The cast of NDTV Imagine’s flagship show, Ramayan has so far been kept away from the press. But now with Ekta Kapoor’s Kahaani Hamaarey Mahabharat ki challenging the epic’s monopoly, Ram aka Gurmeet Chaudhary is finally willing to speak. But he blames the lack of interaction on long shooting schedules.
“We are shooting for nearly 14 hours a day, subah se shaamtak,”he says.“Time hi nahi mila!” Gurmeet’s dad was in the army and the model-actor has moved around quite a bit as a child.. Patna, Jabalpur,Chennai et al.
He has been doing theatre for the last two years and has acted in a sci-fi show on Doordarshan. When Ramanand Sagar produced Ramayan back in 1987, Gurmeet was only four. He remembers rushing to the TV set every Sunday morning. He never missed the show. “Playing Ram today is living out a dream,” he gushes.
Dreams and reality
But won’t he get typecast? Arun Govil and Deepika who played Ram and Sita earlier, found it difficult to break out of their larger-than-life moulds. Gurmeet isn’t worried. He points out that Shah Rukh Khan started off with negative roles and is a superstar today.
“Earlier, there were very few television sets around so viewers actually believed that Arun Govil and Deepika were gods come to life. Today, they won’t make that mistake. They know that I am Gurmeet, the actor,” he reasons.
Quite a cakewalk
Any strange fan encounters? Not strange, but touching. Gurmeet recalls how one evening when he was returning to his hotel room at around 11 pm, the residents of apartments close to his hotel, appeared at their windows to wave out to him. One of them, an elderly lady, even landed at his hotel lobby. She had followed him all the way there. “I made her sit down and gave her a glass of water,” he reminisces.
The costumes are a cakewalk, insists Gurmeet. The language is easy too since Sanskrit was his favourite subject in school. The actor’s only problem is being linked with Sita aka Debina Bonnerjee. The duo are even supposed to be married. “We were part of the same theatre group and friends. But I am single and very eligible,” he laughs. The actor has recently been offered a sports-based film but refuses to divulge details.