Sunil Grover talks about his journey, success of Gutthi and much more in conversation with Youngisthan
In his most loved avatar, Sunil Grover greeted the readers of Youngisthan while on his drive from his home in Goregaon to Bandra.
‘Youngisthan – Sunil, Sunil-audience, audience –Youngisthan’
We bring you excerpts from the exclusive interview- Are you ready for it guys?
When did you start acting?
(Thinks) I started acting from the hospital itself…Pauses… I mean, since I was born! Frankly, I don’t remember about acting, but I started mimicking my chaachi, maami , bua, aunties, teachers since school days. Actually, I don’t remember when I started but I have been acting, if you call it acting (he interrupts himself), after I did my Masters in Theatre from Chandigarh. While studying in Chandigarh I was working with Jaspal Ji, Jaspal Bhatti apart from doing a couple of assignments.
How did you reach Mumbai?
I reached Mumbai by train (with a straight face). Actually, I started working in a news channel for a few months at the beginning of my career and then I came to Bombay. I did a couple of voice over assignments here and there, did a couple of Ad films and TV shows. That’s how my journey in the city began.
Who came up with the idea of having Gutthi on Comedy Nights with Kapil?
I had played this character some four years back on one of the shows that I was hosting. Since then I had it in mind that I will play this character once again, and I thought Comedy Nights with Kapil was the right platform to add dimensions to this character, so to put it.
What did you think while imbibing those qualities into the character? Do you know any girl who is like Gutthi?
Yaar, I love wannabe people. Since I remember, I have been attracted to wannabe people because of their sheer innocence. If they want to do something, they will immediately come of their shell to surprise you and how! I have been brought up in such an environment, till class 12th, where we couldn’t approach girls. I am a man at the end of the day, so I loved observing girls and while looking for girls, only such girls were seen around. So, this is not one particular character that I imitate, but it’s the community of such characters. You know the kind of girls whom you look at and they entertain you.
You are undoubtedly the best mimik in the country and your comic timings are just perfect. What kind of ground works goes into it?
Thank you so much! (Switches to Gutthi’s mode) Oooh! That is too much but I like that!
(Switches back to the normal mode) I have been mimicking people for quite some time now through radio, TV, ads. Because, I can’t do anything else but this and because I love it so much. I love being someone else. I don’t find myself as interesting as the characters I observe and play. I want to make every character given to me interesting where the bigger challenge is to get into the skin of the character and try to live it. This is the only thing that keeps me going.
Like singers practice and do their riyaaz everyday, do you also stand in front of the mirror and talk?
Yes, like any other art. See, it’s not music that I sit with my harmonium or so, but I practice by observing people. (Peeps out of his car window) Like this man, who is looking at me because I am looking at him. What would he be thinking? The way this man sits, the way that man walks and the clothes they wear, all this is my ground work. This is my homework and this happens by default. I just put it in my craft and present it.
I do look at the mirror as well, I look at myself. I used to do that a lot earlier, but now I think the mirror also finds me interesting. If the mirror keeps me interested in it, I also like to entertain it more. I think mirror is my audience and viewers. Yes, I do talk to the mirror.
Looks like you guys have a lot of fun on the sets of Comedy Nights with Kapil… how is your equation with Kapil Shrama?
Oh yes! We have a lot of fun on the sets of the show as we have to keep ourselves awake; it’s Comedy Nights at the end of the day. We shoot all night and also look forward to the show. Me and Kapil share super equation. I think he is super talented and a very good human being. He has worked very hard for this and he deserves everything he has got and much more.
Have you considered doing serious roles or TV serials?
As I said, I don’t think if I am doing comedy or a serious role, I just look forward to entertain people. Whatever I do should be entertaining, it should touch lives. But, first of all it should touch my heart and I should be convinced about it. While it may take a short time or it may take a long time, I enjoy every bit of acting. For comedy one needs great timings and I guess I am blessed with that to a certain extent, but Zila Ghaziabad, where I did a serious role, was a learning experience in more ways than one.
In movies, there is a certain progression of the character from the begging till the end. It doesn’t happen so in television. In television there is no graph to a character; it just goes on for years. As opposed to a TV show, a film brings out certain emotional changes in the character in terms of the storyline. TV doesn’t have that kind of progression and I don’t like it and this is the reason I don’t do daily soaps.
Who is your favourite actor?
All the actors are good. According to me any actor should have one quality that he/she should touch people’s life and I love the actors who can do it. Manoranjan basically means ‘Mann ka ranjan’ and any actor who can reach out and touch souls is a great actor. There are different actors, I love all of them. Even bad actors entertain me because if have to play a role of a bad actor, I will copy him!
Any tips for the budding stand-up comedians?
(Laughs) Let me be one first! My advice would be- Just make sure you know how to make people laugh, that’s what I keep telling myself.