In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, Dev Mohan talked about working the big budget period drama Shaakuntalam
Earlier this week, Malayalam actor Dev Mohan wrapped up the shoot of Shaakuntalam, which is his biggest project till date, in Hyderabad. The actor, who is currently in Kochi shooting for Leo Thaddeus’ Panthrand, talked to us about working with Samantha Akkineni and director Gunasekhar, the challenges of playing Dushyant and more.
On how he became a part of the film, Dev tells us, “Its producer Neelima Guna watched Sufiyum Sujatayum and felt I could pull off the role of Prince Charming, Dushyant.” The actor began shooting for the movie in March 2021 and says that working in the period film was a “big learning experience” for him.
“It’s got an amazing character arc. Director Gunasekhar drained me in the sense that he extracted the best performances out of me. He doesn’t compromise; he knows what he wants and until he got that out of me, he didn’t allow me to rest. I enjoy working with such people who discuss and make me do what they want,” he says.
Dev had shot for around 55 days for the movie, out of which 20 days were for action sequences. Talking about the challenges of playing his character, he says, “When it came to playing Dushyant, I had to ride a horse like a warrior. So, I had to learn that along with sword fighting and archery.”
Apart from that the actor also learnt Telugu. “I can’t take prompting and perform. So, I had to learn my dialogues. Each of them would be about 10-20 lines long because Dushyant is a king; he is a commanding presence and so has more monologues. I didn’t take a single prompting during the film. I learnt the dialogues by rote,” explains the actor, who had also wrapped up shooting for Jiju Ashokan’s Pulli in March.
Another experience that he cherishes is acting with The Family Man 2 star Samantha. “As an artiste, she has been in the industry for a decade now and has done 50-plus movies; so, she has great experience and I like to work with such people as it gives me a better understanding of work,” he says. “Moreover, she is a cool person. We never felt like we were working on such a massive film, because we were having fun. So, it was comfortable. Also, the chemistry between Dushyant and Shakuntala must work for the movie and I feel that has come out really well.”