Dulquer Salmaan, known for his performances in Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu films. Is now gearing up for his third Hindi language outing Chup: Revenge of the Artist that releases on September 23. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, he opens up about his upcoming movie, his female fandom and more. Excerpts:
How are you juggling between Chup… and Sita Ramam promotions?
Though there have been back-to-back promotions for me, it is quite interesting. It is amazing to interact with people at times, since through these interviews I feel nice to put myself out there in the public domain. Otherwise, I am a shy person.
Chup is your third Hindi-language film, after Karwaan and The Zoya Factor. How do you take the recent integration of the film industries?
My desire is always to pick and choose great quality work, but I understand that to find and get that kind of work is the other way around. I think I am braver and have the freedom to explore more interesting roles since there are no preconceived notions as I am not expected to get huge box office numbers. I have been bold enough in my Hindi choices as well.
However, I never consciously select Hindi films to penetrate the Hindi market. People like to see me as an actor rather than a star. Plus, I am exposed to so many cultures, so why shy away from experimenting if there’s a good role or a script? But career wise, it is absolutely organic.
A still from Chup: Revenge of the Artist
Is Chup… really a film critic bashing film?
R.Balki sir has made sure that we should tell this during our promotions that it is not a critic bashing film. Although the subject talks about the revenge of an artist, it does not really focus on film critics and their criticism. It is more about an artist’s journey. I’ve seen Kaagaz Ke Phool since I signed Chup and I feel it’s a film he poured his heart into. In today’s time, we know how much we can risk the film, but imagine what Guru Dutt must have gone through back then.
How do you take your failures?
If a film doesn’t work simply because the audience didn’t like it, then I am okay with it since cinema is an art form which is subjective. But sometimes films are released badly and not nurtured in terms of strong marketing. That upsets me. At times, we know while filming or at the editing table that there’s an issue with the film, but there is no luxury to reshoot, so we are aware of the adverse consequences.
How do you take your strong and undivided female fandom?
I feel they love me for whatever role I play on-screen. My character had to be loved. I knew it since the time I heard the script. Everyone on the sets used to call me Ram. I am aware of how much my films and characters have contributed to my fandom. Off-screen, my wife and school friends are there to put me in my place. They know the real me.