Dulquer Salmaan talks about how he chooses roles and his character in Theevram.
From being another star son making his way into movies, Dulquer Salmaan has made a mark of his own with two hits in a row, Second Show and Ustad Hotel. He is now ready with Theevram, which is releasing today. Dulquer has dared to walk away from conventional norms in his choice of films and that has helped him carve a niche for himself. In Theevram, Dulquer plays Harshvardhan, who is forced to react against injustice. In the forthcoming film ABCD, he plays an NRI from the United States, who is in a ‘fish out of water’ situation, when he and his cousin visit Kerala. In this exclusive interview, Dulquer talks about how he chooses his movies and also about Theevram, which he thinks is a clear departure from his previous release. Excerpts:
Roopesh Peethambaran, the director of Theevram, has stated that you were eager to start work on the project as soon as you read the script. What is it about the script that fascinated you?
I felt that the screenplay was new. He has treated the story differently. Roopesh has been working on the storyline for a long time and knows it like the back of his hand. I don’t want my movies to be similar in any respect and it was a challenge doing a thriller right after Ustad Hotel. I can’t be complacent as an actor and do only roles that are within my comfort zone.
What is your character in Theevram like?
Harshvardhan, my character in the movie, is a person who realises that music is his passion in life only after spending time pursuing something else. I could relate to the character as I too had gone through a similar phase in life.
What prompts you to be experimental in your choice of roles?
What I look for when I hear a script is whether or not I would like to watch it as a movie. I am a bane to all my directors in the sense that I keep asking questions about virtually everything concerning the movie.
What is it like working with a young and mostly less experienced cast and crew?
See, even now I have a lot of apprehensions and I am not an extremely confident actor. So when I met the young group who made Second Show, I thought that it could be the best way to learn and that I could learn with them. If I had started working with a highly experienced crew, I would have wasted a lot of their time learning things myself.
After two hits, do you feel burdened by expectations?
I don’t give it too much thought. I give my all to a film, all through its making. I am unable to judge if a movie will work or not until it reaches the screen. I think our audience is intelligent and they want movies to be realistic.
Does your father help you pick the right scripts?
I have been offered many scripts especially by newcomers, after my first two films. I am unable to listen to all of them. My father is busy with his own script reading so how will he have the time to listen to all my scripts? But, if I like a script, I do discuss it with him. He does not, however, voice his opinion on whether or not I should take a role; the decision is mine.
Do you feel confident as an actor now?
I don’t think I am a better actor but, yes, I am more confident now. However, I am still nervous about sharing the screen with experienced actors. I don’t know where I will be 10 years from now. It is hard to predict your future in this industry. But I have always wanted to direct films.
Is this the right time for newcomers to enter the movie industry?
Absolutely. There are so many new talents coming into the industry and I think the viewers love it as well. I saw English Vinglish recently, in which there were quite a few unfamiliar faces, yet every one was just terrific. When it is a good cast and everybody acts amazingly, what happens is that you will stop thinking that you are actually watching a film and feel like you are watching peoples’ lives unfold on screen.