Kaala And Bambai Meri Jaan Actor Jitin Gulati: Don’t Be Reliant On Anything Else But Yourself

Kaala And Bambai Meri Jaan Actor Jitin Gulati: Don’t Be Reliant On Anything Else But Yourself

The actor shares an in-depth account about his long journey to fame

Vijayalakshmi NarayananUpdated: Thursday, October 05, 2023, 04:47 AM IST
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Instagram: Jitin Gulati

This September, Jitin Gulati’s performances in Bejoy Nambiar’s Kaala and Shujaat Saudagar’s Bambai Meri Jaan made critics and fans sit up and take notice. But the actor’s eventful journey to fame hasn’t been easy. In an exclusive chat with team Free Press Journal, Gulati opens up about giving up on a well-secured life to pursue his lifelong passion towards acting.

When asked about realising his dream, Gulati reveals, “I knew that I would stop at nothing lesser than being an actor from the time I saw Mr. (Amitabh) Bachchan in Hum. at a theatre in Faridabad. Since then, that is what I’ve strived towards. But, when you belong to a middle-class family from Faridabad, acting seems like a distant dream. Your only purpose is to make ends meet.”

So how did he work towards his goal, “As soon as I finished college, I ventured into banking. Because money was necessary then. But I knew deep within that acting is something that I would pursue, sooner or later. I was sure that I would be left feeling unfulfilled if I did not realise my dream in this life. So, while working, I also sought training under Barry John and National School of Drama alumni Feizal Alkazi and Amal Allana. Besides that, I was also seeking lessons in dance from choreographer Ashley Lobo for over seven years. But eventually, I made the switch to Mumbai because age was running out. I was up for a promotion where I had to choose between moving to New York or Mumbai. I chose Mumbai, much against everyone’s wishes.”

Still from Kaala

Was it easy to break it to his family when the moment of truth arrived? “It wasn’t easy revealing at home about my dream. I remember visiting home for Raksha Bandhan and breaking it to my family that I was pursuing acting. All hell broke loose. But, since then, my family has been nothing but supportive. In everything that I’ve been through in the past fifteen years, never have they asked me to quit on my dreams. I can only say that I’ve been very lucky and blessed in that aspect.”

For someone who is now tasting gradual but well-earned success, Gulati shares an anecdote about surviving the tough route to fame. “Don’t be reliant on anything else but yourself. You have to work upon yourself and towards making your dreams happen. You will have to build yourself as a brand. Because you have to understand that producers will not invest their money in you if they do not trust you. Which will not happen immediately if you come to the city within a year. Insiders have it easier because there is a sense of familiarity and everyone is acquainted.”

The actor speaks about working with Nambiar and Saudagar on his respective shows Kaala and Bambai Meri Jaan. “Bejoy trusts you blindly and will not judge you if you fail. If an actor-director relationship is based on a solid foundation of belief, then it won’t matter if my director makes me flip on my feet. You are prepared for every curveball that comes your way. Speaking of Shujaat sir, I can say this publicly that he is instrumental in how I got Kaala. He did push me for the project. Gratitude would seem very little to express what I feel for him. As a filmmaker, his high-point is how sure and simple he is with his direction. He is a great mix of story-telling and technical brilliance.”

Still from Bambai Meri Jaan

As we conclude our chat, Gulati reveals his line-up of interesting projects. “So, there is a show for Netflix, which is a comedy. Then, there is Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal’s debut production Girls Will Be Girls, which will be helmed by Shuchi Talati,” he signs off.

While you can stream Kaala on Disney+Hotstar, Bambai Meri Jaan is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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