Malayalam cinema superstar, Dulquer Salmaan’s Bollywood debut, Karwaan, has hit screens, and Hindi-film audiences are finally seeing what all the fuss is about him down South. Not only is the film doing steady business at the box-office, but the audience has also been bowled over by Dulquer’s performance, not to mention being smitten by his disarming charm on screen and easygoing demeanor off it in the lead up to the film’s release.
Recently, we met up for a tête-à-tête with the actor, where we ended up discussing several topics from the difference in movie promotions between film industries and how he mastered the Hindi language for his maiden Bollywood venture to breaking the ice with his venerated senior costar Irrfan Khan to discussing film projects with his legendary superstar father Mammootty. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
Difference in movie promotions between the South film industries and Bollywood
“I feel that everyone who is coming for the interviews and interactions (Bollywood entertainment journalists), have all done their homework. They have all read up on stuff, even if it is basic Googling. If y’all do that, then we’re both respecting each other’s time. I have done promotions down South where during some interviews they give you the mic and they are like, ‘Sir, speak!’ And I am like, ‘What? What am I going to say (laughs)?’ It’s not so interactive. So, I genuinely appreciate these promotions (in Bollywood) more. Not everybody is aware of my work here. So it’s nice that journalists here are making an effort. In a way, I’m enjoying it, though it’s hectic.”
Mastering the Hindi language for his Bollywood debut
“I’m actually quite familiar with the language (Hindi). It was my second language at school. So we had to read and write and speak it in class. And I have lived in Bombay for about six months. I’ve also lived in Dubai where a lot of Hindi is spoken. My college in America also had a lot of Indian students, who were predominantly North Indian.”
Breaking the ice with Irrfan Khan
“It was actually Irrfan sir who broke the ice with me. I’m sure that somebody of his stature can sense it when younger actors around him are intimidated by his presence, so he went out of his way to make me feel comfortable.”
Discussing film projects with his father Mammootty
“Firstly, my father is way busier than me. He does like six to seven movies a year; I do three to four. So, I don’t think he has time to discuss my film offers. Secondly, he kind of wants me to make my own choices and learn from them. Right from the beginning nobody guided me. My father has always told me, ‘Do your own thing. If you fail, you’ll still have home, shelter, and food.’”
Just like the audience, Dulquer won us over, too, by his charm, humility, and personality.