Sunil Grover: “I Was Nervous When I Started Shooting With Salman Khan, But He Made Me Feel Comfortable”

Mohnish Singh |Jun 06, 2019

Sunil Grover needs no introduction! People know him by names like Gutthi, Dr Mashoor Gulati and Rinku Bhabhi. The immensely talented actor is currently seen in "Bharat". The movie released earlier today and Sunil is garnering praises from all corners.

After gaining popularity by playing such iconic characters as Gutthi, Dr Mashoor Gulati and Rinku Bhabhi on the small screen, renowned actor and stand-up comedian Sunil Grover is now trying to make a mark in Hindi films also. Last seen in the Vishal Bhardwaj directorial Pataakha (2018), Sunil Grover is busy receiving rave reviews for his performance in Salman Khan’s big-ticket movie Bharat, which hit the silver screen earlier today.

Sunil Grover
Image Source: BizAsia

Ahead of the release of the Ali Abbas Zafar-directed affair, STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh met Sunil Grover at the famous Mehboob Studio in Mumbai and tried to know more about his role in the film, his experience working with superstar Salman Khan and what type of roles he wants to play on celluloid. Excerpts...

Why don’t we see you more often these days?

Maybe that is in my destiny. Having said that, I feel I am extremely lucky. I have experienced so many things which have enriched me as an actor as well as a human being. If you decide not to expose yourself to different situations, then how will you grow as a human being? So I feel the more ups and downs you have in your journey, the more mature you become. That also shows some level of maturity in your work as well.

Do you miss stand-up comedy?

Actually, I have been quite busy with Bharat for a long time now. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience as well. So, if the truth is to be told, I did not get much time to miss anything. This is also a new kind of journey for me, which happened organically and naturally. I had not planned anything. It just happened.

Bharat showcases a six-decade-long journey of Salman Khan’s character. At which point in his life do you meet him?

My character has been with him since the very beginning. From his childhood to the year 2010 when everything concludes at a point, my character stands by him throughout his entire journey.

Do you feel your character in Bharat will be as popular as your characters on television?

An actor’s life is all about essaying a diverse range of characters. I have played Gutthi, Dr Gulati and Rinku Bhabhi. In my previous films also, I have played different types of characters.

In Bharat, I play Vilayati. If people like my new character, they may end up calling me Vilayati. You never know.

What was your aim when you decided to become an actor?

See, aims and ambitions keep changing over the period of time. I never aimed for wearing saris on Indian television, but I had to do it. I feel all the beautiful things that have happened to me in my life were unplanned.

What types of roles do you want to do in films?

I want to do various types of roles, roles which maybe I have not even thought of. I want to play characters that are layered. I would seriously love to such roles, and I feel I can do them effortlessly.

Your characters like Gutthi, Rinku Bhabhi and Dr Mashoor Gulati have left an indelible impact on audiences.

Thank you for the compliment. This is the only thing that I know. I love doing acting. I play each and every character with the same amount of dedication and passion. Some characters leave a long-lasting impression, while others go unnoticed.

It is by God’s grace that the audience accepts you in certain roles. My motto is to keep working hard and moving ahead. Things will fall into play when they are meant to.

When you came to Mumbai, what was going on in your mind?

That I wanted to do something in this field. That was on my mind. I came to Mumbai after completing masters in drama from Chandigarh. The idea of watching myself on the screen used to fascinate me like anything. I had no idea how I would go about it. But I was always confident that I would make it one day.

It is said that most of the comedians are very serious as individuals, but you do not seem to be very serious in real-life.

I don’t know much about that. I feel every individual has a different way of approaching things. Some people observe other people very closely. Others want to convey their feelings through actions. So every artist has his own way of entertaining the audience. There is nothing wrong in that. Everybody should have their own special approach.

What was it like working with Salman Khan?

First of all, I was unable to believe that I was working with Salman Khan. I have always been a huge admirer of his work. I was nervous when I started shooting with him, but he made me feel comfortable. Ali Abbas Zafar, who is the director of our film, also made me feel extremely comfortable on the sets.

So after 3-4 days, I was normal. Atul Agnihotri, who is the producer of the film, also gave me a lot of love and support throughout the entire filming of Bharat. After some days, I started feeling like a part of the big family. I got more than what I had thought from this film.

You just mentioned that you had never thought that one day you would have to wear saris. Do you regret doing so?

No, never! I got an opportunity to play a woman being a man. That is something I am really proud of. See, a woman is a woman. No one can replace her. The man does not possess the qualities to qualify to become a woman. A woman does multitasking and she has all those qualities that a man can never have.

When I do such type of a character, I do not deliberately keep thinking whether I am playing a man or a woman. I approach it as a character only. It just happens to be a woman by chance. I treat the character as a human being. I never ever think about genders while playing such characters.

Do you feel women are stronger than men?

Of course, they are! There is no doubt about it.

Do you idolize any actor?

I think you should keep learning something or the other from everyone. You should keep admiring everybody’s work. At the same time, you should also listen to yourself and always keep trying to grow your knowledge as an actor. That is not an easy thing to do, let me tell you because when you idolize someone, you kind of get influenced by them and that starts manifesting in your work after a point. Admiring somebody is good, but your acting should be all about your own expression.

When will we see you in a romantic avatar, roaming around trees and singing songs?

If some actress agrees, I will do that also. But somebody should first agree to do such a role with me.

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