Are Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja counting on luck for The Zoya Factor's success?

Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 16:50 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

One of the most gorgeous celluloid couples in recent times, Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor in a candid and refreshing chat open up on how the twain met, their belief in serendipity and how they want their future films to look like

Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan (Picture courtesy/Yogen Shah)
Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan (Picture courtesy/Yogen Shah)

Bollywood's movie trailers can be divided into two parts - First, the kind of trailers that give away the entire plot that there's hardly any excitement left to discover what lies beneath the iceberg. Second, trailers that are shrouded in secrecy and one would want to know what the plot and the characters of the film are about. Dulquer Salmaan and Sonam Kapoor Ahuja's The Zoya Factor's trailer creates a blend of both. We know it's the story of a woman who regards herself as the unluckiest creature on Earth and how her Z Factor, (her name is Zoya) changes the fate of the Indian Cricket Team. Having said that, we can't predict how her love story with the captain of the team (played by Salmaan) will commence and conclude.

The promo was refreshing and entertaining, there hardly seems to be a dull moment when the premise demands suspension of disbelief and performance that rests on unintentional hilarity (in a good way). It's delightful to watch an actress channel her inner comic and display her chops, and Ahuja seems to be an apt choice, up until now. Salmaan, on the other hand, seems to be paying homage to Virat Kohli and looks breathtaking. It promises to be a joyride and also tackle our beliefs on superstitions. Talking about their film, Ahuja and Salmaan recently spoke to mid-day exclusively about how they met each other for the first time, their opinions on luck and how they want their future repertoire to be like. The interview is as entertaining as the film promises to be.

Speaking about their first encounter, both the leads have a common answer, "It felt like we knew each other." Ahuja continues, "One of my childhood friends is his best friend, and one of my best friends, Aarti, who's the producer of the film, is friends with him, so we always had common friends." Salmaan adds, "If you're friends with similar people, it means you're definitely like-minded, you like the same things. So that familiarity was always there, and all of these friends were on the set so all of us were hanging out." "It's so weird I didn't meet you that often before," the actress sounds perplexed.

Watch the full interview here:

Next is a question we really want to know the answers to, how did their respective partners react when they saw them on the celluloid. Were they like, "How are they looking so good with each other?" Taking the responsibility to answer the question first, the actor says, "Anand hung out on the sets with us." In comes the lady, "Anand is really fond of Dulquer." The man continues, "So we got along really well. So we discussed shoes, cars, all boys stuff, but he's really a cool guy, I instantly took a liking to him. You can't be in India and not know of Sonam or ignore her, she's such a fashionista and she's done such amazing work, so they all are excited to see the film and like seeing us together, my daughter has already started singing Pepsi. She loves lucky charm; she loves the ring of it."

And then comes the question the film's narrative is based on - belief in luck and superstitions. Our leads answer whether they had any belief while growing up and here's what it was, "Prayers maybe, but I cannot think of anything, especially not before exams," says Salmaan. Ahuja speaks up, "I have one, you know how supplements in exams are, when you're writing and those extra supplements, if my supplement would never have to end on an odd number, it had to end on an even number, now I know it's a waste of paper, but I never used to end it on an odd number. Weird, I don't know." "I wish I had something clever or fun," adds Dilquer Salmaan.

Did our leads eat sugar-curd before exams? The actress said her parents used to make her eat that. Salmaan's mother asked only one question all our mothers have asked us every year, "Have you studied for this exam? Pls tell me you've done, you've done some kind of prep for this exam, I didn't want to apply myself too much." Now Ahuja has a question for the actor, "Did you have concentration problems?" "Yeah, I was quite distracted," comes the quip. "I just wanted to have fun in class." And was he a backbencher in school? Here's what he has to say, "Every year, my previous teachers used to inform about me to my new teachers in the classroom so they'll come and be like who's this boy, pls come to the front. So I would just never get that chance to sit on the last bench."

The next question is also for DQ. Ahuja revealed in one of her social media posts how she would only don red attires during the promotions for the film's success. Was that a challenge for him and his stylish, if he would want to wear shades of grey, "No, no, I don't stress about this, because I feel she's going to make us look good, so that's something I wouldn't stress about. But my stylist made sure if she's wearing Indian, we shouldn't be too off. We have to look right together. So clothes for me I have always felt like, if they fit me well, I'm confident enough to pull them off so I don't stress about it. But if it's not cut right, even if I'm sitting in this interview and the length is not right, I'll be like covering up and conscious of it, if those things are there, I'll wear anything."

The leading man has a massive fan base in the South, how have his fans responded to the trailer. The actor says, "I think they are very excited. I think they like the pairing for sure. A lot of comments were like you guys look so good together, can't wait for the film, you should do more work together. That's nice to hear I would love the two of us to do something together in Tamil, maybe with Mani (Ratnam) sir." And would Sonam be interested, "I mean why not, any good project is amazing and I really want to do it. I'm so scared, though." Her hero jumps in to support her, "I think you'll be up for the challenge. People liked you in Raanjhanaa and Delhi 6 so it'll be nice to see you as the Tamil girl."

Which are the producers or directors DQ wants to work with next in Bollywood? Here are the names, "I'm completely open. Definitely Meghna Gulzar because I loved Raazi, I like Sriram Raghavan a lot. So I generally tend to like off-mainstream films. I transitionally am content-driven because the Malayalam Cinema is so content-driven. But nothing to take away from Zoya because this is also content-driven, which is what attracted me to it. Essentially it's got great content, but it also has a nice commercial pitch without trying too hard. You're not taking away from the film, you're not selling out in the film, though I know people say product placement, but it's cricket." Ahuja adds, "The whole book was about Pepsi." DQ continues, "Yeah, exactly, so sometimes when I see criticism about that, I think you have to watch the film to see how integral a part all this is. I'm digressing but I've always felt sometimes you see certain brands, you come out of the film, and this is that one movie where you won't come out of the film because it's a part of the narrative. What I'd like to do is surprise the audience. If at some point you see three of my films or posters maybe on Netflix, I'd like each of the three to be of different genre and look different and different characters."

Both the leads sound extremely charming and confident in their interviews, and the film indeed promises to deliver enough bangs for our bucks. Let's figure out in four days on September 20, whether the film turns out to be lucky for the protagonists or not.

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