Gulshan Grover, the baddie of Bollywood considers Goa to be one of his favourite places to visit. “The simplicity and warmth of Goa and Goans is amazing. It always overwhelms me,” says Gulshan Grover. His further adds, “Not only is it one of my favourite places, my son’s mother — my ex-wife — belongs to Goa and lives in Goa. So my connection with the state has been strong and long”. Gulshan Grover was one of the first Bollywood actors to act in Hollywood films way back in 1996. Second Jungle Book with Bill Campbell was his first Hollywood film where he played the main villain. He sat with us for a one-on-one interview..
When asked if at all it was a little discouraging to go all the way there and still play a baddie..
Gulshan Grover said, “Not at all. I had been offered roles earlier too. But they were of good people. I waited for a meaty, bad man role to come my way. I wanted it that way. Playing ‘the bad man’ was my foray. I wanted my first role in Hollywood to be something that everyone remembers… so it had to be something that I was expert at — ‘the bad man’.”
When asked if it a very dizzy experience to jusggle between Bollywood-Hollwood..
The actor says, “Well…not to me. Because I had nearly planted myself in Hollywood in the late 90s for a very long time; so that they became aware of not only me but the Indian film industry. I still remember the time when I met Susan Sarandon — this year’s IFFI Chief Guest — for the first time at Goldie Hawn’s house in LA. She had very marginal information about Indian or Hindi film industry and the abundance of talent here. To be honest, I used to carry loads of VHS of Indian films to show so that people have an idea about the Indian talent. I am happy that I created the mudpath between Hollywood and Bollywood , which has been cemented by people like Irrfan Khan, Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya et al… Now I don’t live there so much. Though it took years to give them the sense of reliability and gain credibility like the Hugh Grants and Jackie Chan of the world had. Today Indian actors are respected. Now we can stay in our own country, do our films and yet go and do a film or two in Hollywood.”
When asked about the differences between the two industries..
He said, “There in LA, it’s more planned and systematic. Everyone has a specific job to do. They take responsibility and they are answerable. Here…we are all doing multi-tasking. There’s no system or planning.”
Ask him about him disliking being branded as the ‘bad man’ of Bollywood..
He says, “Yes and No. It’s good to be loved by your audience for your roles and work. But when you are typecast… it’s bad to the actor in you. Though I have been lucky and have done varied roles in Bollywood, Hollywood and parallel cinema. And thankfully all were accepted and appreciated. My role in I am Kalam won me awards in international film fests as well.”
When asked about his return as a baddie after a long time with ‘Bullett Raja’..
He said, “Yes, I am very happy about that. Especially because ‘the bad man’ has been given a totally different treatment in this film. It’s a tribute to the actor in me. No make up, no, get up… just a normal look. A rejuvenated baddie that looks suave, sophisticated…understated, yet powerful. I loved every bit of the role.”