South Indian heart-throb Dulquer Salmaan labels himself as a ‘destiny’s child’, but he isn’t superstitious or ritualistic about his covet-worthy life.
“My mind won’t allow me to do it,” said Salmaan in an interview with Gulf News tabloid!
While he’s a tad too pragmatic to believe in signs and the unexplainable powers of the supernatural, Salmaan had no qualms about taking on a romantic comedy that explores the bizarre link between superstition and sports in his second Bollywood release, The Zoya Factor, out in the UAE on September 19.
“I have been lucky that I got these opportunities and chances that were pre-written, perhaps. But I cannot fully plan my life based on signs. My mind won’t allow me to do it,” added Salmaan.
The 33-year-old heart-throb, who has several impressive films down South including ‘Second Show,’ ‘Ustad Hotel,’ ‘Charlie’ and ‘Bengaluru Days’ to his credit, is relatively new to the dazzling world of Bollywood cinema. Last year, the Kerala State Film Award-winning actor made his Hindi film debut with the warm and fuzzy coming-of-age film ‘Karwaan,’ along with stellar talent Irrfan Khan.
Salmaan isn’t done with Bollywood.
On Thursday, he will enter the field again as a cricket captain in director Abhishek Sharma’s romantic comedy ‘The Zoya Factor’ and take a swing at gaining more fans from Northern India.
His latest film, spearheaded by actress Sonam Kapoor in its title role, is based on Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 best-selling novel of the same name. Salmaan, the son of Malayalam superstar Mammootty, leads his team with considerable heft in ‘The Zoya Factor,’ but his boys in blue are convinced that the advertising executive Zoya Solanki is their lucky charm. Legend has it that her presence during a game can bring them incredible luck and decimate their enemy on the field.
It’s likely to be a triumph of the bizarre, but here’s Salmaan’s take on his latest film, his career and his precious blessed life.
Salmaan on ‘The Zoya Factor’:
“The entire premise of this film is funny. Everyone will be able to relate it. Cricket is such an important part of the fabric of our Indian culture and I all of us rely on a bit of superstition when we are watching cricket. A bit of superstition is allowed even if it is mocked at or made fun. I love that take on this film. The film isn’t about cricket per se, it’s about Zoya who’s suddenly thrust into the limelight when she’s considered a good-luck charm. I love the conflict between me, a cricketer in the film, and Zoya, played by Sonam Kapoor. Their conflicts intrigue me. The characters of this film are so well-etched out too.”
Channelling his inner Virat Kohli, India’s hunky cricket captain:
“I don’t think I fashioned my character on anybody in particular. I played it as I thought fit. I didn’t mimic anyone either. Though I am styled like some of the cricketers of today, that’s about it.”
His decision to make ‘The Zoya Factor’ his second Bollywood film:
“I signed this film even before ‘Karwaan’ released in the theatres. Be it any film in any industry, I want to keep surprising the audiences. I might have been styled a certain way in ‘Karwaan,’ that’s all. Cricket is a new zone for me. I am not a sportsman in real life and I have only played gully cricket like most people. So I had to train for this role and I had to be coached hard to be convincing in a cricketer’s role. It’s been a long journey.”
On playing roles with a South Indian slant:
“I don’t want to play just the token South Indian roles in Bollywood. I want to be as unconventional as possible. My character, Nikhil Khoda, is from Goa.”
His own superstitions:
“I am not superstitious by nature. But I am not here to judge anybody who follows it. I feel if I start finding reasons about why certain things happened in my life, then you are entering a black hole. So, before making any decision, you will have to consider a million rituals to ensure everything goes well. I believe in working your hardest. I don’t believe in superstitions like not travelling on a particular day or only travelling in a particular car. I never tend to those thoughts.”
“I do believe I am a destiny’s child. I feel lucky about the films that have been offered to me and to be accepted so widely. I attribute all that to my life. I have been lucky that I got these opportunities and chances that were pre-written, perhaps. But I cannot fully plan my life based on signs. My mind won’t allow me to do it.”
On charting his career strategically in Bollywood:
“I don’t make career moves in an effort to be accepted or finding a certain place in this industry. I look at films as opportunities, but I don’t employ any strategies per se. A film is a film and I always hope that everyone likes me. I don’t have any parallels to draw and I don’t know whom to compare myself to or about how many actors are juggling films in both the South and the North. I just do films that excites me and hopefully my audience.”
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'The Zoya Factor' is out in the UAE on September 19.