Home » Gulshan Grover opens up to the changing face of Bollywood villains, from Kesariya Vilayati to Usmani Bhai

Gulshan Grover opens up to the changing face of Bollywood villains, from Kesariya Vilayati to Usmani Bhai

by Stewart Cole

Until a few years ago, one of the most popular award shows in the country had a category for Best Evil of the Year. This category disappeared a few years ago because with the changing trends, not every movie had a bad one, even those that had a bad one, could not just be classified as simple bad guys, as they were now beginning to take on a nuance. Long before streaming was revolutionizing the content that is now readily available to us, Hindi cinema often categorized its characters into two categories – the good and the bad. The good ones were your traditional heroes and the bad ones were miserable characters who were the most miserable people you could imagine seeing on screen. Of these long line of criminals embedded in our minds, Bad person, popular by Gulshan Grover, it was just bad. Grover, who played a bunch of negative roles in the 1980s and 1990s, it had a certain aura when it appeared on screen. So much so that his characters did not necessarily require a backstage story. The audience just knew they were here to cause trouble.

In 2021, Gulshan Grover still continues his bad game, but his negative roles have surpassed the finely sketched characters of the old days. “If you do not find something new as an actor, if you are not constantly evolving, if you do not update your art, even in real life, you are done,” Grover shared in an interview with indianexpress.com as he spoke. on the evolution of negative characters in the content space over the last two decades. He recently played a villain in Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi. The film, which is believed to have brought audiences back to theaters, was much loved and Grover saw some of that love first hand. He shared that he was going to watch the movie in a movie theater on Friday, when within minutes, he was surrounded by a crowd of people shouting “Usmani Bai!”

“The safety of the cinema had to accompany me after I nodded to the world getting up in my car. “They made their way to my car with difficulty and took me from there,” he recalls with a smile on his face. This is not his first brush with fame, but even today, it gives him a sense of validation. “I felt, on a personal level, that it is a validation of the public love for me that even today they gather in large numbers to talk to me, or shoot a video or take a photo or scream to show their love. . “It was really a pleasure to work on a Rohit Shetty film that connects you to a large audience, with the satisfaction of knowing that your art and your art is still loved by the world,” he shared.

The same week that Sooryavanshi was running full-time, Gulshan Grover made his OTT debut in the Sony LIV Your Honor Season 2 series. interesting career “but there is still” a long way to go “. At a time when actors are exploring various characters on streaming platforms, Gulshan shared that he chose Your Honor 2 because of its universal connection. “The story of a father trying to save his son, who got into trouble, to do what is possible, that connects me. I’m a parent. It is a feeling that is universal. We all feel strongly about our loved ones, if they get into trouble, you will go to every degree to save them. “That was my reason for agreeing to do the first OTT series of my career,” he said.

Gulshan Grover with Shah Rukh Khan in a snapshot from Yes Boss. (Photo: Express Archives)

Gulshan Grover has had a career where he has worked with many legends and another legend added to this list is Shankar. Grover is working with him on Kamal Haasan Indian 2’s upcoming film and from what he described, that sounds like a life role again. “One of the most expensive songs ever shot by a criminal has been portrayed on me in many locations outside India. “A very different experience,” he said. This marks another chapter in his journey across the screen to explore different shades of an evil.

Gulshan famously played Kesariya Vilayati in the 1989 film Ram Lakhan. Kesariya belonged to a time when criminals had very unique names and were meant to be purely evil. Speaking about the evolution of the bad guys from those days, Gulshan explained that criminals like Shakaal, Mogambo, Master Gogo or even Kesariya Vilayati had vague stories of origin. “Who were they? Where do they come from? It was easier to play them because they did not represent anyone. They were just weird names for weird people.” He stressed that it is the ambiguity of their origins that could force filmmakers to bring them back, as they do not represent a specific set of people.

Gulsan Grover Grover still has different shades of bad on the screen. (Photo: Express Archives)

The bad guys are not just bad anymore. In fact, they too are characters in shades written in shades of gray. “You see, a director, a writer, a director shows on screen what happens in real life. When all these characters were written, people like them probably existed, not in our neighborhood, but at least somewhere in India. Today, much of the evil is somewhat fused. Good and bad merge so much that we can not really understand who is good and who is bad. “Therefore, the characters of evil are also shades of gray and are written watching reality,” he shared.

Gulshan Grover works on films around the world. My entire social media biography says “Actor on all continents.” I work in German, French, Italian, Australian, Polish, Malaysian, Iranian, Nepalese films and in Hollywood. “I have learned from there, I have learned from life,” he shared. And the secret sauce for all of this is just evolving over time.

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