Dulquer Salmaan gets candid on his upcoming role in Guns & Gulaabs

King Of Kotha South actor breaks regional barriers and impresses the pan-Indian audience
Dulquer Salmaan
Dulquer Salmaan

King Of Kotha Actor Dulquer Salmaan has garnered several laurels through his versatile acting skills since his debut in the South film industries in 2012 with Second Show. Thereafter, a series of movies followed like ABCD: American Born Confused Desi, Charlie, Kurup, Sita Ramam, Chup: Revenge of the Artist which made him not only a superstar living up to his father, the legendary Mammootty, but also a heartthrob among the audience. His Hindi debut was in 2018 with Karwaan opposite late Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar followed by The Zoya Factor (2019) opposite Sonam Kapoor. Throughout his career, he has experimented with a variety of roles proving his versatility to the audience. Further, with the critical and commercial success of Sita Ramam, he established himself as a pan-Indian actor.

Salmaan is also considered a fashion icon in the industry with his subtle, colourful yet impactful menswear fashion. He can pull off anything from colourful shirts and printed jackets for a causal or vacation look to sequined and all-black tuxedos which give off the gentlemanly vibe, suitable for any formal occasion.

Apart from his acting prowess in movies and web series, he can be seen opposite Jasleen Royal for a music video Heeriye, sung by Jasleen Royal and Arijit Singh where he looks nothing less than the Prince Charming from all the fairy tales one has been waiting for since childhood. The Punjabi song has romantic beats and is already topping the music charts. Not only is it making the audience groove, but Salmaan himself professed his love for Punjabi music when the song was released.

His upcoming work is the Raj &DK creation and direction, Guns & Gulaabs where he stars in a completely different avatar of Arjun Verma, a seemingly honest police officer. As Guns & Gulaabs starts streaming today on Netflix, Indulge catches up with Dulquer on his role, the bygone era, the influence of OTT, and more.

Excerpts from the conversation…

What was special about the story of Guns & Gulaabs which made you say yes to it?

Anything with Raj & DK on it, I will shamelessly ask them for work… and I have. I am super thrilled that I got to play a very vital part in Guns & Gulaabs. I loved the role of Arjun Verma from the get-go. I love the world they have created. I think Gulaabgunj and all of its inhabitants … the people, who dwell there, have very quirky, fun, and funny personalities that set them apart. It was a world that I never imagined seeing myself in, ever. I was all over it…yes… Gulaabgunjers!

How did you prepare for the role?

I think my role was very well defined by Raj & DK from the beginning. I am also an actor who loves going with my director’s vision. I think there is so much clarity about Arjun, my character, in the series that no special preparation had to be taken for it.

For me, I think the learning happened more on sets, especially the family dynamics which I share with my on-screen daughter. My daughter’s only six years old but Suhaani who is my daughter on the show is 16 years old. Honestly, I am not familiar with interacting with a 16-year-old in real life. I mean I have nephews, but boys and girls are different. I was trying to bond with her and find common grounds for discussion. Also, that bond really shows on screen as we share a wonderful chemistry. It was really sweet. I was curious about how I show her affection. As kids grow the dynamics change because you cuddle a baby or lift your toddler but here it was different. That was something I thought was interesting to explore. These are things I don’t usually get to do, so I am very grateful to the show and the makers for giving me this opportunity.  

How do you remember the 90s while growing up?

I think the show really celebrates the 90s. Nostalgia is one of the things that resonate with that era. That nostalgia is really what we are trying to draw in for the audience through the show as well. It definitely transports you to that era. So, all of us got to relive that period in some way or the other. We wore clothes that were inspired by the 90s. In fact, all the vehicles that we drove were vintage too. Also, we didn’t have cell phones during that time. So, reliving all these little nuances was quite nice.

If there’s anything that you would want to bring back from the 90s today, what would it be and why?

What would I want to bring back from the 90s? I guess that the dressing has already made a comeback as fashion keeps rotating, so that’s an easier thing to bring back. But I think every era should be known for what it is. Actually, why bring back something? We keep adapting and moving on in life. It's better whatever was in the 90s, stays in the 90s.

A memorable BTS from the shoot that you can share with us

I think for me it will be my gaalis on the show. Somehow at the end of the show, everybody found it cute and not really like a strong cuss word. So I need to work on my gaali skills.

Do you think today’s OTT is giving pan-Indian recognition to actors and breaking regional barriers?

Yeah, I think content through the OTT platform is consumed everywhere. See, I think good content has always travelled, even in the past, but OTT as a medium, has made it comparatively easier to access good content. So, through word of mouth, you can tell anybody about any Indian show or a movie or any international show or movie. We consume a lot of K-dramas in India. That is actually incredible. I mean who would have thought it would happen that way right? I think it’s a good time for actors to work across industries. I am from Kerala, Gulshan’s [ Devaiah] is from Karnataka, Adarsh [ Gourav] is Telugu, and [TJ] Bhanu is from Chhattisgarhi. It’s such a nice mix of people from everywhere and we are all in this one show. I think that’s unity in diversity, right?

What would be a genre or dream role that you would want to explore in the future?

I don’t think I have a dream role list or something. I want to be constantly surprised. So, like Raj & DK saw me as Arjun which came out to be a nice surprise for me, I hope I constantly keep getting surprised by filmmakers. [R] Balki Sir gave me the role of a serial killer in Chup. I never saw myself stepping in the shoes of a role like that.  

What is your takeaway from the show?

My takeaway that I hope to get from the show is that I hope Arjun is different from my recent characters like Ram, Danny, or Kurup. I just think everybody is going to understand the show and they will imbibe the fact why we decided to come together to make this unique show.

Guns & Gulaabs starts streaming on Netflix today!

Related Stories

No stories found.