Miles to go before I arrive: Gulshan Devaiah on enjoying ‘underrated’ tag

NEW DELHI: It is nice to be recognised by the audiences as an “underrated” actor, says Gulshan Devaiah, who credits his hard work of a decade for finally getting the roles of his choice.
In the follow up to his critically-lauded dual role in “Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota” and “Ghost Stories”, the actor plays a suicidal loser in Amazon Prime Video’s dark comedy “Afsos”.
“There is a range that I’m trying to explore. It took time but finally it’s happening. A lot of my work in 2019 and now has helped me do that. I’m trying to maintain a variety and people have started recognising that,” Devaiah said in an interview.
The actor hopes that his hard work will help him move in the forward direction.
“I am in no hurry. But it is nice to hear people calling me ‘underrated’ or ‘you deserve better’… I just want this to be in a forward direction. I don’t want to sit in a corner and say ‘I have arrived now’. There are many miles to go before I arrive. Let’s see how far I travel.”
Playing the character of a less than ordinary person can be tricky, the actor said about his latest show, directed by Anubhuti Kashyap and written by Dibya Chatterjee, Anirban Dasgupta and Sourav Ghosh.
“The challenge in playing a character which is unremarkable, not heroic at all, like in the case of Nakul or Mandar Ponkshe (Hunterrr), is that you cannot look bored.
“To make their story interesting, you have to make certain choices as an actor. It should have the right pitch. If the balance is not maintained, the audience loses interest,” he said about Nakul in “Afsos”, a man initially hell-bent on dying but later changes his mind, resulting in chaos.
The show also features Anjali Patil, Heeba Shah, Jamie Alter, Ratnabali Bhattacharjee and Akash Dahiya.
Devaiah said when he heard the story, he found it “bizarre” but was hooked.
“They told me the concept, I liked it and found it bizarre. I did not know how they are going to make it but then we kept meeting for a few days every month. They would keep adding details to my character.”
The actor, best known for his roles in “Shaitan”, “Ram-Leela” and “A Death in the Gunj” among others, knew that it would be difficult to pull off the plot of “Afsos”.
“It needed to be interpreted in a correct way. I told them either it is going to be great or it will be terrible. We are happy that we managed to pull it off,” he said.
Next on Devaiah’s list is Reema Kagti-directed Amazon series “Fallen”, which fulfils the actor’s desire to play a cop.
“I had this childhood dream to play the role of a policeman and I am finally getting to do that with this. It is a romaticised idea in my head, a cinematic image of a cop, that has come from all those movies of ’70s and ’80s. I am getting to do that finally,” he said.
“Fallen” also stars Gully Boy actor Vijay Varma, Sonakshi Sinha and Sohum Shah.
He is also a part of Hindi-Kannada film “Rudraprayag”, a thriller set in a jungle. (agencies)