Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Living under a cinematic giant

Dulquer Salmaan, the son of superstar Mammootty, talks about the impact of his father. His debut film, ‘Second Show’, premieres on February 3

By Shevlin Sebastian

Dulquer Salmaan always remembers the transition that used to come over his father, superstar Mammootty in public. “We could be going for a wedding reception,” he says. ‘In the car, our family [including mother Sulfath, and sister Surumi] are normal, regular people having a conversation.”

But once they reach the venue, something would come over Mammootty. “He would become this star radiating charisma,” says Dulquer. “You could not see the change. You would just feel it. From a very young age, I have noticed that whenever my father walks into a room, all eyes are on him.”

Dulquer says the charisma must have come from the stellar career of Mammootty, spread over 30 years. “You command that respect,” says Dulquer. “Here is someone who has found his passion and calling in life. Whereas, the rest of us are still trying to figure out who we are, and what we are good at.”

Yes, Dulquer was not sure whether he wanted to follow in his father’s formidable footsteps. So, he did a four-year course in business management from Purdue University in Indiana, USA. Then he worked in American companies, before moving to Dubai where he spent two years, doing a business in Information Technology.

But in 2009, the urge arose in him to be an actor. “There was a void within me,” he says. “When you are young, you want to make money, buy all the things you want, but at some point, you realise that having all these objects is not enough to make you happy.”

So, Dulquer stepped away from the business, and hired a CEO to look after it. In June, 2009, he went to Mumbai and did a three-month course with the Barry John Acting Studio. Dulquer returned, and selected ‘Second Show’, which has a debutant in the director Srinath Rajendran, as well as young crew members.

Both hero and director are tight-lipped about what the film is all about, except to repeat the tag line: 'Life has a second chance'. Interestingly, Mammootty has offered no tips on acting to Dulquer. But once when Dulquer was shooting a big scene in 'Second Show' that was worrying him, he called up Mammootty.

“My father told me, ‘Some are better than you, but you are better than most’,” says Dulquer. “‘Just tell yourself that. That will help you go through the scene. That is what I always tell myself.’ Thanks to this timely advice, I was able to act well in that particular scene.”

'Second Show', in which Dulquer is paired with newcomer Gautami Nair, is produced by AOPL Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., and premieres on February 3.

(The New Indian Express, South India and Delhi)

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