One of the best kept secrets in Indian cinema is South Indian superstar Dulquer Salmaan, who like his legendary father Mammootty has found massive success acting in Malayalam films.

The talented actor has also made an impressive mark in the Tamil film industry and makes his commercial Hindi cinema debut in newly released quirky comedy drama Karwaan, which also stars internationally renowned actor Irrfan Khan. He plays the lead role in the story of three very different individuals who take a road trip transporting a dead body.

I caught up with the award-winning star to talk about Karwaan, cinema and his iconic father.

How do you look back on your journey in cinema so far?
It’s been a super special journey and I genuinely feel blessed to do the films I’ve done in
the languages and industries I’ve worked in.

You are very much in demand with filmmakers, but what did you like about Karwaan as a project?
It’s a sincere and honest film. It is also a slice-oflife, very real movie. That is just how I like it. Some of my best films have been in this space.

Tell us about Karwaan and the character you play in it?
The film is about three unique characters with nothing in common on a journey in this van with a dead body thrown in the mix, how it changes them all in some way and how deaths play a part in this.
My character Avinash is someone who’s living someone else’s life. It’s not what he wanted for himself, and therefore is disconnected and lost. But this journey and the people help
him change.

Which is your favourite moment in the film?
Probably when Mithila joins the karwaan (caravan). That’s the first time that all three characters are in the van together. The dynamics couldn’t be more different and so sets the tone for the film.

Who are you hoping the film will appeal to?
I think it will appeal to all age groups and demographics because the issues the film deals with are universal. It’s a human story and a different space, especially the journey itself and where it’s set.

Will you be doing more Bollywood films now?
I’ve signed The Zoya Factor as my next project in Hindi, but I’m just playing it by ear for now. Depending on how a project appeals to me, I’m open to work in any language.

What is the best advice your famous father Mammootty ever gave you?
He told me, ‘between ‘action’ and ‘cut’, think you’re the best actor there is. And after they call ‘cut’, think you’re the worst.’

Which among his films is your favourite?
It’s hard to pick just one, because there have been multiple films of his that I love, including Thaniavarthanam, Big B, Samrajyam, Amaram, Pranciettan, The Saint and so many more.

What would be your dream role?
I really don’t think about a particular role I want to play. I’ve been blessed to play all kinds of characters. I just hope I always get stuff that excites me.

What kind of movies do you enjoy watching?
It depends on my mood, but mostly slice-of-life films. I also enjoy rom-coms and biopics. But everything has to be believable, like I’m witnessing the lives of real people.

Finally, why should we watch Karwaan?
You will have an enjoyable experience watching the film and meet some new people
whom you have never met before. You will get attached to them and travel with them. You
will laugh, cry and smile with them.

Karwaan is in cinemas now.