Believing in herself

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Actress Gul Panag has been applauded by fans and critiques for playing unconventional roles in Bollywood films

Gul Panag can be described in three simple words — bold, beautiful and outspoken. The lady has surely carved a niche for herself in the world of Bollywood, portraying unique roles in interesting films. The former Miss India turned actress, who was in the City to promote her recent release Straight, had lots to say to Metrolife on the film, her director Parvati Balagopalan and co-star Vinay Pathak.

“This is my second film with Parvati,” says Gul. “We have one more project lined up.” In fact, when Parvati called Gul to tell her about the script, Gul instantly said yes. “I didn’t need to listen to the script as Parvati is an excellent director and I have immense faith in her. In the end, it is faith that moves mountains,” says the lovely actress.

Straight deals with the sensitive subject of homophobia in a light-hearted way. “Homosexuals have always been portrayed in a particular way in movies,” feels Gul. “But you can’t tell whether a person is homosexual or not. Just like the way, you can’t tell whether a person is a Hindu, Muslim or a Christian.” But Gul feels that it is a positive sign that issues like these are being discussed.

Gul is extremely happy with the extreme reactions that the film is getting. “I would be very disappointed if people came out of the theatre, and said ‘it’s ok’. A movie shouldn’t be somewhere on the middle of the road,” she feels. She considers her co-star Vinay Pathak, as a “thinking actor”. “If I could be one-fourth of the actor that he is, it would be great,” she says modestly. 

Moving on to her unconventional choice of roles, she says, “It’s just instinct. Sometimes I love the script but have no faith in the director, and sometimes it’s the other way round. So it’s just a mix and match of everything.” But Gul believes that every film is commercial. “Because every movie is made with the intention of earning money. The only difference lies in the target audience.”

Fans of the beautiful lady, will be seeing a lot of her this year. She will be seen in A Rectangular Love Story, Hello Darling, and Rann.

Dressed in a black and white top, a chunky blue-beaded necklace and light butterfly earrings, Gul made a striking style statement. “I can’t believe people actually criticise fashion,” she smiles. “How can anyone have the right to tell someone how to dress and make them doubt their self-esteem,” she asks. She has a point when she says, “When it comes it fashion, I am a non-conformist, and I don’t care.”

The lady has fond memories of Bangalore. “The last time I came here was two years ago. I had wonderful food in a restaurant, whose name I can’t remember,” she laughs again flashing her beautiful dimples.

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