Dulquer’s performance as the Tamil matinee idol Gemini Ganesan in “Mahanati” has caught a lot of attention.
“We all knew we were doing something important, something very special. To tell the story of this Tamil-Telugu cinema’s legendary actress Savitri was something I believed in. This was a role away from my home territory in Kerala, hence an added challenge,” said the Malayalam actor.
“I’ve to agree that the demarcation lines are blurring. I won’t say there was a divide. But clearly Malayalam cinema has a narrower market than cinema in some other Indian languages. I was happy to expand into the Tamil market. And now into Telugu with ‘Mahanati’ and into Hindi as well.”
Has he spoken his own lines in Telugu? “Yes, I have. And it was far more difficult getting the Telugu dialogues than Tamil. I’ve been dubbing my own lines in Tamil for some time now. In Telugu, I had to practise the words, understand and absorb what I am saying and then speak them in the dubbing. I would think I got them right. But I’d be told something was not right.
“I would wonder what was wrong. Still I’d do it again and again until it came out sounding right for the experts in the language.”
Quite a task? “Yes, but then that is the main criteria I have for accepting a role. It has to offer me a challenge of some kind. Otherwise, there is no point in doing a role. I would be very uncomfortable doing a safe part. It would make me think something is wrong,” he said.
He has chosen a career path very different from his father. Was that deliberate? “It had to be different from his. I couldn’t possibly do what he had already done. He has a larger-than-life image. It made no sense to walk in his footsteps. There is nothing like a ‘born actor’. It’s all about honing the skills.
“Duplication never works for anybody. Why would it have worked for me? I chose my own path because that was the only way to go. At the same time, I’ve to admit there was an advantage in being my fathers’s son.
“The debut film came much easier to me than it would have if I was an outsider.”
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