Interview By: SAGAR DESAI
The heartthrob of South India, Dulquer Salmaan, a superstar of South film industry, who makes his Hindi film industry debut with KARWAAN talked to us in a candid chat about why he decided to become an actor, what kind of films he likes, about KARWAAN, Bollywood and much more.
You are a Business Management Graduate, worked in USA then Dubai, so what drew you to become an actor?
I think, I actually believe that almost 90% of people are curious about Cinema, Super Cinema and if given a chance, would want to do something in cinema. So, I always from a very young age played in home with hand cameras and shot small films in my house with my camera and all that, so I think I always like the creative side of movies and I think when I was doing corporate work, I don’t think that I was creatively satisfied, I think I started revisiting short films with some friends of mine and I realized that It’s so much fun. It doesn’t feel like work, I think anything to do with movies is so dynamic and you are always on the go shooting on different locations and all that stuff . I figure it out that if I won’t do something in movies then I will regret it later in life. So I think that kind of made me take it.
You keep on doing different genre films, is that a conscious decision you take, or it just happened?
I definitely want that every film of mine should be different than my last film, it is also refreshing for us as actors that you don’t keep playing the same role as an actor. So I do try to change it up as much as possible but sometimes logistics come in to play, date issues or some or other things come into play, I have had times when two or three releases were similar characters or same kind of films but it’s not ideally what I want, I like my two Hindi release films now, they are different from each other, My Character in KARWAAN is a little more introverted character as he is going through an internal turmoil, Nikhil in ZOYA FACTOR is a little more of a leader, explorer.
What are the kinds of roles that attract you?
Honestly speaking I look at the film when I get film offers; I look at the film on the whole. I look to see if the film is interesting, if it is going to be honest, if there is going to be something new for the audience and then if I have an interesting character then good but I don’t specifically try to choose only interesting character because I believe if the film works, my character will also be liked, if the film doesn’t work even if I have a very unique character not many people will see it.
Do you think that KARWAAN is an ideal movie for you to make your Bollywood debut?
Yeah, I feel like it’s in the same zone as some other films I have done, it could be compared to like an USTAAD HOTEL, OK KANMANI. In terms of it been a slice of life, very relatable, the characters are very believable, the problems are quite real, I mean tomorrow if something like this happens to you where you will get a news that your relative passed away and you got the wrong body what will happen? I think those are the sort of things that we explore and I like them, films that are relatable, you watch the movie and think that these people are real people.
You are working for the first time with Irrfan and Akarsh Khurana in KARWWAN so how was the experience?
Both of them are genuinely wonderful people, they genuinely love cinema and I think if you love cinema you will want everybody to work towards making the fi lm, so there is no unnecessary prejudice, everybody loves to make the scene work, so I felt like both Akarsh and Irrfan Sir have amazing love for cinema and they all are willing to go the extra distance, Irrfan Sir brought so much to his character, the writing of his character was not that funny but Irrfan Sir took it to another level by preparing small – small things so that was his doing.
How much do you improvise as an actor, and how much did you in this movie?
I do but my only thing is that because Hindi is not my fi rst language, so it is not easy for me to improvise, I know when I want to say something, I will ask the director after the cut like you know in this scene I feel like I should say something or I should feel a gap, you know because it’s like I am talking to you right now but in a scene I should feel more lively, you can’t just be waiting to speak, so at times I do small improvisations but it is not as easy as it is for me to improvise in Hindi as it is to improvise in Malayali or Tamil.
What difference do you feel in how movies are made in Bollywood to how it is made in south India?
I find Bollywood to be more organized, it has a very Hollywood, western sort of a studio culture, especially talking about this film; how each and every department worked, everybody was prepared, everybody knew their roles, I am not just saying about actors but behind the scenes, each person on set had a specific role and they knew exactly what to do, sometimes in smaller industries we are all there together and try to do things, sometimes one person might play different roles on a movie set, it is not very clear or very defined or structured, that’s the only difference but I think when you work with people who love cinema, who want to make good movies that is a common thing and of course everybody is making Indian cinema.
Do you like travelling?
Yeah, all my life I have, my parents have travelled mostly by roads, most of south India we have driven by car, my dad even now drives to the mountains of Rajasthan or to Goa by car because he thinks it’s fun and we all should go together, he keeps making these plans but sometimes it is hard now with our schedule, when we travel abroad, lot of times it’s road trips.
What is your take away from KARWAAN?
I genuinely think this is one of the best teams I have worked with, we have made some great friendships, we all have got very close and every time now I come to Mumbai I feel like I have a family here, so that whole team of KARWAAN, the direction team, they all have worked together in the past also, so they all are quite close and whenever I come they all want to meet, so I think for me my take away will be the friendships and the bonds.
What are you upcoming projects and which directors will you like to work with in Bollywood?
Well there are many directors I would like to work with. I am doing ZOYA FACTOR next, I haven’t signed anything as yet, I saw RAAZI recently so definitely Meghna Gulzar I would like to work with, Rajkumar Hirani, also I met Suresh Triveni who made TUMHARI SULU, that’s a very interesting film and then my upcoming movies that I have is in Tamil, I have a film called KANNUM KANNUM KOLLAIYADITHAAL ready for release, doing another Malayalam film, I am everywhere right now.