From reality shows to item numbers, actor Gauahar Khan made heads turn right from the word go! Apart from her glamorous avatar, the actor is now slowly but surely carving out a niche for herself in the industry with roles that have more substance. Currently seen in the anthology Kaali Peeli Tales on Amazon miniTV, Gauahar is cementing her place in the digital space as well. Here, she talks about her acting process, working in different mediums, and marriage. Excerpts:
Of late you have been taking up meatier roles. Is that a conscious decision on your part?
Right from my first film, I decided that I will never judge a role on the basis of which production house is making it, or I am cast opposite which hero! I always take up roles that make some kind of noise for me as a performer. I have signed up for projects where I have something to do! Right from Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year to 14 Phere and Kaali Peeli Tales, I have been working on it consistently.
Do you think the younger directors in Bollywood have brought in a new era of filmmaking?
I like the new directors, most of whom are young but talented. They are focused, they know their craft and they come to the sets with their homework done. It feels good to be working with people who are sincere about what they do. It makes you want to live up to their standards, it makes you want to perform better and better at all times. When people are driven and they want to achieve something in life and they pay attention to details to get things done, I have a lot of respect for that kind of mindset as well as the people.
How has marriage changed you?
I think it has had a calming effect on my mind. Zaid [Darbar] and I are non-interfering by nature. We do discuss our work but we don’t decide for each other. He can analyse my work in a way I can’t. He has a totally different perspective, which I think helps me stay grounded in many ways! We have been offered work together but we don’t just jump at it. We wait and see what works for us, mostly the pros and cons. So, we are balanced about what we do. We try to keep it like that.
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Who is your worst critic?
My sister, Nigaar, is my worst critic! She will call me out if something doesn’t work out. Also, my brother takes it upon himself to criticise my work. He will tell me things like here you have overdone it, here you have been too much of yourself, here you could do better and so on and so forth! My siblings help me stay focused and make sure I don’t overdo anything.
Do you enjoy working in short films like Kaali Peeli Tales?
As an actor, I feel short films are the real test of one’s filmmaking skills. Since time is limited, one has to bring out the characters with minimum mannerisms yet keep them nuanced and influential. Since you don’t get to live with the character for a long time you have to be on your toes at all times. It tests your skills at a basic level.
As an actor, which format do you like working on most?
For me, all that matters is the script. Recently, I shot a film where the story happens in one night. But to maintain continuity we have to keep wearing the same costume and make up day after day for the entire schedule. For a longer format probably you will have a varied look, that’s all. The preparation for the actor is the same, whatever the format.
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