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Dulquer Salmaan: Earlier, I was wary of associating with big studios

Updated on: 17 August,2023 07:30 PM IST  |  Mumbai
Athulya Nambiar |

Dulquer Salmaan opens up about his most expensive project, King Of Kotha and why he was wary of working with big studios

Dulquer Salmaan: Earlier, I was wary of associating with big studios

Dulquer Salmaan

Dulquer Salmaan is gearing up for two big releases back-to-back in two different languages. The actor will be making his OTT debut with 'Guns & Gulaabs' directed by Raj and DK and is looking forward to his big-budget Malayalam film 'King Of Kotha'. The film, a gangster drama, is one of the most expensive films coming from Malayalam cinema, an industry that is known for producing content-heavy films on minimal budgets. 

On Thursday, at the Hindi trailer launch of the film in Mumbai, the actor revealed that he has been wary of working with big productions house. Dulquer Salmaan is himself a producer and largely produces his own films. For King Of Kotha, the actor and his production house Wayfarer Films joined hands with ZEE Studios which is currently basking in the success of 'Gadar 2'. 

Talking about his association with Zee Studios as a producer and actor, Dulquer said, "Earlier, I was wary of (working with) big studios because sometimes there are so many departments. Sometimes there is no ownership and every department gets pushed around. But my experience with Zee has been fabulous. They have been true partners. They have been with us through the entire journey, even in editing and post. I give them full credit for marketing the film. They are very passionate and understand cinema. They make 40-50 films a year and to see them give A film so much time and attention, it's been wonderful experience. I would happily associate with them in the future also."

At the press conference, Dulquer Salmaan said the coronavirus pandemic and the OTT (Over-the-top) boom has pushed the Malayalam industry to make big scale spectacle films. "Post COVID-19 and the advent of OTT, now if you want to draw people to theatres, you have to offer a theatrical experience. There has to be some kind of spectacle, people need that value for money, they need that entertainment on a larger scale," Dulquer said. 

"The Malayalam industry has always been very budget focused, we are a bit wary of going bigger but in the lockdown when people watched our cinema, it made us familiar across the country. Now, we have a lot more courage to push ourselves," he added.

"With this film, we have pushed as much as we could. In terms of budget and scale, we went all out. It's my most expensive film to date, it's the biggest film we have produced as a company," Dulquer said. Citing the example of Rishab Shetty-starrer 'Kantara', the actor said through such films people are able to discover about different Indian cultures.

The actor also addressed comparisons in looks between 'King of Kotha' and Allu Arjun-starrer 'Pushpa: The Rise'. He said both the movies are different and added that he takes this as a compliment. "There's no influence as such. I do love him (Allu Arjun) as an actor and a performer. But this film ('King of Kotha') has been with us since 2019, the character sketch was put in place three years ago. So, basically, we had this film in our mind. I've heard this (comparison with 'Pushpa') and in some ways it's a compliment, we are not trying to imitate or copy but I hope it does what 'Pushpa' did," he added.

'King Of Kotha' directed by debutant Abhilash Joshiy also stars Aishwarya Lekshmi, and Shabeer Kallarakal. The film will hit the theatres on August 24. 

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