Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati in a still from Thappad.
Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati in a still from Thappad.

Pavail Gulati on his Thappad co-star Taapsee Pannu: ‘She doesn’t have a crew or bodyguards on sets, focuses on her work’

Thappad actor Pavail Gulati was impressed by co-star Taapsee Pannu’s way of working without a crew or bodyguards.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Ruchi Kaushal
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2020 06:48 AM IST

Pavail Gulati is now a familiar face due to his performance in Anubhav Sinha’s film Thappad. The actor portrayed the role of Taapsee Pannu’s husband in the critically-acclaimed film that shook the society with its strong message against domestic violence. Pavail may have portrayed an insensitive husband in the film, but in real life, he is well aware of people’s different point of views and believes there is always another perspective of looking at things.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Pavail opened up about the filming of the socially relevant film--which will air on &pictures on Saturday at 8pm--working with Taapsee Pannu and also shared his views on nepotism. Excerpts:

 Watch: Pavail Gulati talks about Thappad, co-star Taapsee Pannu, nepotism

What is the best compliment you have received for the film?

A lot of men actually messaged me that, ‘this is what I was and you showed me that the world doesn’t revolve around me and I have to look deeper into myself’. It proved that people are willing to change, they just need a nudge in the right direction. We are looking at it from a very different point of view, if we could change perspective for a while, things could be much happier and nicer.

How was the experience of working with Taapsee Pannu and Anubhav Sinha?

Both of them are very positive and energetic people. They have no filter when it comes to anything they want to say, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad, most of it is good. I was welcomed with open arms and I can’t thank them enough for it. I call them for every free advice I need as I found a great friend in them for life. Not just professionally, personally also there has been a growth for me by just being with them.

Taapsee broke that mould for me which I thought a successful actor is supposed to be. She didn’t have a crew, she doesn’t have a manager on set. She has a makeup person and one more person, that’s it. She doesn’t want much happening around her on set. She doesn’t need bodyguards, which was amazing. She just focuses on her work and thinks that other things aren’t important. She changed my perspective of looking at things which I really admire about her.

With Anubhav sir, I learnt a lesson that life will give a lot of curveballs, but we have to remain positive. He has been through so many ups and downs and now he has emerged as another filmmaker altogether. He had vanished from the industry after Ra.One. What matters is the passion and positivity while doing something. Both the success and failure are yours. If you just own your success and blame others for your failure, it won’t work.

Taapsee Pannu in a still from Thappad.
Taapsee Pannu in a still from Thappad.

The crucial slapping scene in Thappad was filmed over multiple takes. What brief were you given for the scene?

I was very nervous because I had to slap Taapsee. I was sweating profusely. We took seven takes to get the final scene. Something or the other wasn’t falling in place which kept on building more and more tension in me. By the sixth take, Taapsee came to me and said, ‘don’t think about anything, just slap me’. After the final shot, I hugged her, apologised to her and ran to my van and refused to see anyone.

What do you think about nepotism and the insider-outsider debate in Bollywood?

Everything has been generalized. It is completely stupid to have a conversation with just these three words. Till a few years ago, many didn’t even know the meaning of this word. Even now, many people don’t know its correct usage. There is no context to what anyone is saying right now. Everyone is just debating over it, there should be a conversation not a debate. What’s happening right now is, ‘My experience is correct, everyone else is wrong’. If I agree with you, then you won’t troll me but if I say that my experience was different from yours, then I will get trolled.

Everyone has a different way of looking at things. There should be more empathy towards what people are saying rather than a complete disregard for their experiences and their voice.

Have you felt things would have been different if you were an insider?

Everyone will have a different experience. I am privileged in a way that my parents were so supportive of me for becoming an actor. There are many whose parents aren’t that supportive. Privilege is from a perspective. It comes in different ways and places. It’s the way you look at it.

Everyone has a struggle. If I just blame others for my failures, I will never be able to move forward. The idea is to get up, take a next step and move forward. I am here only because of patience, positivity and working hard. There are successful people who are unhappy and bitter. You can chose to think about just the negative parts of life, or you can think about being positive.

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