(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) With over 25 movies under his belt, South Indian film star and youth icon Dulquer Salmaan has been very busy and says he has finally overcome the fear of comparisons with his father Mammootty. While promoting his first Malayalam movie after a two- year hiatus, Salmaan, better known as DQ, admits he wants to treat his career something like a portfolio.
Salmaan, along with the rest of the cast and crew of Oru Yamandan Prema Kadha (A superlative love story), was in Dubai on Saturday, April 20, for the music launch of the movie that is set to release in UAE theatres this weekend. Released and promoted by World Wide Films, the movie is a comedy also starring Soubin Shahir, Vishnu Unnikrishnan, Bibin George, Samyuktha Menon, Salim Kumar, and Hareesh Kannaran, among others. Directed by BC Noufal, the movie is supposed to be an "an all-out entertainer".
Actress Samyuktha Menon said, "Her character is very special. She's someone who is full of love, especially towards the male protagonist." Music director for Oru Yamandan Prema Kadha Nadirshah also said, "The Malayalam movie industry is diversifying immensely and becoming increasingly profitable, and that is a great sign."
DQ sat down for an exclusive chat with City Times, about his upcoming movie, his view on Indian politics, memes, and more.
What is Yamandan Prema Kadha about?
It's an out and out entertainer, filled with humour. It's something I've not done before. The film is filled with tracks and characters that are funny - it's a part of the whole narrative. From the word go, the movie keeps the viewer entertained. The combination of comedic acting from Bibin George and Vishnu Unnikrishnan... and it's directed by BC Naufal - they are all known for the comedy genre. It's also got an interesting love track that defines the film, and that's what everything is based on.
So, the movie does not stick to a genre? Or is a love story as the name suggests?
Definitely, love is a central theme of the movie. However, I would not call it a romantic comedy. It is a comedy, with a love track.
What was the shooting experience like? You met a man named 'Sputnik' in the course of the filming?
Yeah, how hot is that (laughs). The movie was shot mostly in Varapuzha (a northern suburb in the city of Kochi, Kerala) and Kadamakkudy - places that are really close to my home. But sometimes, I think we don't pay attention to what is right beside us. We pass all these places on the way to the airport or somehow or the other. The shooting took me to backwaters that are right in the heart of Ernakulam.
Predominantly shot in these areas, the place has a culture and dialect of its own. The director and writers are from this area, which is endearing as a lot of their friends have acted in the movie. Also, when you have actors strong in comedy, working with them is a blast as they are genuinely funny people. The movie was shot in three schedules, and I miss the shooting bit the most as the on-set camaraderie was great. It was nice to go back to my roots, as I got to experience another side of my city and state through their eyes.
So, in that case, the synergy and camaraderie you shared with co-stars made the movie for you?
A lot of times when we as actors get to bond with each other, that makes the acting experience easier. It elevates the shooting experience, and that becomes a lot more fun and easier. We encourage each other, push each other, and give each other more space - those things happen when a band of actors click behind the scenes.
How was it acting with Salim Kumar?
It was amazing. I gave him a big hug after we wrapped the film, and I texted him afterwards saying we have to do a lot more films together. He's all heart, and most endearing (among the) the people I've meet.
We are buddies on WhatsApp, and he sends me funny videos made about him, and he sends me memes of him as well (laughs). In the movie, we are all painters and he is essentially the chief where we report to him. I think the off-screen dynamics were the same.
What does the word 'Yamandan' mean?
Yamandan in my head could mean - something massive. It's a very colloquial term originating from Ernakulam, Kochi, and the rest of the seaside belt space.
Is your character larger than life? A 'mass' character?
I think my character is very relatable. He's very nostalgic and lives in a different era. A lot of the things he enjoys is stuff that he enjoyed as a kid. Lallu is someone who would most probably never leave his hometown, and probably grow old in the same town. However, the movie is for everyone. I think the makers feel if we reveal too much about the movie through trailers, it might take the fun away from the movie because everything is interconnected.
Given that you have forayed into Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil films, would you still call Malayalam film industry your home-base?
Absolutely, like Lallu, it is somewhere where I see myself growing old. It's where I connect with the most. It's in-line with my taste, it's so strong with realistic cinema, stories and scripts. I like things I can believe. I am not one to watch too many science fictions, I prefer biographies. I will always be excited about more opportunities irrespective of language. I want to be fair and treat my career as a portfolio.
Would you foray into direction?
Definitely want to go in that direction. Honestly, I wanted to debut like that because I was so afraid of comparisons (with dad). Now with 25 movies under my belt, I am over that fear.
Will you ever act alongside your dad (Mammootty)?
I know I want to (laughs). However, I think he likes the fact that we have two different identities and we are considered as two different actors.