I Was Terrified of Sharing the Screen With Irrfan: Dulquer Salmaan

Malayalam and Tamil star Dulquer Salmaan, also known as DQ, is ready to make his debut in Bollywood with Karwaan opposite Irrfan Khan. Having made his Malayalam cinema debut with Second Show (2012), the actor has worked in films like Bangalore Days (2014), O Kadhal Kanmani (2015) and Kammatipaadam (2016).

Dulquer Salmaan in Kammati Paadam.

In a conversation with Times of India, DQ talks about everything from his thoughts on Karwaan, to how he chooses films, what he feels about nepotism and why stardom does not affect him.

On Karwaan

Despite Karwaan being Dulquer’s first film in Bollywood, the actor does not think he’s “making a debut” or “being launched.” For him, being part of a memorable film is more important.

"Karwaan is a film driven by good content and it’s honest. It wasn’t like anything I had heard before. When opportunities come my way, the only thing that’s important is whether there is an intent to make good cinema." - Dulquer Salmaan, actor

When asked what scared him the most, the actor confessed that he is not very fluent in Hindi, so he found it difficult to improvise.

Mithila Palkar, Dulquer Salmaan, and Irrfan Khan in a still from Karwaan.

More importantly, however, DQ says he was terrified to share the screen with a legend like Irrfan Khan as he was afraid of wasting his time or disappointing him. At the same time, Dulquer feels that more people will watch the film because of Irrfan, and Irrfan will also “take the film a few notches higher than the script.”

Also Read: People Up North, Are You Ready to Be Charmed By Dulquer Salmaan?

On Stardom and Choosing Films

DQ emphasises that he does not mind doing a role that is not the main lead as long as it is important in terms of the narrative. For him, it is more important to do a challenging role in a memorable film than just a conventional lead role.

"When you just coast through work and don’t feel inspired, I feel you are lying to yourself. I don’t want to do acting as a chore or a job. I feel that it has to scare me. Fear works for me." -

Dulquer Salmaan in Kali.

Moreover, the actor is averse to the idea of stardom. “I am just a movie buff who acts in movies,” he asserts. The way he sees it, he does not have a fan following: just normal viewers of his film. In fact, he is a fan of many Malayalam superstars, and says that he can never even compare himself to them and view himself as a star like them.

On Nepotism

While nepotism is a trending debate in Bollywood, it has never been much of an issue in the Malayalam industry. DQ explains that there have typically never been second generation actors in Malayalam cinema. One gains fame as an actor by chance, and the chances of that fame passing down a generation are very low.

Citing the example of Prem Nazir’s son, Dulquer states that most star kids who have tried to join the industry have just not made it.

"Growing up, we were never led to believe that my father (Mammootty) would enjoy stardom all his life... People ask my sister and me why we are so down to earth. But we don’t know any other way to be." -

Additionally, he says that the kind of films made in the 1990s are entirely different from those made today. “I could never imagine myself being part of those movies,” DQ shares. He is grateful for the new brand of directors who changed the style of story-telling, making it more realistic and plausible.

On the Future

DQ’s main challenge is striking a balance between Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi film industries. He shares his experience of having to manage his time and juggle shoot dates.

"It’s not easy to please everyone. Sometimes, there are big names and stars involved and that space becomes a little difficult to navigate. Also, I don’t like over-committing." -

The actor will now be playing the role of MS Dhoni in The Zoya Factor, oppposite Sonam Kapoor. When asked if he is taking any tips from Dhoni or Virat Kohli to get into the character’s skin, DQ said that he would add his own personality to the role.

Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor in a photo shoot for The Zoya Factor adaptation.

"A film on Dhoni has already been made. Like I played Gemini Ganesan in Mahanati (2018), I am going to do this role in my own way." - Dulquer Salmaan

(Source: Times of India)

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