Director Nag Ashwin says actor Dulquer Salmaan’s role in the upcoming bilingual biopic “Mahanati”, on the life of legendary southern actress Savitri, goes beyond the physical resemblance of yesteryear actor Gemini Ganesan, whom he won’t mimic in the film.
The film, being made in Telugu and Tamil, marks Dulquer’s debut in Tollywood.
“Dulquer’s character of Gemini Ganesan will merely be how the legend will be perceived today based on his work and his image. The character goes beyond the physical resemblance, in understanding the veteran on a more emotional level,” Ashwin told IANS.
He said that it’s brave of a mainstream actor like Dulquer to accept the offer.
“It takes a lot of courage for a popular star like him to agree to play the part. Unlike other stars who think so much about market, time and other factors while signing a role, it’s amazing that Dulquer gives importance to the story and the film more than just his character,” he said.
The film stars Keerthy Suresh as Savitri, and her story will be narrated through the eyes of Samantha Ruth Prabhu.
Talking about working with Dulquer, Ashwin said: “I still remember the first scene we shot with him. It was a long dialogue sequence and he nailed it in the first take, much to the astonishment of the entire set. Everybody clapped for him.”
The film, also starring Rajendra Prasad in a key role, has music by Anup Rubens.
“Mahanati” is a magnum opus period film set in the golden era. With massive set pieces, the film will be unlike anything we’ve explored in Indian cinema, Ashwin said.