Gullak’s Cast on Show’s Success, Backstage Camaraderie, and the Indian Middle Class

Jameel Khan, Vaibhav Raj Gupta, and Harsh Mayar, who play the Mishras, get candid with Gadgets360 as Gullak’s fourth season hits the screens.

Gullak’s Cast on Show’s Success, Backstage Camaraderie, and the Indian Middle Class

TVF' Gullak follows the Mishras, a nuclear middle-class family

  • Gullak Season 1 came out in 2019
  • Season 4 is five episodes long
  • Vidit Tripathi has written the screenplay this time

TVF's Gullak has been striking a chord of nostalgia and relatability amongst the audience for around five years now. The series chronicles the everyday lives of the Mishras, a regular middle-class family that stresses over monthly budgets, has nosy neighbours, and loves to gossip about the goings-on together. A gullak (piggy bank) sitting in their house narrates their heartwarming story, one episode at a time, with interesting interpretations and anecdotes of its own.

As the show returns with a new season after a long gap of a year-and-a-half, the Mishra men — played by Jameel Khan, Vaibhav Raj Gupta and Harsh Mayar — get candid with Gadgets360 about the new season, backstage camaraderie, and the secret behind the show's massive success. Khan here plays the idealist Santosh Mishra, the head of the family; Gupta plays the elder son Annu Mishra; and Mayar plays the notorious younger one, Aman Mishra.

Gullak's Cast on the similarities between them and their characters

One of the arenas in which Gullak has always earned brownie points is the nuanced performances of the cast. The Mishras have been known to pull off their roles so effortlessly that one might forget that it's just an act. As we at Gadget360 get curious about how similar the actors are to the roles they are portraying, the Mishras spill the beans:

“Santosh Mishra and I are more similar than one might think. We have in common the same innocence, simplicity and immense love for our families. I relate to him so much...[that] sometimes I start wondering whether [in an improvised scene] it was Santosh or Jameel,” Khan tells us.

Khan's on-screen son shares similar emotions in real life. Gupta shares that it took a lot of effort to aptly get into the skin of Annu, and now the character was a part of his inner life. “The world has just a handful of [admirable] people like Annu. He loves everyone so much. Playing him fills me with nostalgia and makes me want to spend more time with my family,” Gupta says. “We have integrated so much that it feels like he has a permanent chamber in my heart. Whenever I want to bring him out, I just have to open that door.”

While two of the three Mishras had a lot more common with the actors, Mayar confessed that he is totally different from Aman and that his teenage years were the exact opposite.

Aman has just topped his board exams. When I was his age, I was doing a lot of theatre and didn't want to study much” However different Mayar and Aman might be, the national-award-winning actor points out that even though the character is loosely based on the first season's writer Nikhil Vijay, Mayar has added certain elements of his own to Aman, thanks to the “creative support” of directors and writers.

Gullak's cast on the secret behind the show's success

gullak 2 gullakWhile TVF has dished out a lot of hit shows over the past decade, Gullak enjoys a special status: Khan, Gupta, and Mayar all agree. The trio credits the success to strong writing, the relatability of the show, the feeling of nostalgia that it evokes, massive efforts that go into the show off-screen, the sincerity of the entire team, and the audience that still warmly cherishes the show, years after it began.

“The middle-class section was ignored for so long. There weren't many stories on them. But Gullak has now filled that gap” points out Khan, while comparing the show to the works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, a pioneer of middle-of-the-road cinema in India. He further shows concern that ethics and moral values are slowly dwindling in the current society: “In times like these, the need for shows like Gullak becomes more dire.”

Gupta also gives us an interesting insight “On the sets of Gullak, you'll find everyone very jolly and having lots of fun. Not just the primary cast, but rather the entire crew, including the director and DOP, are close. We discuss, rehearse, improvise, and pull lots of pranks on each other. The same synergy carries onto the screens.”

Gullak's cast on new story arcs this season and working with new director and writer

gullak 3 gullakWhen a show runs for such a long period, the risk of losing out on the original essence intensifies. Given that Gullak now has a new director and writer in the form of Shreyansh Pandey and Vidit Tripathi, the apprehension amongst fans is natural. However, the trio assures that the “flavour of Gullak remains intact”

“Shreyansh and Vidit were under a lot of pressure [to make sure that the core of the show remains the same]. But they know how to bring out the best in actors and how much time they need to devote to each one of us for the preparation. When I got to know they were on board, I knew the show was going to be a massive success” Gupta gives away.

“They didn't start shooting until they were fully satisfied. Der se aye chaahe, par mazaa ana chahiye (the show should be fun, even if that means a slight delay),” adds Gupta, who brought our attention to the fact that Gullak has been shot in winter for the first time (probably a metaphor of the slightly serious turn that the show takes this time?)

While the cast didn't give away much about what new happens this season, it was apparent that the Mishras were expected to bring different layers this time, especially Aman, who is on the threshold of adulthood now.

“There are many changes in my character arc this season and I was even sceptical before the making of the show. However, the core of the character remains the same, and there is no drastic shift. We also have intensive workshops to ensure that the innocence of the character is maintained” assures Mayar. As per the actor, even though it seems like the entire focus will be on Aman this season, “the trailer doesn't portray even one per cent of what goes around this time.”

Gullak's cast on fan interactions post the show's success

gullak 4 gullak“Earlier they just used to address us with our character names but now the audience has begun to recognise the actor behind them,” Mayar happily tells us. Recalling a trip to Europe, he shares that he was shocked to discover that he had fans on that side of the globe too, who knew him by his name.

“So many people that I've met after Gullak have said that they see their father, brother, or even husband in me. They've fallen in love with Santosh Mishra. Many of them say that we want to keep watching you or listening to you” shares Khan.

“It's not them getting star-struck, rather a genuine connection can be felt and it's a beautiful feeling for an artist. That's all that matters!”

Gullak's cast on future seasons

While there is no confirmation of a new season, the cast seemed excited with the idea. “Eighty to ninety percent of the people in India are from the middle class. There are so many interesting stories going around. Even a change in the price of onions can be one chapter,” chortles Gupta. He is confident that as long as the “middle-class has new kisse(anecdotes)” Gullak has the potential to continue; and since the common man always has an amusing story to tell, Gullak has no expiration date.

Gullak Season 4 is now streaming on SonyLiv

Gullak Season 4

  • Release Date 7 June 2024
  • Genre Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
  • Cast
    Jameel Khan, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Vaibhav Raj Gupta, Harsh Mayar, Sunita Rajwar, Shivankit Singh Parihar, Saad Bilgrami, Helly Shah, Manuj Sharma
  • Director
    Shreyansh Pandey
  • Producer
    Vijay Koshy, Shreyansh Pandey

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Vaibhavi Mishra
Vaibhavi writes about entertainment for Gadgets360. Over the years, she has covered many beats including travel, culture, science, lifestyle, cinema, fashion, technology, and food. When not panicking about work deadlines, Vaibhavi can be found looking for new places to explore, cuisines to try, and poems to read. Vaibhavi is available as @MisVaibhavi on Twitter and on email at More
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