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I have less time to watch movies: Sita Ramam actor Dulquer Salmaan

Dulquer Salmaan's latest release, Sita Ramam, is in cinemas.

I have less time to watch movies: Sita Ramam actor Dulquer Salmaan
A still from Sita Ramam
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 11.01 AM, Aug 17, 2022

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The makers of Sita Ramam, a romantic period drama starring Dulquer Salmaan and Mrunal Thakur, announced that the film grossed Rs 50 crore worldwide. Set between the 1960s and the 1980s, also featuring Rashmika Mandanna, Gautham Menon, Tharun Bhascker, Sumanth, and Bhumika Chawla, among others, Sita Ramam was released simultaneously in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.

A few excerpts from an interview with Dulquer Salmaan when he was in Chennai recently:

What made you choose Sita Ramam?

Sita Ramam is a unique story. I'd say truly classic and rare film. No such story has come anywhere in the world. I quite enjoyed the screenplay. The film is the best when enjoyed in theatres. I hadn't watched any of director Hanu's previous movies. I just trusted his sensibility. I don't have to gauge a director's talent based on his previous releases. Besides, there's a huge star cast. Famous actors from different industries like Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali had been a part of it. The shooting was amazing. It is also a pleasure to act with Gautham Vasudev Menon for the second time, after Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal.

A still from Sita Ramam
A still from Sita Ramam

You stated that you will no longer be a part of love stories.

(Smiles) You're right. I believe I should take a break from them. But I was too tempted to do Sita Ramam. I'm getting older every day. I have to play a variety of mature roles. I prefer to be a part of films that are original and fresh. My films have always struck a balance between commercial cinema and realism. I go with my guts. I do get action scripts, but I am a little apprehensive to say "yes" to those.

Everybody is watching everything. In general, for the past two years, which none of us predicted, everyone on the spectrum has been sitting and contemplating what comes next. I believe that every industry is having difficulty bringing audiences back to the cinemas, so everyone is thinking about what kind of cinema will draw them, to give them that feeling that we have to watch in cinemas, and I can't wait a month for this to come on OTT.

A still from Sita Ramam
A still from Sita Ramam

What is your favourite song on the album?

Vishal delivered an outstanding album. When I heard the story, I knew the songs would be excellent as there was so much scope, musically. All of the songs are visually stunning. The music in the background is equally fantastic. My favourite song is Kanunna Kalyanam!

Let's talk about your association with Vyjayanthi Movies.

Aswini Dutt and Swapna are like a family to me. He's extremely encouraging, as a person, and a bundle of positive energy. Both of them ensure that the best will be chosen for me. Director Hanu has presented Sita Ramam brilliantly.

What did you think about Mrunal Thakur's character when you first heard it?

We imagine some of the characters in a classic novel to be like this. When I first heard the story of Sita Ramam, I imagined myself in the role of Sita! (Laughs) It was beautifully written. And, Mrunal seemed an excellent choice. Off-screen also, she is a cheerful and energetic person. Her persona brought more value to the character.

How happy are you about the reception you got for Sita Ramam?

It has been great thus far! I was bowled over by love, including that of the Telugu-speaking audience. When I arrived in Hyderabad for an event a few days ago, a few people told me they liked Ustad Hotel, as well. It was my second feature film. I didn't know they could connect with that one, too. Further, seeing my films on various OTT platforms made me happy because it meant that many people shared my passion for movies! I injured my legs during Mahanati and was unable to attend the events. Now, I am overjoyed to see the response to Sita Ramam. I am grateful to the fans who have been supporting me. That was not what I expected. I am extremely fortunate. (Smiles)

What would have happened if not an actor?

It’s a disturbing thought! (Laughs) I studied in business school. I hold an MBA. Maybe an investor? I don't know! At home, dad and I discuss films. I look up to my father, and I want to make him proud. He's my hero. I have learned from watching him, and I can never criticise him.

Do you have any plans to direct?

I’m planning to, but now there is no time. I have less time to watch movies, as well. If a film comes from my direction, it will be different from the imagination of the audience.

Which was the latest release that you loved?

Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo!

Is there any specific role that you want to play?

It is more interesting to play grey and dark stuff. It is more intense. Maybe, some day, that will happen. (Laughs)

Dulquer Salmaan
Dulquer Salmaan

It's interesting how an actor of your stature balances Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil industries effortlessly.

Hey, I have done a film in Bollywood, too. The boundaries are just not there anymore. A film is bigger than its actors, any day and I am looking forward to grabbing good opportunities that come my way. If I like a story, why should I think about the language? For me, if a film seems special, the size of the role isn't a problem. Also, it is not that I do only mainstream films. (Smiles) I produce some of them. There's a lot of talent out there, and Wayfarer hopes to give more opportunities to such people. I intend to help them, including distributing films.

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