Aashim Gulati Exclusive Interview: “I Would Have Been Stupid To Say No To Hostages”

Mohnish Singh |Jun 02, 2019

Last seen in Star Plus’ mythological drama “Karn Sangini”, Aashim Gulati makes his digital debut with Hotstar Specials’ latest digital series, “Hostages”. The Sudhir Mishra-directed series has opened to good response from critics and audiences alike.

After featuring in a couple of shows and a feature film, Aashim Gulati is now exploring the web-space. The tall and handsome actor is currently seen in Hotstar Special’s latest offering Hostages, which premiered on 31st May and met with a warm reception from critics and audiences alike.

Aashim Gulati
Aashim Gulati

Hostages, as the title suggests itself, is an official remake of an Israeli show of the same name. Besides Aashim Gulati, the sizzling cast of the web-show also features several popular actors like Ronit Roy, Tisca Chopra, Parvin Dabas and Dalip Tahil in significant roles.

the launch of Hostages in Mumbai, STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh caught up with Aashim Gulati for a brief interaction. In this exclusive interview, Aashim Gulati opens up about a lot of things - from his character in the web-series to the failure of his ambitious television show, Karn Sangini, to the challenges that an outsider faces in a competitive industry like Bollywood. Excerpts…

Tell us something about your character in Hostages?

The most interesting part about my character and, in fact, every character on the show is that it is so beautifully layered. No character has one particular side. It is not black and white. There are so many grey shades that every character comes with.

As the story progresses, slowly and gradually all layers open up. They are entangled with the story. Suddenly, you start realizing that he is a good man and he is a bad man and that they are balancing the two. However, what happens eventually surprises you beyond expectations. You will be like that it started off like this and now it is like this, and it is after that you will understand what has actually happened. Every character in the series comes from a crazy background, except for mine. I can probably say that mine is the most normal character on the show. Also, it would be better if I speak less about it.

There are many circumstances in life that you are not ready for. You cannot comprehend them. But it just takes you off your feet and you will be like, “What should I do now? How do I deal with this?”But it’s the situation in our hands, so you have to deal with it, whether it’s right or wrong. There is no right or wrong, there is what there is. There are many contradictions on the show as well. Whether it is right or wrong? Is it justified or not? The audiences need to watch it.

What drew you to take it up?

Just the story. I had seen Hostages. It is a critically acclaimed international show, which has an amazing story, extremely gripping. I saw the show right after I had bagged the role. There was no reason for me to say no to it. I took up the role also because Sudhir Mishra was directing it and he is an absolutely amazing filmmaker. It’s a great pleasure to have worked with him. Then there were Ronit Roy, Tisca Chopra, Parvin Dabas, etc. So, the entire team was very talented. Just to be a part of a team like that is quite tempting. I would have been stupid to say no to Hostages.

You have explored all mediums over the years, be it films, television or web. What kind of difference do you find in the working style of all the three?

Every medium has different ways to function. In films, you have a lot of time to prepare. In Tum Bin 2 (2016), we all were very prepared for our roles. There was a lot of detailing. We had some time to have workshops. Even with Hostages, we had some time to sit on it. We were very particular about everything, each detail we were sort of setting for the show.

TV is a completely different medium and has a completely different approach because there you don’t get any time. There you get your dialogues one hour before the shoot and you have to learn everything in no time. Forget about getting into the skin of the character, you cannot even memorize your lines properly.

Having said that, I feel there is a lot of pressure in every medium. It depends on you how much pressure you can take. Be it television, digital medium, every medium has its own pros and cons. But I do see myself doing more of web series now. There is a lot of content happening, a lot of good stuff happening. I am very excited.

Does that mean you are saying goodbye to television forever?

No, I will never say goodbye to any medium. I never say never. I don’t restrict myself to anything, be it any character or any platform. At the end of the day, I am an artist and my job is to act. Be it on stage, be it on TV or on the internet, I am open to everything. Medium keeps changing, but an artist’s intent to act remains the same.

I always feel that work begets more work. As an artist, you should keep doing good work, be it on any platform. But, at the same time, I also feel that I should take a brief break from television because it takes so much of time that, by the end of the day, you are so exhausted.

Your television show Karn Sangini was a very ambitious project for everybody involved. But somehow it did not click with the audience. Were you disappointed?

I don’t get that attached to the work that I do, to be very honest. With Karn Sangini, I got to do something which I knew was not my space. It was a period drama. I had never done anything like that before, especially in the languages that I had never spoken. So, it was definitely a challenge for me.

Whether a show works or not is not in our hand. We tried everything in our capacity to do a good job. I actually got to learn so much from the show. I always take the positive from it. I never take failure in my heart. Right after the show ended, I got a new project. So, I keep moving forward.

I feel that you should never get yourself down. You should never think about what did not work because it then takes you to the downward spiral, which is not a good journey to involve in. So, it is better to embrace the failures and look forward to success.

Do you feel it is extremely challenging for an outsider to make a mark in Bollywood?

It’s very difficult. It’s extremely, extremely difficult and exhaustive both mentally and physically. But, you know, the beauty of it is that it keeps you on your toe. I believe it is the most difficult business to be a part of. There are a lot of insecurities. It takes a lot of nerves to do something to be able to have a foothold in the industry which has a lot of competition. There are so many people who are trying to become actors today. It is very difficult. But, at the same time, the icing on the cake would be that if you do make it, then it’s great. Then the most difficult part is how you sustain it. So, it definitely is a difficult journey, but it’s rewarding as well.

Is anything happening on the film front?

A lot of projects are coming to me, but things are very dicey. I am not taking any decision as yet. I am reading scripts right now, but nothing is in the pipeline as such. But I am definitely looking forward to doing some good roles in films as well as web-shows.




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