Cameraperson: Sanjoy Deb
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Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor-starrer The Zoya Factor is all set to release on 20 September. The plot revolves around Zoya, who was born on the same day as Indian cricket team’s first World Cup win in 1983. She begins to be considered a lucky charm for the Indian cricket team. Dulquer’s character Nikhil, on the other hand, is against the idea of lucky charms and superstitions.
The Quint caught up with the two talk about how Dulquer and Sonam got to know each other, the roles Dulquer would like to explore in Hindi films and more.
You’re a big actor down south. But now that you’re here, you’re doing Hindi films, this is your second. You’re sort of stepping out of the circle where people know you. Does it feel uneasy?
Dulquer: I am very open. I think it’s going to be very dependent on the films that come my way so irrespective of language, I will have to focus mainly on Malayalam because that’s what made me anything that I am today. But I love hearing stuff in Tamil, I love hearing stuff in Hindi and hopefully I’ll be able to balance this situation.
Sonam: I feel so bad for his family. He’s always traveling, like literally.
Is it also because of the number of film you do?
Dulquer: I do four, five films a year and I do it across industries. Yeah, I’m really living out of a suitcase. But even that, especially in Malayalam, they consider it less. My father does at least two movies more than me every year. I do fewer films compared to most other people. So, if I have only one release in a year the audience thinks either I don’t have enough movies or I am not working hard enough. So I have to keep putting out movies.
Sonam: We were just having a conversation about something else, and I said that is normal. People do one film a year. Last two years, you have done one film a year. It’s a normal situation.
We have heard you say, Sonam, and people think that if there’s Sonam then the film will be female-centric. And you have also spoken about it and said that male actors at some point stopped working. How do you hold your head high?
I don’t want to be just a prop in the film. But I have done films like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag or Sanju or a lot of these films where the content is what’s important so I don’t know about female-centric, it’s character-driven the films that I do and a lot of actors are not comfortable doing films. For example, in Neerja, even for a special appearance it was hard to cast somebody. Or in Khoobsurat, it was complicated. The Zoya Factor, he was the first choice and he said yes so thank God. The Zoya Factor is a love story…Khoobsurat as well, but a lot of people don’t have the foresight or they don’t want to hear the script either because they thought it was the Khoobsurat with Rakesh Roshan. I don’t like the term female-centric. Would you call Sanju a male-centric-film?Would you use that term? But that’s the thing about patriarchy. But I just feel like I just do good films. And you know, people who are smart want to be apart of them.
And your roles down south have sort of been layered and sometimes serious…But here we have seen you in a more light-hearted role. Is this a strategy?
It’s very difficult to strategise because you know you have to pick films based on what comes your way and what’s offered and I can’t be like “Hey I’m not going to do Zoya now because it’s not part of my strategy.” I want to do something dark and brooding. I love dark films because it’s great for actors you just love to perform those things.It’s more intense, all emotions are heightened.I can’t plan for these films so like when they come my way, I want to do it.But ideally what I want to look at is in each language, each release should be slightly different from the last.I love that I played Avinash in Karwaan andI’m playing ‘Nikhil’ here.
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