Gul Panag has been filming the Ab Tak Chappan sequel in which she plays the role of a crime reporter, the only significant woman character in what is predominately a man’s world. “Fortunately, there was a woman’s toilet on the sets. But that apart, I was one of the boys. That wasn’t a problem because I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and interested in all that is traditionally considered masculine,” laughs the actor.
These interests include trekking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, horse riding, running marathons, driving from Mumbai to Leh and shooting. “My dad was in the army and I have been handling guns for years. I’m cool with them,” says Gul, whose brother, Sherbir is a national level shooter. “He’s currently taking a break to finish law school, but he may get back to it soon.”
Upbeat about India’s chances at the London Olympics this summer she admits that their common passion for guns brought her and Nana Patekar, a national level shooter, together on the sets of Ram Gopal Varma’s cop sequel. “There’s been no time to pursue shooting seriously, but it’s on my bucket list, like flying a plane was — a dream I lived recently,” says the actor, who on trips to London with her husband, Rishi Attari, never fails to visit Holand & Holland, the best gun store in England, to check out the latest models. “I’ve always had a life outside of my job in films and maybe after the monsoon when the shooting begins, this year or the next, Nana and I could shoot at the range in Pune together. Who knows if I am good? Like him, one day, I too could represent my state.”
Fat is fine
This Friday’s release, Fatso, has Gul romancing a plus-size man. “I dated one when I was around 16. Physical attributes can take a toll on a relationship if a person is unhappy about the way he/she looks,” reasons the actor, admitting that she had always rebelled against watching or acting in romantic movies. “But working with Rajat Kapoor was too exciting an opportunity to pass. He doesn’t do the normal stuff. This is a story about four friends, one of whom is fat, and all the boys are in love with me.”