It was calculated risk: Gulshan Devaiah on shooting 'Unpaused' amid pandemic

·3-min read

Mumbai, Dec 16 (PTI) Actor Gulshan Devaiah says shooting for his upcoming Amazon Prime Video anthology 'Unpaused' during the coronavirus pandemic was a testimony to the ability of art to thrive under all circumstances. Directed by filmmaker duo Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK, the short -- titled 'Glitch' -- was the first project Devaiah took up in the Unlock phase in Maharashtra.

'It was a calculated risk to shoot during the pandemic. But I realised that art always figures out a way. We shot the film in Mumbai itself, in Madh Island and then for a day in Andheri. There were enough people on set, it didn't feel like we were short on crew,' Devaiah told PTI.

Before the country went into the lockdown from March 25, the 42-year-old actor was shooting for filmmaker Reema Kagti's series 'Fallen', another Amazon project, in Rajasthan.

Devaiah, known for films like 'Shaitan', 'Hunterrr' and 'Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota', said he felt extremely disappointed when the shoot was 'abruptly cut short'.

'I then started getting anxious as things started getting from bad to worse in terms of uncertainty. I soon realised that I am a bit privileged, there were many who were having a bit much worse. I eventually settled in with the feeling.' It was during this time, the actor said, that the Raj-DK script took him by surprise.

Devaiah said it was 'completely out of the blue' and left him feeling amused because he hadn't even 'hustled' to get the project.

'Raj called me and offered the part. Most of the scripts I read lie down on my bed, it's a thumb rule that if it gets me out of bed, I do it! With this one, I was out of bed, enacting the lines as I read.

'It was so much fun, quirky and a display of fantastic writing. I am familiar with their sense of humour and style. It didn't make any sense to not do it, despite the calculated risk we had to take to shoot this during the pandemic,' he added.

Though this is the first time the actor is collaborating with the filmmaker duo, best known for films like 'Go Goa Gone', 'Stree', and Amazon series 'The Family Man', Devaiah said discussions had always been on and off with Raj-DK for other projects.

'We had been discussing a few things but this is the first project which worked out. The other things are still in discussions but I'm glad we got started somewhere.

'It was sweet of them to tell me 'We don't know why we didn't work with you.' It took us 10 years, but better later than never,' the actor said.

'Unpaused' also features four other short films -- directed by Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Avinash Arun, and Nitya Mehra -- revolving around the themes of hope, second chances and new beginnings.

The anthology is slated to be released on Friday. PTI JUR RDS RB RB