we were doing much before the release. Generally my roles have been appreciated by audiences and critics alike but ‘Hunterrr’ has given me the best response so far. It’s a good feeling. It empowers me with loads of confidence and it’s a big step forward for me.

What was your first reaction when you heard the title (‘Hunterrr’) of the movie?
I thought it was a good compromise title because the movie was originally titled ‘Vaasu’. It was confusing and needed too much explaining as it’s a Mumbaiya slang term. ‘Hunterrr’ is a more pan India friendly title.

Hunterrr is your first film as a solo hero? Did you feel any pressure because of that?
Actually ‘Hate Story’ was my first full length leading part and ‘Hunterrr’ is my first protagonist part. There was no pressure whatsoever. Yes, there were some nervous times here and there but nothing serious. I’ve been more stressed about my previous films than ‘Hunterrr’.

Pic Credit Akshay Sabale

You have portrayed different characters in each of your last movies; ‘That Girl In Yellow Boots’, ‘Hate Story’ or even ‘Goliyon Ki Raas Leela – Ram Leela’. Is it your preference to play different characters or are you afraid of being stereotyped?
It’s more my preference than a fear of being typecast. It’s my nature to try and experiment and create some variety. I don’t like to be bound by an image.

Mandar Ponkshe, the character that you play in the film, is someone who is driven by lust. One could have easily despised a character of this nature but he comes across as likeable and even charming. What was the brief given to you about the character?
No brief whatsoever. Humans are more than what they seem. There are layers to one’s personality and character. It’s these layers that make us interesting. We discussed and decided that I am not ever going to play Mandar as a lustful guy. We portrayed him as an immature guy who is deeply insecure about himself. He tries to overcome his insecurities by trying to emulate his cousin (Kshitij; played by Vaibhav Tatwawdi) who in Mandar’s eyes was a total stud. I think Mandar’s sex drive is as normal as anybody else’s or perhaps just a little above average at best. That’s perhaps why he becomes relatable and likeable because he is quite normal.

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