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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

I love being a ‘wanna-be’ sometimes: Sunil Grover

Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times   October 18, 2013
First Published: 11:06 IST(18/10/2013) | Last Updated: 11:19 IST(18/10/2013)

Readers, meet Guthi; Guthi, meet HT City; HT City, meet Sunil; Sunil, meet readers.

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Rings a bell? The man behind the adorable Guthi from Comedy Nights with Kapil lets us in on his journey so far and sincerity being an essential ingredient for all his characters.

He is known to make us hold our tummies with laughter, and is expected to do the same over the phone, but Sunil Grover chooses to take the conversation on a tangent.

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“Tu kyun nai karda, Grover?” (Why are you not doing it, Grover?) “These words, by comedy king Jaspal Ji still resonate in my mind. He’d say this to me every time we’d talk. During college at GGDSD, Sector 32, Chandigarh, Jaspal sir gave me my first break on TV for his comedy serial, Full Tension, which was followed by my role, Professor Money Plant, in the film Mahaul Theek Hai.

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Jaspal ji believed in me, and every time I spoke to him over the phone, I could sense the disappointment in his voice. At the time, I wasn’t where he wanted to see me. Today, ten years into the industry, when I have received appreciation for my talent, he is not around. I miss his advice, blessings and his outstanding humor immensely,” shares Grover.

A pass-out from the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, Sunil Grover says he got his biggest compliment recently when he visited a chemist. “The shopkeeper said, ‘Guthi! Aap toh hamare family member ban gaye hain’ (Guthi, you have become a member of our family). That’s the first-ever and biggest compliment I received for my character. I am amazed to see how people are loving Guthi, and, in turn, me,” says Grover.

Explaining his character’s traits, he says, “I come from a small village, Mandi Dabwali, so I relate to Guthi very well. In rural areas, one can easily find an adorable Guthi, carrying a handkerchief, hopping around with two plaits. They can be shy and can surprise you at once, reacting like a ‘wanna-be cool kid’ with “Are you ready? Let’s dance.” Each one of us has a ‘wanna-be’ in us. ‘Wanna-be’ is a sweet term used with a negative connotation. I also love being a ‘wanna-be’ sometimes.”

“Now, Guthi has a modest upbringing, but to survive in the modern era, she tries to be someone she is not, which makes her adorable. Being a guy, I have a genetic interest in girls. So, it wasn’t difficult getting into a girl’s character,” laughs Sunil, singing his famous lines from the show, ‘Aap aaye hain hamare ghar pe…’

About his versatility on the show, imitating Dara Singh most importantly, Grover says, “I do not imitate characters, I try to find their soul.”

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