Posted May 2, 2014 by admin in Bollywood

Gurmeet Choudhary talks about his 3-film deal with the Bhatts, quitting television, marriage and more…

From television’s heartthrob to movie star with a 3-film deal with the Bhatts, Gurmeet Choudhary discusses his incredible journey with us:

How did you land up with a 3-film deal with the Bhatts?

I often used to bump into Mukesh Bhatt Saab at film awards function. I would greet him as a senior. I felt he was observing me. Then, at an awards function in South Africa Ranbir Kapoor got the best actor award for films and I got the best actor award for television. Then Mukeshji told me he wants to work with me. I got a call from his office. And the rest I hope would be history.

Do you have an exclusive movie contact with Mukesh Bhatt?

No, I can work in others’ films as well. Mukeshji treats me like his own child. He is guiding me through my new movie career. I consider him my Godfather. My first film with Mukeshji starts in May. I’ve started preparing.

What kind of preparation?

Gyming, stunts and acting workshops. I feel I am starting a new career.

From playing Rama to your real-life Sita in Ramayan on television to the Bhatts’ hero, how did this journey happen?

I chose to start with the home medium. I’ll tell you something about myself which no one knows. 9 years ago when I left my home in Bihara at the age of 19 to come to Mumbai I somehow got Mr Yash Chopra’s number. My dad who was an army office accompanied me .We both went to meet Yashji to seek his advice and blessings. Yashji told me to start my acting career on television. He told me that’s where Shah Rukh Khan started. ‘And look where he is today,’ Yashji’s words still ring in my ears.

For a 19-year old from Bhagalpur in Bihar it couldn’t have been easy to get roles?

It was very difficult. So many starry-eyed small-towners come to Mumbai to become a hero. Now I’m finally ready to be launched as a leading man. But let me tell you, I never took television lightly. I worked as hard on television as I will in cinema. A lot of actors take television for granted. Maine dil aur jaan se mehant kiya.

Your family in Bihar didn’t object to your choice of career?

They did initially. But then they gave up when they realized yeh ladka hero ban kar hi rahega. They made the biggest mistake by naming me Shashi Kapoor. Yes, that was my nickname among family and friends, Shashi Kapoor.Toh actor toh ban-na hi ttha. Eventually they did support me wholeheartedly. Today when I see my father’s pride in my achievement I feel fulfilled. He hardly ever smiles. But when I see him smile about my career I am the happiest son in the world .My father too started very small in the army and then worked his way to becoming an officer. He is my hero and role model.

You started career playing Ram in Ramayan?

Even that was considered a big risk. They said any actor who plays a mythological character gets typecast. Everyone advised me against doing Ramayan at a time when all other TV actors were doing saas-bahu serials. But I thought, why not do something different from others? Then after doing two soaps I moved into reality shows. So I was paving my way for a movie career.

Your colleagues from television like Sushant Singh Rajput and Ayushmann Khurrana have also given embarked on a movie career? ?

Nowadays television is as important cinema .Even film producers have realized television stars are popular not just in India but abroad.

How do you avoid unwanted fan attention?

(Laughs) Thankfully my wife is also from the same industry. So she understands. All sorts of strange fans show up. Debina is actually happy to see my popularity. Sometimes fans land up at my home. Some time ago an 80-year old lady from Chandigarh came home and wrote off her property to me. I had to hire legal help to get rid of the unwanted gift. I’ve seen this kind of adulation and if I’m still grounded it’s because of Debina.

Do you think your fan base from television would follow you in movies?

I’ve definitely established a fan following during all these years on television. And my fans are very devoted to me. However I am looking at cinema as a new medium and hoping to cultivate new fans. I’ve left behind my career on television and my fans from that medium.

So no more television for you?

I don’t want to say any final goodbye to the medium that has given me everything. But the fact of the matter is, I’ve done three very successful serials. Then I needed a break to build my movie career. But then my fans missed me on television. So I did Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Khatron Ke Khiladi just so that my fans don’t miss me. But it’s now time to move on.

Does your wife Debina also aspire to be a movie actress?

She is very happy doing television. And she has done films in the South. I was not even 21 when I met Debina, so not eligible for marriage then.

When did you marry Debina?

Actually we announced our marriage on Nach Baliye in 2011. We had gotten married secretly before that in 2006. We revealed our marriage on the sets of Nach Baliye. Even our families didn’t know about it. I met Debina when I was a nobody in Mumbai. Ek achche saathi ka milna bahot zaroori hai Mumbai mein. I could’ve easily fallen into the wrong company. I’ve been lucky with my friends, most of all with Debina. If it wasn’t for her I’d have probably given up. She encouraged and inspired me. Due to her I felt I motivated to do my best for my career

Why did you hide your marriage for 5 years?

I had told Debina that I’d make our marriage official only when I could afford a home for her. Strangely the media never got to know. Only our very close friends knew, not our family.

Do you think married actors make better stars?

Speaking for myself, my career has been on the upswing ever since Debina came into my life. Some of the biggest superstars of Bollywood became successful after marriage.

As you embark on a new phase in your life what are your feelings?

I am nervous, anxious, tense and excited. Just like when I came to Mumbai, for the first time and went to meet Yashji. I feel I’ve to learn everything all over again. I enjoy the thought of working hard.