Gaurav Chopraa was worried when offered Colonel’s role in Gadar 2 | Bollywood


Actor Gaurav Chopraa, who plays the role of Colonel Rawat in Anil Sharma’s Gadar 2, was not too sure about taking up the role in the first place. In fact, he was worried when he was offered the role, Gaurav revealed in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times. (Also read| Gadar 2 box office: Sunny Deol film earns 135 crore in just 3 days)

Gaurav Chopraa as Col Rawat in Gadar 2.
Gaurav Chopraa as Col Rawat in Gadar 2.

Why Gaurav was worried, and in a dilemma

Talking about his apprehensions before agreeing to do the film, Gaurav said, “It was somewhere in the middle of the lockdown (when the offer came). There was this decision – I did not want to continue with the pattern of work I was already doing. The same prototype (of roles), a similar pattern of roles were being offered to me, back-to-back. You know, that whole angry young man zone….it is something I enjoy doing and I probably have done a good job with it. But the byproduct of that is that every time they think of something like that, they say let’s call Gaurav. You end up playing a similar prototype every time. I started to feel that they only called me for that.”

“Yes, something could be your strength, but if that is the only thing you do, then that is the only thing you do. The rest of the stuff that you could do will never get showcased. So having observed that and I made it a point and started saying no to a lot of that kind of work. A lot of money has been said no to and it’s not easy. It’s not easy, at all,” he added.

Gaurav also said that he was in a dilemma initially as the scenes were “lesser than usual”. “Anil Ji was insistent. He kept saying ‘Aap narration me baith jaiye (please sit for narration). Anil ji has been very very generous with his praise for my work over the years. Not just Anil Ji, but also his wife and son Utkarsh. They always praise me anytime they met me. They have all been a little extra generous with me with their praises. So I knew if he’s insisting, there must be something special to the part.”

Taking up a small role in a big film

The actor added that the length of the role made him skeptical, mainly because he did not want anyone to think that he picked a smaller role as he wants to switch mediums. “I did not want this (Gadar 2) to be misconstrued as ‘oh, he is trying to shift mediums so he is taking up smaller and insignificant parts’. To be honest, I never really cared for how many scenes there are. (But) Of late, I have felt the burden of coming from a particular medium (TV)……of being removed from promotional campaigns and prominence at the right time – just before release.”

Gaurav elaborated, “Just before the release, all prominence is taken away from you. You’re being compared to other bigger stars from other mediums and so on and so forth. This burden started to feel like I didn’t want to (do anything to send the wrong messages). I didn’t want this (Gadar 2) to get misconstrued in any way. And I was a little hesitant because of that. But like I said, as soon as I need got the narration, I knew this is a special part and I need not care about how many scenes I had.”

Why Gaurav finally said yes to Gadar 2

Talking about the time when he finally decided to dig into Gadar 2, Gaurav said, “But when Anil Sharma narrated the part to me, I understood why he wanted me to do this. It’s those typical things that I usually bring to the table that he wanted for this part. He wanted a sense of gravitas for the character and that sense of dependability. He wanted a face and not a star or a newcomer. Slowly a small part became a very big part, in my head. I tried my best and had a lot of fun doing the role. It has been very real for me. This part is personal and the experience has been very real. I am glad I said yes. I hope the audience likes it.”

Gaurav added that Colonel Devendra Rawat is the soldier who makes us all feel safe and is the responsible one. “In a way, he represents the entire Indian Army. It’s a very special part with a huge responsibility and lesser scene.”

Refusing roles, and good money

Gaurav also said that in his attempt to stay creatively satisfied, he has refused a lot of money. He added that the refusal was not at all as easy as it sounds. “These decisions are easy to say, but when you actually execute them, it gets difficult. For the first time, you say no, it’s okay. The second time it’s okay. The third time you start to wonder and by the fourth and fifth times you’re like ‘Galti kar raha hoon man (Am I making a mistake)? I should have just done this in the meantime’. But anyway, I stuck to it. In the past three years, only three roles were said yes to. Bachchan Pandey where I played the main antagonist opposite Akshay Kumar, Rana Naidu (Netflix), which has all kinds of crazy shades to it, and Gadar 2.”

Gaurav’s prep for the role of Colonel Rawat in Gadar 2

Gaurav also said that the uniform that he wore in the film, is an original one and not one created for the film. Recalling his prep for the role for which he gained 9 kg, Gaurav added, “So, for the next 25 days, there was a different type of exercise routine. There was lots of desi ghee and I tried to eat like how they did it in 1970. I tried to live as much as I could, like how they did in the 1970s. I watched much lesser television, used my phone much lesser. Then there were 20 days of deciding what the mustache should be like. Should it be long or short or thick or heavy? I had a little visual in my head – a World War 2 fighter pilot. And I wanted to look like that.”

Spending time with the army

Gaurav also revealed that they shot with real soldiers, adding that he volunteered to spend some time with the army officers ahead of the shoot. An army officer – Colonel Surinder Singh – also guided and helped him with the preparation.

Gaurav also said he wanted to make sure his dialogues did not sound too jingoistic. “What Tara Singh says, is an individual statement but what Col Rawat says is India saying it to the enemy, or the world. I had to make a heroic statement without sounding unnecessary. I wanted it to echo the ethos of Indian sentiments.” He also said that he would nod back to the real soldiers when he walked in the colonel’s uniform with Colonel Singh, and then wonder later why he did.


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