between real and the reel on the sets of "Ghar Ek Mandir"
is a cakewalk for Gautami Gadgil. Except when she's enacting
emotional scenes that is. Then it can be some time before
she recovers from a bawling session. And if you thought
it was all about the good old glycerine, you'd better have
a fresh take on it mate.Gadgil,
who plays 'Aachal', the central character in the serial,
takes three takes to complete the teary shot. Not her fault
it must be noted coz somebody else goofed up. And after
the second take the tears just refuse to stop flowing.Once
the shot's been canned and she's over the crying game, she's
all bubbles and laughter. There's a whole lot of ribbing
between her and co-stars Ram Kapoor (Rahul) and Ritu
Raj (Vishwajeet) once she's composed herself and
that's the general mood on the sets every time the director
calls cut. Everyone's having a blast what with all the jokes
and leg-pulling going on. Born and brought up in Mumbai
in a traditional Maharashtrian milieu, Gadgil's family tended
towards the academic. So it must have been quite dramatic
when she decided to venture into acting along with her studies.
She starting out modelling at the age of 16. In between
her modelling assignments and acting, Gautami managed to
graduate with a degree in life sciences. Influenced by her
academically inclined family - her father is a doctor, mother
a principal of a nursing college - Gautami pursued her studies
and got a diploma in medical lab technology.
In due course, she got her break acting in a sitcom. She's
come a long way since then, having dabbled in movies, modelling,
and the tube in serials like "Alag Alag" and "Patang" on
DD Metro and "Ghar Ek Mandir" on Sony Entertainment Television.
In between shots and the general merrymaking on the sets
of "Ghar Ek Mandir" in the west Mumbai suburb of Andheri,
indiantelevision.com's Harsha Khot managed to get in a few
questions to Gadgil. And a few replies. Excerpts from a
rather distracting interview:
recollections do you have of your first shoot?
How did acting in a television serial happen?
the tenth standard I had been into ad modelling, and
one day to my surprise I received a call requesting
me to come for an audition from UTV. And with a name
like Manjul Sinha (a well known television director)
behind the camera I did not have to hesitate to audition
too much though my friends badgered me a bit before
I finally went.
It was a pilot that never took off. I was very nervous and
not so much about the acting as about whether the audience
would accept me or not.
sort of roles do you look forward to taking up?
After taking up two sensitive roles
in "Ghar Ek Mandir" and Tamanna, I would love to do something
different, more challenging. Say a negative role; play a character
who is physically handicapped... or that of an old woman.
The sort of roles that I have done till now have come quite
naturally since they portrayed traditional Indian women. I
suppose the perception is that my looks fit those types of
in Channel 9 Gold's "Alag Alag" and "Patang" on Doordarshan
Metro. Though you're playing different characters doesn't
it bother you?
You mean overexposure. My producers
haven't received any complaints so far. And the offers for
roles are still flowing in.
How do you enact the character that
It becomes quiet easy when I try and play a character close
to me. Keeping the lines of the script in mind I try to give
the character the emotions the way I would react during similar
circumstances and moments.
it easy being an actress?
It is hard work. There are times when you feel absolutely
drained out. Say for instance in an emotional scene,
you try and bring up the emotions. And if there are
many similar emotional scenes with takes and retakes,
by the end of it all you reach a point where your
eyes go dry and you are mentally drained out with
no energy left.
do you look for inspiration?
Ordinary people. It could be anybody. A person walking on
the road, and certain things about them that leave an image
in my mind.
ad modeling, acting in a daily sitcom and movies, which
medium do you prefer?
Each one stands out on its own. In ads it is a two-day affair
where you are working with a set of very professional people,
in a daily sitcom you get to learn as you go along with
the character, and it enhances your acting. Movies of course
have all that glamour attached and you get much wider exposure
which is a different sort of thrill.
things prompt you to pick up a role?
I ponder over the potential of the character. Its depth,
the subtle shades that it could have. And yes the crew matters
the most to me, because I have to be comfortable with the
people I work with. In the morning I should be eager to
jump out of bed and head for a shoot. If that weren't so,
then it would be difficult to relate with things. Leave
other things aside. The director should be able to relate
to me and the character I am supposed to convey.
you miss not having been formally trained?
Yes, I do regret it. A background in acting helps you
in emoting better.
How then did you work on acting?
Do you practice voice modulation, expression? Hmm...
I don't know. The directors, co-stars they were very
helpful. No I did not practice voice modulation but
I do intend to do that in future. Maybe theatre too.
Because of my friends actually. They triggered the curiosity
of acting in theatre. They keep raving about how theatre is
this... theatre is that... and can't stop talking about the
'high' they get after audiences give them a positive response.
The response in television acting comes after a week or so,
but in theatre it is instant...now I want to experience that.
Actually, my debut in television started with a director (Manjul
Sinha) who gets the best out of his actors. His style is very
different. Generally all one has to do to get the hang of
a script is to learn the dialogues for the forthcoming scene.
While he gets the whole crew to rehearse the entire scene
at one stretch just like the way you might do in a play. That
you have to learn remember all your dialogues.
Any forthcoming serials that we could
see you in?
Actually, I am looking forward to taking a break at least
for the next three months. In fact I have been stepping out
of commitments. And where that's not possible, I'm working
on completing them as soon as possible.
What do you intend to do?
As of now I just want to take a break. Then maybe check out
something in theatre. And I also intend to get back to studies
and pursue sociology.