Pavail Gulati, who was last seen opposite Taapsee Pannu in the critically-acclaimed Thappad, has again reunited with the actor for Anurag Kashyap’s mystery drama, Dobaaraa. The film got rave reviews from all quarters though many are still raising concerns over its performance at the box office. However, Pavail says the film has already recovered its cost. (Also Read | Dobaaraa actor Pavail Gulati says he has social anxiety)
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Pavail opened up about Dobaaraa and why Anurag Kashyap took quite a few years to make it. He also addressed the concerns over its collections at the ticket windows. Excerpts:
Are you happy with the response for Dobaaraa?
I am damn happy, people are loving it. We as an industry are struggling because of theatres but just to get that validation — whoever is watching the film is loving it. Such a film has never been made, so for us to even attempt it and people liking it, that’s the biggest validation for the film and us.
How was it to work again with Taapsee Pannu?
We have a very nice offscreen friendship. We became friends after Thappad, we meet each other, we play squash together, we fight as well. It’s very easy working with her. She is a friend to whom you can say anything. We can just be ourselves around each other which is a very cool thing.
How did you land the role in Dobaaraa? Was it because of your pairing in Thappad?
Actually, I signed Dobaaraa before Thappad. Anurag Kashyap saw me in one episode of Made In Heaven. He offered me the film and I read the script. Thappad happened three months after that. He gave me Ghost Stories and this film. Dobaaraa took a little more time to be made.
Why did making of Dobaaraa take a lot of time?
When you make such a film, locations are very important. Finding those locations took them a year. They wanted to be pitch perfect with it. They did recce all over the world, they went to South Africa, Mauritius, London and then they finally found it in our own country, i.e Hinjawadi, Pune.
What do you think is the reason behind the film not getting the desired collections despite such good reviews?
Our film is getting a very good response. It is a very, very low budget film, we recovered the money earlier only and now whatever is happening is sone pe suhaga (icing on the cake). It released on very few screens and is still making that kind of money, it’s a blessing.
Audience is not going to theatres for anything now, even big producers are not able to answer this question. There is a change happening. When VHS had arrived, theatres suffered. When television arrived, theatres suffered. Now OTT is here, so the industry is taking some time to get the balance. Things will get balanced one day. Now we have social media to spread negativity. Any new thing that comes, disrupts the system altogether. And then it finds its own footing. We are going through a phase but it will soon be fine.
How different it is to work with Anubhav Sinha and then with Anurag Kashyap?
They are completely two different schools but they are kind of same people. Both of them are children at heart. They are both very entertaining, funny and energetic. They are not like the films they make, they are actually opposite of that. Anubhav sir works with a lot of gravitas and knows what he wants to do. He is very prepared.
Anurag sir is basically a very spontaneous. He doesn’t know what he is going to do. He is very organised in chaos. You can’t do any preparation while working with him. He will land up on set and will change anything that he wants to. Because everything is going on in his head and he realises it once he reaches the set. Ekdum se unko idea aata hai aur wo change kar dete hain (he suddenly gets an idea and changes things). You have to be always on your toes if you are working with him. That is also a lovely way to work, as an actor you are very, very aware. He basically throws you in a deep pool and you have to swim out of it. That is also a cool way of working.
Tell us about your upcoming projects: Goodbye and Faadu?
Goodbye stars me, Amitabh Bachchan, Neena Gupta and Rashmika Mandanna. It is directed by Vikas Behl and produced by Ekta Kapoor. It is a family entertainer and has lots of drama and comedy. It is about a family which is going through something. Amit Trivedi has given the music. I am dying for its trailer to be out. I am attempting comedy for the first time. I was so nervous before doing it but once I entered it, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Faadu is a series directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari for Sony Liv. It’s a poetic drama love story. She has already left behind a legacy. She is very collaborative; she loves to take ideas from people. Imagine my luck, I am working with such great directors. I sometimes pinch myself that I am working with all of them.
Is the insider-outsider debate still relevant?
I am tired of this debate, it’s in every department and field. We can either cry over it, which will lead to nothing, or we can buck up, pull our pants up and start working towards it, like many have done. The biggest outsider in this country is the biggest superstar in the world, Shah Rukh Khan. You can either take inspiration from him or you can cry about yourself. It takes some time and struggle to reach where you want, but if you have the talent, patience, persistence, no one can stop you.