Sumit Gulati says that his role required him to think exactly like a cold-blooded murderer and also watch several narco test videos to get his act right in Talvar
The response has been outstanding. I never dreamt that my character would receive so much appreciation from the audience. In fact, many said they hate me for what I did in the film. It’s satisfying that I was into the character and people saw me in that role.
On bagging Talvar
I got a call from Honey Trehan’s office. There were a few rounds of auditions which I had to clear. I won’t say it was easy to bag this role but I finally did. The most challenging part was executing the murder scene, which required a specific expression and sharper mind which needed to be seen on screen.
All the details about the case were out in public but there wasn’t much information about my character who is a Man Friday. So, for me, the material was the script. I followed Meghna’s vision; I did what she asked me to do, the way she had visualised the character.
On the film
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to work in this film, also because I was working with Irrfan. I used to be in awe of his acting skills and wonder how he managed to say his lines so easily. So there was this interrogation scene of mine with Irrfan, where in the first part he was chilled out but in the second interrogation, after the narco test, he was rude. The narco scenes were toughest because I have never gone under this test and I didn’t know how one reacted after taking it. I watched many videos on YouTube to study the reaction.
On Meghna Gulzar
Meghna was very calm and patient. Some scenes were very sensitive, and needed one to be in that zone to play that character. So she used to give us all the time we needed to get into the situation. My character had variations to play, like in one side of the story. I was the villain but in the other I was not, so she made me understand the nuances.
The challenging part
The killing scene was very difficult and also very intense. It stayed with me for quite a few days. I had to think like a killer to do that scene. So it took me time to get into that zone and also to get out of it. Also, I was the one who misled the police, so there was a lot of body language I had to study.
I started my career with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where I played Farhan Akhtar’s comic friend. Then there was Titli and then Phantom, where I play a Pakistani. I bagged Talvar in the middle of that. Right after Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, I didn’t want to get typecast in comedy roles so I was looking for different scripts. But it is post-Talvar that I have been receiving so many calls appreciating my performance. So Talvar is definitely a turning point of my career.