From a character role in the TV show ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ to winning the 8th season of the most controversial reality show of India – ‘Bigg Boss’, Gautam Gulati has come a long way, and that too without a major presence of a Godfather in his life.
Gautam, though entered the house as an underdog, braved some cornering, provoking and 11 nominations in total and finally emerged as the winner. Indian Express Online spoke to the ‘budding superstar’ about his big ticket to stardom and more.
Q: So, our first question to you would be a cliched one. How does it feel after winning the coveted trophy?
Gautam: It feels great. Great, in fact, would be an understatement. I am really thankful to all the people for all the love and support. It’s because of them that I won this season, and I am grateful to them.
Q: Everybody did have a hint that at the end it’ll be you who will win hands down. Salman Khan, when he left the show, also told the housemates that you were the most popular contestant in the house followed by Pritam Singh. You certainly must have had a hint.
Gautam: I did have a hint. People used to keep telling me that I was really popular outside the house. Salman Sir told us. And the other challengers also told us. I did have a hint for sure.
And now when I have come out of the house, I realised that I have got more love from the people outside the house than the ones inside.
I never got such a huge support from the inmates during my stay in the house. All those, who were against me on the show, apologised while congratulating me. I feel that is my victory.
Q: And what do you think worked in your favour?
Gautam: I think people loved me for whatever I am. ‘Jo mere dil mein hota hai, wahi zubaan par hota hai’. And I was like that only in the house. I never followed the herd mentality. And I had quite a journey in the house. The scuffle with Karishma, then P3G was formed. P3G, however, broke after some time, but I held my ground all the time.
I was closest to Puneet ji (Puneet Issar). He is one of the most honest people I have ever met. There are some people who are honest and if they feel something somewhere is going wrong, they speak up. They voice their opinions about people, about what’s wrong with them. Sadly this kind of people aren’t much liked in the house, but ‘janta ko aise hi log pasand aatey hain’.
Infact, Puneet ji so wanted me to win. My brother and mother told me how Puneet ji used to be in contact with them all through. They all wanted me to win. Their love and blessings were with me.
Q: Why do you say you never found support in the house? As far as we remember, it was Pritam only, who supported when you were being cornered in the house after the abusing episode. But then your relations with him soured.
Gautam: I agree. Pritam supported me when nobody else did. But his behaviour used to keep changing. He came under the influence of some people and I realised that P3G was then going to break. He and Praneet drifted away. But Pritam is a very nice and genuine man. He was a very strong contender too.
We had a special bond inside the house and I am sure outside the ‘Bigg Boss’ house, our friendship will grow stronger. ‘Hum hameshaa dost rahenge’.
All the members of P3G shared a very close bonding with each other inside the show and we will continue that outside too.
Q: Any thoughts on the runner-up Karishma Tanna. Indirectly, she is the one who made you the hero. You had a love-hate relationship.
Gautam: Karishma is a nice person and a good friend. But yeah, her behaviour, after I won, was quite weird. I expected she would come and congratulate me nicely. Her family came and congratulated me, she too. But something was weird. May be she was sad that she didn’t win.
We had our bond in the house. We fought a lot but I respect her and she is a friend. She was a strong contender too.
Q: Gautam! Aren’t you afraid? Most of the celebrities mince words while saying such things, but, here, you said so blatantly that she didn’t behave well or something.
Gautam: I am like that. Inside the house too, I was like this. I call a spade a spade. Also, I am not saying she was bad or something like that. I just put my point that I felt her behaviour was weird.
Q: And if not you, who would have been the perfect winner of this season?
Gautam: As a friend, I wanted Pritam to win. I always wanted that one of the members of P3G should win. So, I felt that if not me then Pritam should win.
Q: Though the question is a bit personal, but would you spill the beans on your relationship with Diandra Soares?
Gautam: There’s no relationship as such. We were very good friends, still are. I know there was an ‘Emraan Hashmi moment’ between us. There was a kiss, but there was nothing more than that. ‘Humaare beech koi boyfriend girlfriend waali baat nahin hui thhi’ (we hadn’t talked about any relationship thing).
‘Kahin na kahin’ I regret going into the bathroom with her. There was nothing between us and will never be so. I have always drawn a line in every relationship and I would never overstep that. We are just friends and there can be nothing beyond that. I am sure she also knows that. I am younger to her anyways.
In fact, I am a family man and my mother is planning to get me married in a year’s time or so.
Q: That’s news! Gautam Gulati, the heartthrob, is looking for a girl?
Gautam: Haha! Not really. I will focus on my career for now. But yeah, I am looking forward to settling down may be in two years.
Q: But you said, your mother is looking for a match. So, Gautam Gulati will have an arranged marriage?
Gautam: Not necessarily. Love ‘bhi ho sakti hai’. But my mother would definitely have a say.
Q: You talked about focusing on your career. So will that be in TV or films?
Gautam: No TV for now. I am looking for some meaty roles in movies.
Q: There were rumours that you were indeed offered a role in a big budget movie. Is this true?
Gautam: Well! To an extent. The talks are on, though, nothing has been finalised.
Q: So, is there any wishlist of directors or actresses you would like to work with?
Gautam: There’s a long list. I want to work with everybody, every single star. They all are great. I really like Sonam Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez. They visited the ‘Bigg Boss’ house too during my stay. I find Alia Bhatt really cute. I would definitely want to work with her. And of course, I want to work with the big banners – YashRaj and Dharma.
Q: And what kind of movies? ‘Haider’? ‘Bang Bang’?
Gautam: ‘Bang Bang’. Totally. I think that suits my image more.
Now that’s something only a budding star has the confidence to say. We wish the brat a very best of luck for the future.