27th March 2023
Photographer & Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Interview & Digital Editor: Pankhuri Bhutani
Grooming: Natalie Stokes
Styling: Charlotte Harney
Cover Design: Emily Curtis
Jumper, Mennace / Leather Jacket, Vintage/ Jeans, Won Hundred / Shoes, Dr. Martens
Shobhit Piasa was recently witnessed crafting an impeccable performance in the recent installment of Netflix’s highly anticipated fantasy series ‘Shadow and Bone’. Adopting the role of Vladim Gulav, Piasa’s role was shown to have much prominence within the Grishaverse especially when the character was portrayed as one of the rare souls who willingly took a stand as General Kirigan’s aid.
Interacting with Shobhit, it was without a doubt witnessed that the young actor was clearly passionate about what he does. His philosophical manner of offering insights into his journey and determination for his character might appear as one of the significant reasons that made him an ideal cast for Vladim Gulav, a character who in itself is portrayed to be a young soul possessing immense wisdom and aptitude.
Shirt, Levis / Jumper, Uniqlo / Jeans, Won Hundred / Shoes, Schuh
Piasa’s aura appeared to be filled with positivity and calmness throughout the duration of our interview. From offering his personal notions about childhood and creativity to showcasing his gratefulness for receiving opportunities to follow his passion as a professional endeavor, it was easy to see why Piasa immersed himself within the field of acting.
“I have this theory about childhood and youth. I think all children are naturally very entertaining. They love to sing, dance, act, put on costumes, and do voices. I believe being creative is in everyone’s nature and when someone asks me if I always wanted to do it, I think everyone has always wanted to do it. But as they get older, they’re sort of forced out of it when they go to school or get a job. I’ve always been so grateful that I can keep doing this and haven’t been forced to grow out of it. I know how lucky and grateful I am for it.”
Jumper, Reiss / Jeans, Levis
With a perfectly balanced blend of mythology, religion, action, magic, and science, the series is extremely compelling in nature, offering a dynamic and unique performance from each of its cast members. Piasa stars as Vladim Gulav, a savant Alkemi possessing a penchant for manipulating chemicals like poison and blasting powders.
Initiating our conversation, Shobhit reveals how his father was actually the one who introduced him to the fantasy series.
“My dad was a huge fan of the show. Fantasies are really his thing. I remember watching him seeing the previous installment of the show when it first came out and instantly being like 'Shobhit you've got to watch it'. When I got the job, I was like ‘Dad, I’m going to be in the new season of ‘Shadow and Bone’ and I expected him to be really excited but he instead replied with ‘Yeah, you better not mess it up now’ which really made me a bit nervous about going into the show. (laughs)”
Shirt, Levis / Trousers, Fila
Gulav might have been a Grisha apt at his Alkemi powers but that’s not solely what makes the character extremely striking. Vladim is one of the only characters who genuinely wishes to be on Kirigan’s side. He possesses an extraordinary intellect and a sense of curiosity to find out novel ways to aid the Darkling in his endeavors, however cruel they might be.
Often actors experience struggles when adopting their roles for the first time on-screen. Being one of the novel cast members joining the show, Shobhit held onto his costume to make himself feel more like Vladim.
When asked about the sort of ritual he took pertaining to immerse himself within the mindset of the character, Piasa stated:-
“If you’ve seen the show, you’ll see how the costumes are just extraordinary. When I would wear my costume, I would immediately feel like a different person. I used to put it on and instantly feel like ‘Yeah, I’m just Vladim’ like it was something very normal. The costume helped a lot and just being there on the set with Ben (Barnes) helped me immerse myself into that world.”
Piasa was also seen to be portraying almost all of his on-screen sequences as Vladim alongside the fantasy show’s ruthless villain- The Darkling (played by the talented Ben Barnes). Even though the season consisted of limited sequences of Vladim’s journey with the Darkling, the show still provided the viewers with plenty of scenes that can be deciphered as both of the characters sharing an impactful relationship between them.
Speaking about the relationship of the dynamic duo of Gulav & Kirigan, as well as his experience working with Barnes himself offset, Piasa showcased his gratitude and admiration towards his co-star.
“I spent a lot of time with Ben since our characters have a lot to do with each other on the show. My offset buddy was mainly him. He’s so talented and such a sweet guy. He’s extremely experienced so there was a lot to learn from him. I used to observe some of the methods he used while acting and try to replicate them to the best of my abilities.”
Top, Won Hundred, / Jeans, Won Hundred / Trainers, Asos
When asked about how Piasa himself would describe his character to the viewers who still need to be introduced to the series, Shobhit shared a significant insight as to what the fans can expect from his character:-
“Vladim is a really young member of the Grisha and the Darkling’s army. I think that kind of works to his advantage since he’s a lot younger than all of the other professionals around him. He has that edge. He might not have as much experience as the others but that also means he can bring something completely new to the table. He can think outside the box and he and the Darkling are seen to be enjoying quite a good relationship on the show.”
Watch below for our full conversation.