I know, the first question which comes to the mind of so many people out there is - 'Why is Gul being seen in such outfits on print after being in the industry for so many years?' Well, my answer is simple and straight - no one approached me to do such a shoot before! I was always game for it but then it had to be a magazine/publication of repute that could have made me say yes to getting into a night costume for a cover. Well, Maxim thought of me and I didn't have any reasons to say no!
A desperate move?
You must be kidding me! Me, getting desperate, and that too to see myself in a costume which is far less revealing than a swimming costume? Come on, give me a break! If you do a search on internet, some of the first few images would have me in a swimsuit. For someone who wore a swimsuit way back in 1999 for Miss Universe pageant, I can only laugh at the insinuation that I am being desperate. Now now now, I am not trying to be a 'born again' actress who suddenly decides to come out of a closet, leave her sari/salwar-suit behind and suddenly aim at becoming chic!
Chic, did she say?
Of course yes! Those close to me know me for what I am and I guess even the industry too has come to realize now that regardless of some of the arty roles I have done, I don't carry that garb with me in my personal life. I am a hot, hip and a sexy chic and I am proud of that. In any case I have always worn Western outfits in real life as well. So puhleeze, don't look at me with such a shocked expression on your face. I am not shocked, you shouldn't be surprised either!
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Gul turns rebel?
I guess you aren't getting the point. See for me, what carries utmost importance is to do what I feel is right. You may call me a rebel for driving a Royal Enfield, you may call me a rebel for driving a Formula One car, you may call me a rebel for running kilometers at stretch and if that's your definition of someone being a rebel then I am surprised that how could wearing a night costume be categorized as a rebellious act. (Laughs) In any case, to curb the 'shock value' (the way you may want to term it), it's not as if suddenly I have walked out of my robes and emerged in a two piece bikini!
Capitalizing on sex quotient?
Of course yes! One should be capitalizing on what you are. In any case, after all it is show business and it doesn't harm to let people know the real you. If I am sexy and subtle, I want people to know that. On a magazine cover, you get to see the real Gul; the lady who has a mind of her own. On camera, I would again be playing characters and that would have nothing to do with me wearing a swimsuit or showing cleavage. You can be a serious actor but be fun in real life!
A mix of everything in fact. See, I have had been part of films like Dor, Manorama Six Feet Under and Dhoop and I am extremely proud of them. Similarly, I am proud of films like Hello and Hello Darling which would be seeing me in a glam look. It is only coincidental that these films are arriving in a bunch. And in the interim there is also this fun movie called Straight. So as you see, I continue to play the balancing game!
Let them be if that's what keeps media happy! I am clear that if I had to generate controversies, I could have done so 4-5 years back when I just started out in movies. I remember PR people coercing me at that time to come up with quotable quotes, do something outrageous, get some heat on; you know the works! I was at an initial stage of my career and could have done that to be in THE news. But did I do that? No, because that's not my style of working and would never be.