Pavail Gulati on Faadu shoot: Mosquitoes, foul smell from drain was bothering us, then it became our home
Pavail Gulati talks to Hindustan Times about his new web series, Faadu. He said director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari held his hand through scenes that required him to deal with his phobia of bats.
Pavail Gulati is back with his third release of the year, Faadu. The actor has already delivered a suspense thriller with Anurag Kashyap’s Dobaaraa and family drama Goodbye with Amitabh Bachchan. He now plays a poor guy with big dreams in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Faadu. The actor says the director of Bareilly Ki Barfi fame is quite stubborn in making sure what she wants and that’s what pays off on screen. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Pavail opens up about the making of the romantic web series and why he wants to work with Ashwiny again and again. Also read: Saiyami Kher: I have worked with biggest directors trying to do something different, I don't want to run behind success
He also talks about his character of Abhay in the show that goes with the tagline ‘a love story cursed by desire’. Pavail stars opposite Saiyami Kher but unlike her, he did face a few challenges while filming for it. Excerpts:
Why is the show titled Faadu?
I will borrow writer Saumya Joshi sir’s line that a love story shouldn’t be cool but faadu (great). It also comes from my character in the series who wants to become a big man in life. He doesn’t settle for anything less, he wants things which are beyond his status. My character lives in a chawl in Mumbai but he’s not someone who keeps crying over his condition. He is confident, brutally honest because he knows he doesn’t have anything to lose. He doesn’t take s**t from anyone and knows what he wants.
Faadu has been shot in Mumbai’s shanties.
Yes, it was entirely shot on real locations, we did not shoot anything on sets. Earlier, we were concerned about how that would be possible. First two months went by in pondering over making a set. Shooting on live locations is expensive, lot of arrangements and jugaad needs to be in place. Then Ashwiny mam decided to shoot it on live locations and it turned out to be such a boon that it made our characters very strong. The location also has a character because we were generally living there. We had 12-14 hours of shoot every day and there were night shoots as well. On first few days, the mosquitoes were bothering us and there was the foul smell from the drains. Then the place became our home on the third day. Locals used to wish us good morning and good night. It was fun.
Did you face any difficulty during the shoot?
My biggest challenge was bats. I have a phobia of bats that forget the shoot, I would run away the moment I see them. There was a point when me and Abhilash Thapliyal were sitting on a ledge on the drain. There was only stark darkness and bats under it. I was numb while filming that scene. I wouldn’t have been able to give the take had I seen under the drain. I shiver when there is a bat and had I moved on the ledge, I would have fallen down. It was a long scene and I told Abhilash to do the scene quickly else we won’t stay alive. It became a life and death situation for me. I had a tunnel vision and was only seeing into Abhilash’s eyes.
I was afraid she might do many retakes for that ledge scene and I thought I would faint. But she has a very sensitive side to her, she really pampers me. She was holding my hand and getting me through the scenes. She saw the fear in my eyes and was very considerate.
Share your experience of working with Ashwiny. Was there a scene when there were too many retakes.
Faadu could be her best work till now, she has given all her heart and soul to it. She is such a mature and evolved filmmaker. When she is on the set, you do not understand half of the things. She knows how a curtain is supposed to flutter or the importance of a stray dog in the scene. She is bit stubborn regarding her shots that until she gets her perfect shot, she will continue to have retakes, no matter its hot or cold. That’s her dedication towards her craft. You need to have a lot of patience with her but it pays off.
We had most number of takes in Serbia because my teeth were chattering. It was minus 2 degrees and there was snowfall. My ears were aching because it was windy, my makeup man was bleeding from the nose due to cold. I couldn’t cover my ears and head since I was shooting.
Your career is going great too. Your last film was with Amitabh Bachchan.
My mom is very happy about it, she is crazy about Amitabh Bachchan. She was on cloud nine when I told her about me playing his son in Goodbye. It’s a big deal for her and me. I consider myself lucky that I got to work with him twice (Pavail worked with Amitabh in TV show Yudh). I call myself God’s child in that sense.