Gurmeet Choudhary rose to fame by playing Ram in Ramayan a decade ago, later went on to become heart throb of many as his shows Geet: Hui Sabse Parayi as Maan Singh Khurana as well as Punar Vivah. Gurmeet forayed into films with KHAMOSHIYAN and was seen in WAJAH TUM HO. He will now be seen in JP Dutta’s PALTAN starring Sonu Sood, Arjun Rampal, Jackie Shroff, Gurmeet Choudhary, Harshvardhan Rane and Luv Sinha is scheduled to release on 7th of September.
In conversation with Gurmeet as he speaks about his transition from television to films, shooting for a war film and why he considers himself to be lucky and his love for fans is utmost important for him.
Excerpts from the interview:
How did you prep for the role?
Playing the role of an army person is a pride and every actor wants to enact this role and it’s an honor for me. When we see the families of martyred soldiers, we genuinely get emotional. And that gives us a motivation to play this role on-screen with utmost dedication and sincerity. Since I belong to an army background, my father was in army force, I was born in army hospital, so I’m well versed with the surroundings. I would like to share some anecdotes, JP Dutta gave us the handwritten letters of our respective characters which were addressed to their mother and beloved ones, we literally got goosebumps while we read them, it moved me to the core .
As you said that you belong from an army background, did you think of joining army?
My dad always wanted me to join army, I was extremely poor in studies and I was more involved in the local fights. My dad made me appear for the examination which is necessary in order to get recruited in army. I passed all the examinations but my dream was to become an actor right from the start. So at a tender age of 17 I left my place and migrated to Mumbai and started working for daily soaps. My father was extremely outraged by this behavior of mine. He literally didn’t talk to me for 3 long years. Once I got the role of Lord Rama, he felt that I’m doing something worthy. After watching the trailer he was immensely pleased and happy. As far as PALTAN is concerned, except for the army people, none knew about this war. None is aware how a few army men fought against China to retrieve Sikkim. My dad stays in village and he personally visits everyone and promotes our film. He wishes that this war should be mentioned in every text-book.
The weather conditions were tough to shoot at Ladak how did you shoot in such extreme locations?
For me, emotional trauma was the most difficult phase. We were shooting on real location in Ladakh. We were surrounded by mountains and forests with lack of network. Except for the few actors, everyone else was from the army. We were given the real guns and bullets. So whole surrounding was such that we started experiencing the lives of our respective characters. By the time we reached to the climax scene, I was really unwell and was rushed to the hospital there, as the oxygen levels went down and I couldn’t breathe, I was completely broken down. I wasn’t in a position to enact. I was also missing my wife Debina as she is my best friend and everything, there was no network too, but all and all it was nice shooting for the film.
How was the experience working with JP Dutta in a war film?
I’ve saved his number as GOD in my phone. For me he isn’t less than the god. I still remember when his first war film, BORDER was released, I’ve seen Border for three long years. I’m well versed with the dialogues as well. At that time my father’s posting was there in Srinagar. Every day, my father used to drop me to my school and as soon as his car gets out of the camp, firing used to start. For three long years, on a daily routine I used to pray that my father should return back home in evening.
You’ve started your career in daily soaps and now you’re working in films, so what all have changed in past ten years?
It has been 10 long years since I’m working in an entertainment industry. Acting in television was a great experience no doubt. There are two people without whom I’m nothing. Anand Sagar sir who introduced me into daily soaps. And Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt who’ve given me the break in Bollywood. So I’m grateful to them. And the one thing that I am happy about is that I am appreciated for my nature; I am the same as I was since day one. People love me for my nature.
What are the future plans? Is there anything into the pipeline after PALTAN?
So few days back, JP sir has signed me for few more films with him. I’d love to discover a dance film aftermath. I’m very good at dancing and gymnastics. I’ve done gymnastics in daily soaps but I haven’t got an opportunity to do something alike here in films.
After action, romance and lover boy roles, any role you would want to do but you haven’t been offered?
I would love to do a comedy film. While I am open to all kind of roles which have a character to portray. Moreover, I am a professional gymnast and have showcased it on television; I would want to do it in movies too.
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