Director Akarsh Khurana and actors Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar let us in on some secrets
Akarsh, Dulquer and Mithila share five secrets from the set of 'Karwaan'
1. Mithila Palkar and Dulquer Salmaan had not heard of each other at the time of casting. “I looked him up and realised he was a big deal,” she admits. “I am embarrassed to confess I had not watched any of his work before I met him, but I realised the magnitude of it when we went to shoot down south. During the schedule, I did watch his films Ustad Hotel, Bangalore Days, OK Kanmani and Charlie. I am a legit fan now.” Salmaan looked her up and watched a few episodes of her web series Little Things and her TED talk.
2. Salmaan is no stranger to road trips. He went on plenty with his famous dad Mammootty as a young boy. “We would usually travel from Chennai to Kochi. We’d have a home-cooked breakfast, lunch somewhere on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, which was usually biryani, great roadside tea and ridiculously old music would be playing in the car,” he says. As a petrolhead, he reveals that his dream vehicle to take on a road trip would be a Volkswagen Bus.
3. Getting the geography right was very important for director Akarsh Khurana. “One thing that annoys me when I watch a film is when people lie about geography – that takes away from the film,” he explains. “And with Dulquer on the film, we knew his fans will be watching, and we didn’t want to cheat them. So yes, we did do that drive and stopped all along the route to shoot. In fact, since the trailer has come out, people have tagged us saying they have spotted their villages and road signs they are familiar with and said they are correct and the pay off of that is a lot more.”
4. Irrfan Khan fell in love with Kerala – especially its food. “When we reached Kerala, we missed [annual Hindu festival] Onam by a day, so we didn’t get sadya [a traditional spread featuring a variety of vegetarian dishes eaten on special occasions and festivals], but our hotel in Kumarakom offered to make it for us, and I made everyone sit down for it and eat it by hand,” Salmaan says. Khan loved the spread so much, he decided to detox and become vegetarian for the rest of the trip. “He said if the vegetarian tastes so good, I don’t want the meat,” Salmaan reveals.
5. Karwaan is Salmaan’s first Bollywood film. “The biggest difference for me was that they have this great studio culture, where a lot of systems are in place, which have come in from Hollywood,” he says. “Down south in the smaller regional industries, we have systems that we have built with experience over the years. Here, most members of the crew are given a copy of the script or scene for that day, and everyone is aware of what you are shooting. But in Malayalam films, for example, the light boys on set might not even know what we are making. They do the job, and when I meet them on another film, they are amazed and didn’t know that is what they were shooting.”