ACTRESS GUL Panag says that she is in a “happy, blessed state of mind and place” now. “I am glad I took to Bollywood after my Miss India-Universe title.
I have earned a certain degree of respect that comes with being a competent actress, I have five films that will be released this year, and five on the floor. “Besides, it’s the best time to be in Bollywood, scripts rule and which means directors don’t just cast any girl who’s available, they look for an actress, an actress who is suited to play a particular character,” says Gul. Gul prides herself on being “my kind of a person. I believe that by definition I am different.
It’s a good thing to be. Which means I am unique; I am irreplaceable. Of course that has its own set of challenges but what is life without that!” So what are her strengths as an actress? “I would like to say that I am very versatile and competent. I am capable of playing anything.
I am also very good at action; I have trained for years in Taekwondo and kickboxing. Fitness has been a part of my life since I was very young and there’s simply nothing that I can’t do. “I can look good in a traditional outfit and a bikini too.” Clearly, Gul is a very confident person.
“Well, that comes from my upbringing and because my father was in the army, I lived in different parts of India. I can say that safely, that I wouldn’t be half as good if I didn’t have the kind of upbringing that I did,” confesses Gul. Does Gul credit Dor with bringing about a change in how people viewed her as an actress? “Every actor has in their repertoire, a film that turned the tables. It doesn’t mean the actor was bad before or better after. It simply means that a film was able to showcase you in a particular manner.
Like Bipasha can credit Jism for bringing around a change in her career, I can do so with Dor but I believe that Dhoop was my best work till date.” What does Gul hope for the future? “I want to keep being versatile and do challenging work. I don’t want to be associated with brooding roles.
In fact, the worst thing for an actor is to be stereotyped. I also want to keep travelling. It’s a passion and it gives me an adrenaline rush to discover new places on this planet,” says Gul who goes camping with a tent as often as she can. Gul says that she also has some friends in the industry and a tightly knit group outside it.
“It’s a competitive industry and it keeps me fairly busy but I am friends with Amrita Arora, Raima and Koel Purie. I often meet them for a drink. But honestly, I have passed the stage in life when I go about making friends,” says this very candid actress.