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Dulquer Salmaan with Aishwarya Lekshmi and Nyla Usha Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal

Indian actor Dulquer Salmaan, who was in Dubai today to promote his latest gangster epic ‘King Of Kotha’, began the press conference on a contrite note since the cast and crew arrived nearly three hours later than scheduled. However, he was on surer footing when discussing his new film.

The cast and crew are currently on a whirlwind promotional global tour, drumming up buzz for their ambitious crime saga, and are seemingly struggling to adjust to the travel and string of multiple interviews.

“I apologise profusely for turning up late. We have been working around the clock to promote this film — think late nights and early mornings. But I can guarantee you that I have absolute faith in this film. This embodies our collective dreams and hopes. I hope this film charts a new beginning for Malayalam cinema,” said Salmaan at the press conference. 

It took more than three years to bring their labour of love to life, and he claims he is now experiencing a lightness of being since the movie is all set for the audience to devour.

Directed by his childhood friend from his “diaper days”, Abhilash Joshiy, ‘King Of Kotha’ features a galaxy of stars, including Aishwarya Lekshmyi and Nyla Usha.

The film, set in the 1980s and 1990s in a fictional town called Kotha, is a multilingual release with high-octane gangster histrionics, a swashbuckling hero, and an intricate plot filled with complex, grey characters. Salmaan plays the swagger-filled gangster Raju who seeks organised crime domination in Kotha, while Aishwarya and Nyla play roles of Tara and Manju that move the story forward.

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Dulquer Salmaan marches to his own beats as a gangster in 'King Of Kotha' Image Credit: IMdB

“This is one of the biggest undertakings of my career … I promise that we won’t disappoint you,” said Salmaan, who is riding high after the success of his Netflix drama ‘Guns & Gulaabs’.

But this is no testosterone-charged film. According to Nyla and Lekshmy, the women parts aren’t ornamental.

“Women have some serious role to play in this film. Once you see the film, you will realise how significant we are to the whole narrative,” said Nyla, who’s also a Dubai-based radio jockey.

Deviating from questions about the film, Salmaan was also asked about his recent comments on being groped inappropriately by a fan. In a recent interview, he had spoken about how an older woman had touched him on his back, making him uncomfortable. His comments and observations gained a lot of press.

“I don’t think it should have gone viral … I didn’t think that her touch was sexual in nature, perhaps it was her way of showing her affection. I am still perturbed by that episode. There are many people who show their love towards us in different ways … I don’t think you should derive many meanings into it,” said Salmaan in Malayalam. He also mentioned that he had let his guard down in that particular interview.

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“Honestly, I have been doing so many press interviews of late,” said Salmaan with a laugh.

‘King Of Kotha’ releases in the UAE on August 24.

Read the full interview with the cast in Gulf News soon.