Art & Entertainment

Gulshan Devaiah Based His 'Guns & Gulaabs' Character On Anton Chigurh From ‘No Country For Old Men’

Gulshan Devaiah has had a terrific run this year in the movies and in streaming shows with projects like ‘Duranga 2’, ‘8 A.M. Metro’, ‘Dahaad’ and ‘Guns & Gulaabs’, playing the audience favourite '4 Cut Atmaram' in the latter.

Gulshan Devaiah

Actor Gulshan Devaiah has had a terrific run this year in the movies and in streaming shows with projects like ‘Duranga 2’, ‘8 A.M. Metro’, ‘Dahaad’ and ‘Guns & Gulaabs’, playing the audience favourite '4 Cut Atmaram' in the latter.

Recently, the makers announced the second season of ‘Guns & Gulaabs’, sending the fans of the series in a frenzy. The anticipation for the return of '4 Cut Atmaram' in the second season and his face-off with Rajkummar Rao’s 'Paana Tipu' is highly awaited.

As 2023 draws to a close, the actor spoke to IANS and reflected on his learnings, the effect on his decision-making and how he modelled his character on Anton Chigurh from the cult classic ‘No Country for Old Men’.

Talking about his process of approaching '4 Cut Atmaram', Gulshan told IANS, “I initially based '4 Cut Atmaram' on Anton Chigurh played by Javier Bardem in ‘No Country for Old Men’. They’re not similar but certain things about them do overlap, there’s quirkiness to them, a sense of danger and they both cannot be defeated. So, I thought I should draw from Anton Chigurh."

He continued, “I imagined that I’m in a spaghetti western, so many positions and stance that I take in the series are influenced by the spaghetti western genre. I requested for a pocket to be built like a gun slinger, ready to draw my knife to inflict the deadly 4 cuts. I didn’t try to humanise him as well, I treated the character as a figment of imagination. It really helped me put the character in perspective."

Gulshan has done his graduation from NIFT. Later, he got jobs in the fashion industry where he worked for 10 years. He also taught fashion to students at the Wigan & Leigh College in Bengaluru.

Talking about how his bent of mind as a student of design helps the actor in him, he shared, “Studying design gives me an advantage in analysing the aesthetics of a physical space and not just the props or the costumes. I use my sense of design to interact with the space, it’s almost like having a third vantage point."

Sharing his learnings from 2023, the actor told IANS, “My decision-making has improved. It’s like an algorithm, it’s not a very rigid system, there are basic rules that I follow but I ensure to make room for sufficient changes as may be required with the passage of time. Sometimes you get it wrong also but that’s fine, it’s a part of the journey, and the journey is more important for me."

There have been a lot of discussions around the excessive use of violence in two recently-released films, the Prabhas-starrer ‘Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire’ and the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer ‘Animal’. In fact, '4 Cut Atmaram' himself uses violence as a device to carry the story forward.

Sharing his opinion on the issue, Gulshan, who maintains that he hasn’t seen either ‘Salaar' or ‘Animal’, told IANS, “People easily get attracted towards either supporting something or going completely against it, it’s a binary. Having an extreme reaction is a currency on social media to draw attention no matter what side of the debate one is at. And this has created a symbiotic loop which I feel is not very constructive."

“Having said that, I feel it’s important to discuss perspectives, like I feel that an excessive amount of violence or glorification of violence in an artwork can have some negative effect on the society, but it’s not that it will breed a violent society. The reality lies somewhere in the grey area," he added.

The sense of morality in artwork has long been a point of discussion for artistes and the audience. How important is it for artistes to function under the umbrella of morality in artwork?

The actor said, “Some people want to challenge the idea of morality in their artwork and that’s where new grounds are broken in terms of telling a story or creating something which has never been a part of the society. Some people want to uphold the sense of morality which leads to conservative art. I think both are necessary.

“Again, a majority of artistes are somewhere in the middle. Then there are those like me who believe that the idea of freedom of expression cannot be absolute. The push and pull is extremely constructive for the growth of society and the art itself.”