Gulshan Devaiah on Cancel Culture: If Everybody Has a Voice, There will Be Noise

Thriller web series Duranga, an official adaptation of South Korean suspense drama Flower Of Evil, released today. Its lead actor Gulshan Devaiah plays Sammit, a seemingly perfect husband with skeletons in his closet. In an exclusive interview with News18, he admits that remakes have become a formulaic trend in the entertainment industry but is quick to add that adapting shows and films from other languages and cultures is no cakewalk and involves a lot of creativity.

Devaiah agrees that the remake bandwagon has created a dearth of original work in the content creation space. “If people are just remaking stuff because it’s in trend, I’m not particularly very interested in that. But there are ways of creatively adapting things. If your source material is interesting, you can adapt it creatively and differently,” he says.

That, he believes, is one of the reasons why he decided not to watch Flower Of Evil before he began shooting for Duranga. “Drashti (Dhami; actor) and I wanted to bring our own take to Duranga, whether it is right or wrong is beside the point. We wanted to have our own individual creative approach while playing the characters,” he states.

Though remakes are in vogue, he urges filmmakers to strike a fine balance between adapting from existing screenplays and generating original work. The Badhaai Do actor elaborates, “When a trend peaks, everybody starts following it, which is why all of us are remaking content today – left, right and centre. I’m not a big fan of that but it may make sense to other people, be it in terms of content or business. We must try and find a way to have a balance and give opportunities to original work as well. There’s no dearth of talent here and it’s not like we’re running out of stories!”

Apart from his unconventional script choices, Devaiah is also known for his posts on Twitter laced with his signature wry sense of humour. A while back, he shared his opinion on cancel culture on social media and wrote, “Both cancel culture & boycott culture are populated by nauseating, whining, complaining, zone flooders. They’re like those DJ’s at weddings..too much bass, way too much volume and a sh*t playlist that only works if your drunk.”

Talking about it, he says with a laugh, “I think I’m really funny but people are understanding it now.” Quiz him about social media’s obsession with cancelling films and actors and the 44-year-old opines, “If everybody has a voice, there will be noise, and that’s exactly the nature of social media. That’s also the drawback. It’s both a boon and a bane.”

The Ghost Stories (2020) actor, however, feels that netizens must resort to censoring themselves sometimes and that’s the only way out. Devaiah explains, “Somewhere, we also should have the responsibility to censor ourselves and hold ourselves back and say, ‘I don’t need to say this particular thing’. But we, as people, aren’t capable of doing that all the time. As for me, I’ve an incredible capacity to do bakwaas and that’s why I enjoy my time on Twitter (laughs).”

On a related note, Duranga premiered on ZEE5 today. The show also stars Dhami, Divya Seth, Rajesh Khattar and Barkha Sengupta, among others.

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