<br>It's been a while since the audience saw him in a mythology show. Asked if the genre still interests him, Gurmeet told IANS: “I'd definitely like to do (a mythology project) if I like it. The audience saw me as TV's Ram, but I'd really like to do a film called ‘Ramayan', and I'd like this film to reach all over the world.”
Looking back at the show, he shared that he didn't want to copy actor Arun Govil, who originally played the role in Ramanand Sagar's blockbuster mythological series “Ramayan” way back in the eighties.
“When I was very small, I had watched Ramanand Sagar's ‘Ramayan'. But I remembered very less about it. As I grew up, my dad would narrate stories of ‘Ramayan'. So story-wise I knew it. When finally ‘Ramayan' was given to me, I had a thought that before doing another ‘Ramayan' if I watch the 80s ‘Ramayan' then as an actor…Arunji had acted really well. Had I seen his version of Ram again then there might have been chances of me copying him. Every actor can understand that he needs to do his own style, so I tried to act in my own style,” he recalled.
And he gave a lot to playing Ram in his show, which has been brought back on the small screen by Dangal TV.
“I had given many auditions and then mock shoot happened. During that duration, I got many ideas on how to play my version of Ram. While shooting for 12 hours, I used to be in that character only,” he said.
He focussed on his character's walking style and smile.
“Everyone used to tell me to switch on and off (the character) otherwise I'd become a brahmachari (celibate) or quit acting but I have always believed that as an actor, it was one character that very few people got the opportunity to play. I gave my 200 percent,” said Gurmeet.
“Ramayan” brought him fame but there was also a fear of getting typecast.
“It generally happens that when actors do mythology shows, they get typecast. But I got saved. I didn't get typecast. It didn't happen suddenly though. I had prepared myself,” he said.
Talking about moving on from the character, he said: “Once ‘Ramayan' got over, I did some reality shows. So people saw me and said ‘he is young, wears jeans, T-shirt, dances and does action. Then I won ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' and participated in ‘Nach Baliye', did ‘Punar Vivaah' and then due to God's blessings, I got films. ‘Khamoshiyan' was my first film. Mahesh Bhatt had launched me. My film journey started there,” said the “Paltan” actor.
In fact, prior to the announcement of the lockdown in March, he was shooting for a film, which he would like to wrap up once work starts again.
“I really like black coffee. So I'll have that in a coffee shop. The shooting of my film ‘The Wife' was happening in Jaipur. We had shot 50 per cent of the film. I really liked the film's script. So after coffee, I'd catch a flight and complete its shooting,” he said.
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)