Before we fell in love, we were really good friends: Gurmeet Choudhary on  wife, actor Debina Bonnerjee

It was a match made in heaven. He played Ram and she played Sita in the very popular TV serial Ramayan. They fell in love on the sets and got married. Meet Gurmeet Choudhary who fell madly in love with his first girlfriend Debina Bonnerjee and married her. Currently, together they traverse through life’s thorny paths, hand-in-hand. Ironically, Gurmeet is now playing the lead in the film ‘The Wife’ streaming on Zee5. Read on as he talks about his wife Debina, his film The Wife, and more…

Let’s start with your wife Debina first. How has marriage changed you as a person?

Yes, everyone changes intrinsically once they get married. My wife initially used to complain a lot and she kept telling me you need to change. Now when I have actually changed, she freaks out and tells me why have I changed? Women are so strange! When we met, I was just 18-19 years old, and together we have come a long way in life.

Was Debina your first love?

Yes, she was the first girlfriend I ever had. There are lots of people who have told me that one never gets to be with one’s first love for an entire lifetime. But I have been very lucky in this case, because I got married to her.

What is the secret to a committed, happy marriage?

Before we fell in love, we were really good friends. Even today we are very good friends. I think that is most important, to remain friends with each other for the rest of your life. We are just the way we were earlier. We fight a lot and can be stupid in each other’s presence. In fact, we stay sane because we fight so much. I feel if there are no fights in a relationship then there is something wrong in there. Our first show was Ramayan where we played those iconic characters. Now we are like the modern Ram-Sita in real life.

Talking about Ramayan, has Indian television come of age in terms of mythological content?

What happens is once a particular show becomes a hit, numerous other shows with similar storylines are made available. After the iconic show on Doordarshan, our was a mythological show after a long gap. And soon enough, others too cropped up. Also, the actors in such shows get typecast so they are not offered other roles. The image just sticks with them. But thankfully even though our show was a hit and became very popular, we were still getting offers to play a variety of roles. In those days complete strangers used to walk up to me and take blessings. I was so young; I didn’t even know how to react. But slowly other avenues opened up and I could prove that I was an actor who is versatile and can do any role.

Horror shows have their own set audience - you know the kind of viewers who love horror as a genre. Horror as a genre is new to me. This is more of a psychological thriller. When the ghost is visible, one is not scared anymore. But that doesn’t happen here, it is more of a slow burner

Tell us about your latest film 'The Wife'. How is this ghost story different from others?

The treatment is different. It is not as if we are deliberately trying to scare the viewers. The horror is all circumstantial. When you watch it, you will try to figure out where the problem lies - is it the house? The husband or the wife? But it all comes together beautifully at the end. That is the beauty of the entire exercise. Horror shows have their own set audience - you know the kind of viewers who love horror as a genre. Horror as a genre is new to me. This is more of a psychological thriller. When the ghost is visible, one is not scared anymore. But that doesn’t happen here, it is more of a slow burner.

How is this particular project different from the ones you have worked in till date?

Most of the characters I have played till now were larger than life. Here the mannerisms are more nuanced since this is a regular guy. It is most difficult to play the role of the aam aadmi. This man loves his wife and dreams of buying a house of his own someday. He could be anyone out there. You know my all-time favourite horror film is The Shining made in 1982. I want to remake that film someday; I have watched it innumerable times.

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