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Friday, June 05, 2020

First of Many: Gulshan Grover revisits Rocky

This week's 'First of Many' features Gulshan Grover. In the 38th edition of our exclusive series, the veteran actor talks about his first acting project, Rocky (1981) co-starring Sanjay Dutt.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: May 5, 2020 1:43:51 pm
Gulshan-Grover rocky film Gulshan Grover first faced the camera for Sunil Dutt directorial Rocky, which released in 1981.

Gulshan Grover’s body of work includes films like Sadma, Veerana, Ram Lakhan, Saudagar, Sir, Hera Pheri and I Am Kalam among more. Bollywood’s ‘Bad Man’ Gulshan Grover has given us some memorable villains, apart from being the first actor to bridge the gap between Indian cinema and Hollywood.

But how did it all began for Gulshan Grover? Asserting that it was because of his close association with Sanjay Dutt, here’s what the actor shared:

1. What was your first acting project? How did the project come to you?

My first acting project was Rocky. I was an assistant to the guru of acting, Roshan Taneja. I used to teach students. Sanjay Dutt was one of my students who I taught along with Roshan Taneja. During that entire stint, Sunil Dutt ji saw me, gave me a lot of affection and then he cast me in Rocky. Dutt sahab believed since Sanjay Dutt follows me and holds regard for me in real life, the same rapport will reflect on screen too. My role was of a love guru who Sanjay’s character listens to.

2. What do you remember of your first day on set?

The first shot was in the song “Aao Mere Yaaron Aao Meri Jaan Bachao”. I was very furious because they had put a tiny moustache like a fly on my face at the last minute. I wanted to throw it away. I wanted to look handsome, but Dutt sahab asked for a small moustache and stuck it on my face. I wanted to run away.

3. Were you nervous? How many retakes did you take?

Acting was my life. I had given my everything to acting, and I was a teacher too. So there was no nervousness. Sanjay Dutt had belief in my acting and used to ask me if he didn’t understand anything. So there was no problem of retakes. I was a tiger from day one (laughs).

4. How was the rapport with your co-stars when you got to meet or work with them again later?

It was like a family bond. The rapport was great.

5. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what’s that one thing you’d like to change or do better?

I would remove that moustache, definitely.

Also Read | First of Many: Gajraj Rao | Vivek Oberoi | Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub | Rajpal Yadav Rajeev Khandelwal Govind Namdev Neena Gupta Pankaj Tripathi Satish Kaushik Mohit Raina Shahid Kapoor Anang Desai Jimmy Sheirgill Tabu Harsh Chhaya Gaurav Gera Saurabh Shukla | Deepak Dobriyal Seema Pahwa Annup Sonii Sayantani Ghosh Annu Kapoor Ajay Devgn Vishal Malhotra Rahul Khanna | Ashutosh Rana Jaaved Jaaferi Ashwath Bhatt Varun Badola Renuka Shahane Taapsee Pannu Manoj Bajpayee Milind Soman Rajkummar Rao Akhilendra Mishra | Rohit Roy | Suchitra Pillai 

6. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor?

It happened slowly. I got influenced by Delhi’s air, lifestyle, art and culture. My father used to work in Ramlila in the outskirts of Delhi, and I also did small roles in it. Then I started doing college theatre. I worked with Little Theatre Group. I was called to act in plays of Delhi University’s girls colleges, as I used to be the only male actor there. Eventually, I made a choice between a career after studies or take up acting as a profession.

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