OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Dulquer Salmaan on doing Guns & Gulaabs: I fell in love with the world Raj & DK created and found a great ensemble to be a part of

Dulquer Salmaan plays a police officer in the fictional town of Gulaabgunj in the series that drops on Netflix on August 18.

Dulquer Salmaan on doing Guns & Gulaabs: I fell in love with the world Raj & DK created and found a great ensemble to be a part of
Dulquer Salmaan makes his web series debut on August 18 with Guns & Gulaabs

Last Updated: 07.36 PM, Aug 14, 2023


It was during the pandemic that content creation for OTT well and truly picked up pace in India. But even then, it took a while for the bigger names in showbiz to warm up to the medium, especially in the south. In fact, while a few titles made it straight-to-OTT, films are still, by and large, seen as a theatrical experience, while long-format story-telling with web shows is still in its infancy in the vernacular market. Malayalam star Dulquer Salmaan made his OTT debut a while ago with his film Salute, although that was not the initial release plan and he’s now ready for the next phase, with a lead role in Raj & DK’s Hindi series Guns & Gulaabs that is dropping on Netflix on August 18. This puts him on the list of early-birds of A-list stars from the south to try their hand at this format of story-telling.


'Cool that Raj & DK reached out'

“I’ve never done what everybody else has done. I’ve just floated along and whatever offers came my way and seemed interesting, I just jumped at it. So much of my career has been about experience. I think I work in all these different languages, not only because I like languages, but also because of the various cultures and the fact that I get to explore different parts of India. I also get to work with different crews and learn new things. I have been curious about the long-format (web series) and have been getting enquiries for different shows, but they were either Indian adaptations of western series or the concepts didn’t speak to me. I’m not against adaptations, but I won’t do it; it’s something that I had decided even before I got into acting that I won’t do remakes. Finding something original and going into it blind, creating something is more rewarding. I knew that if I was going into this space, some of the makers that I would be curious about would be Raj & DK, Hansal Mehta or Ritchie Mehta. So, when I finally got the call from Raj & DK, I thought it was cool that they reached out to me and wanted to know what they were making,” says Dulquer, explaining why it’s taken him time to take the plunge.


Great ensemble to be a part of

But what was it about Guns & Gulaabs that appealed to him? “I fell in love with this world that they were creating – Gulaabgunj – it was unique and quirky. Most of the cast members were already onboard when I was approached and I thought it was a great ensemble to be part of . The best thing about working with Raj & DK is that in long-format, you explore all the characters, everyone’s arc is well-defined and fleshed out, every supporting cast member has a real role to play in the narrative and there are so many crowd favourites that come on the show. I thought that if I were to do a web series, I’d happily to it with Raj & DK. It’s the best decision I made,” explains Dulquer.

A genre-bender show

The show, he adds, is set in the 90s in this fictional town called Gulaabgunj, which is divided into two because of two warring gangster factions. “My character Arjun is a police officer who is coming into this place, bringing his outsider perspective and discovering Gulaabgunj. Arjun has different shades to him – he’s got some skeletons in his closet. How he gets involved in this whole scene with the gangsters appealed to me. I thought it was really cool. It’s not like anything I’ve heard before; it’s a genre-bender and I like things that stand out,” he says.

Dulquer Salmaan (Image source: Dulquer's Instagram)
Dulquer Salmaan (Image source: Dulquer's Instagram)

A Malayalam web show perhaps?

The actor’s web show debut comes shortly after the first-ever Malayalam series came out and got a rousing welcome. Would he consider doing a Malayalam web series, perhaps? “I am open to it, but it will depend on the subject and who is making it. Web series do require a little more in terms of time, especially if you are leading the whole thing. Guns & Gulaabs being an ensemble, it wasn’t very heavy on dates for any of us, because so many people’s stories were being told. Time is a factor, but I am not against the series format in a regional language,” says the actor. What about his production house, though? “I keep getting enquiries all the time. We are exploring stuff and I have put together a division just for series, for which we’ve got a team from Bengaluru onboard,” he says.

Get the latest updates in your inbox