After the success of Guilty, Gurfateh Singh Pirzada is aiming big. He’s currently working on a long list of projects, including Ayan Mukherji’s Brahmāstra which also stars Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt
Since the release of Guilty earlier this year, you’ve been hailed as Bollywood’s hot new entrant. What has that been like for you?
It’s been great! This is only the first step and it does feel very new. While one film has been released, I have other projects in the pipeline and I know I will love it more when the next film premieres and people appreciate me and my work even more. I’ve always believed that it is your second project that decides if you’re here to stay or not.
With the way things are currently, the small screen is the new big screen. Does an OTT release satiate your dream to see yourself on a bigger canvas?
Honestly, I don’t feel there is any difference between the OTT platforms and the feature film space. In fact, in today’s day and age, these digital platforms have a larger global audience. Of course, I am eager to do feature films that are screened in theatres — and I do have one coming up soon. I suppose the right balance between both is the way to go.
Do you think the kind of films and shows that are being made for the small screen these days give actors more freedom to experiment and be fearless?
Because censorship isn’t a problem currently when it comes to the OTT space, there’s a lot more one can explore. Better late than never I’d say. Today content is fresher and more experimental (on OTT platforms) and I hope traditional films move in that direction too. I definitely feel that our audience has become more mature and is eager to watch varied and more experimental stories. That makes room for newer talent too, so it’s a win-win situation.
Guilty was a game changer for you. Was the recognition a reinforcement of your belief in yourself?
Honestly, I sort of always knew I’ll make it — somehow, somewhere (smiles). The enduring dream was to be launched through a Dharma Productions’ film, so that worked out perfectly! Without question, once you get recognised and people seem to like your work, it is a huge confidence booster. At the same time, you have to keep going with the same drive and intensity. I still haven’t ‘made it’ and I believe there is a lot more work to do. Hopefully, there always will be work to do.
Do you think your entry into the film industry via modelling worked in your favour?
Not at all! Modelling and acting are two very different things. I did enjoy modelling, but just to a certain extent. It was only a stepping stone for me — the goal was always to be an actor.
The film industry can be a tough place to work. What keeps you going back and looking forward?
I don’t think any industry is easy to be in. Perhaps because this industry is all about the spotlight — and everyone seems to have an opinion about films and actors — that makes it a bit harder. But I’m honestly in it for the love of movies and to perform. That’s about it. When you go home, you have to be able to shut out everything else. You have to cut off from social media and your professional life. I think that makes it easier to handle. At the end of the day, actors are just human and we lead simple lives too. What keeps me going? The excitement that comes with being able to explore a new character!
What kind of role excites you?
I love characters that can’t be put into a box. I like grey characters, because those are invariably the ones that are written well. There are no good people or bad people in world. We’re all grey, we’re all good and bad in different ways — if a script has that, I’m super excited to portray it. That said, playing the occasional ‘lover boy’ character doesn’t hurt (laughs).
What projects are you currently working on?
Brahmāstra (starring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and directed by Ayan Mukerji) is something I’m done shooting for, which comes out sometime next year. I am working on a couple of other projects that I am not meant to talk about. Hopefully official announcements will follow soon!
What advice will you give somebody who is starting off in the modelling world, but dreams of being in Bollywood?
Don’t take it too seriously. These are very different worlds. Modelling encourages you to be the perfect version of yourself, whereas acting is where you have to embrace your imperfections. If you can balance both, that’s great. Otherwise, do acting workshops and study cinema. Those will help you much more than anything else.
The ideal gentleman: That would have to be my grandfather
Your idea of friendship: If you have no inhibitions with each other and can trust in the other person, that’s friendship
A role you would accept without a second’s hesitation: I’d love to play a gangster
A role you would turn down: Anything I’m not too confident about
What tops your bucket list: To have my own pad in New York City!
What attracts you most to a woman: Her personality
What is your most luxurious indulgence: I don’t think I have one yet. But I am very fond of cars.
Your dream car: That would be the Range Rover Vogue
Mountains or beaches: Mountains!
Living out of a suitcase or chilling at home: Without a doubt, living out of a suitcase!
Pictures: Kapil Gulati (Studio Thirty6)
Styling & creative direction: Tanishq Malhotra
Make-up & Hair: Jitin Rathore
Location: Courtesy Sly Granny, Khan Market, New Delhi
Concept & production: Styleattire Fashion Consultancy