Being a good-looking romantic actor - a la Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan - was not what Gulshan Devaiah was aiming at when he stepped into filmdom. It was Manoj Bajpayee's gritty role in "Satya" and Ram Gopal Varma's dark works that inspired him to be a performance-oriented talent.
Known for playing second lead but intense roles in films like "Shaitan" and "Hate Story", Gulshan told IANS: "I was five or six years old when I thought of being an actor. I grew up imitating Shashi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra.
"But it was after watching Manoj Bajpayee in 'Satya' and old films of Ram Gopal Varma that I decided that I wanted to be a performance-oriented actor rather than just be a good looking one or a romantic actor."
The actor, who also looks up to the critically acclaimed Irrfan Khan, says what superstars like Shah Rukh and Salman do on the big screen, he can't.
"I love Shah Rukh and Salman's films. But I can never spread my arms and look cool. I wanted to do it, but couldn't. So, I figured out my strength and started polishing it," said the actor, who moved to Mumbai from Bengaluru in 2008 to follow his film acting dream.
He is content with his projects.
"I'm happy that I have a film career. I have films in hand and I'm happy living my dream," said Gulshan, who has films like "Cabaret", "Love Affair" and "Junooniyat".
In "Hunterrr", which releases on March 20, he will be seen playing the protagonist. The film is about a sex addict and his lustful journey in life.
"As a protagonist, I have greater responsibility. It is an entertaining script and I hope it does well. But I don't have unrealistic expectations from the film," he said of the movie, directed by Harshavardhan Kulkarni, and which also stars Radhika Apte and Sai Tamhanka in important roles.
As much as he loves acting, Gulshan is sure that television is not the medium for him --at least not for now.
"Some people can do a lot of episodes. I like to work for 50 to 60 days and then move on to another project. I don't think I have the aptitude for TV right now. Maybe in the future," he said.
Till then, he hopes to entertain the masses with films that let him explore his versatility.
"I hope I get lots of variety in films that I do. I hope I don't get slotted in one area. I am trying to experiment with my film career," he said.