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"I changed my look because of the demands of the business" - Mukul Dev
- Anish Mohanty           Let us know what you think about this article

He was supposed to make his debut in a film produced by Amitabh Bachchan. The film never released but Mukul Dev managed to woo the audience through his subsequent film and television shows. Today, the actor appears in Hindi films, regional cinema and television. He has played a wide variety of characters and covered a huge range as an actor. In this interview, he talks about his new film 'Teri Bhabhi Hai Pagle', being selective as an actor, writing Omerta and future projects.

Why do we get to see so little of you in Hindi films?

Most of my producer and director friends call me whenever there is a role that suits me and I can do justice to. They say that they would not want to waste me in an inconsequential role. There is always a role for a hero and heroine in a film. After that, if there is a character that is in my age group and the director can visualise me playing that role, then it comes to me. That is the reason there is a bit of selectiveness, even when it comes to people approaching me for films. I do a lot of regional films. I have done 16-17 Punjabi films and 17-18 Telugu films. I just had a superhit in Bengali cinema in the form of 'Sultan The Saviour'.

Language is not a barrier for you then?

No, I never get that thought. Language has never acted as a hindrance. I just love working. I am willing to work in any industry as long as I like the work environment.

'Dastak' was your first release as an actor. But, a lot of people do not know that you were supposed to make your debut with a film called 'Naam Kya Hai' that was produced by Amitabh Bachchan's company ABCL.

Yes, the film was complete but it could never get a release for itself. ABCL was going through a financial crisis and a couple of other films that were produced by the company during that time did not release.

How do you think you have changed or evolved as an actor in all these years? Your look has changed drastically.

I changed my look because of the demands of the business. I grew a beard once. A filmmaker liked that look and cast me in his film. After that, a lot of directors preferred this long hair, bearded look for their films.

Tell us something about your role in 'Teri Bhabhi Hai Pagle'. Wasn't Mithun Chakraborty was supposed to play this part earlier?

Yes, he was. It is a great honour for me that I have been the second choice after Mithun Chakraborty. It is also a great responsibility. My character is that of a don who also finances films. He has a wife whom he is very scared of. That makes him very lovable and endearing. He gets caught by his wife several times and that leads to a lot of comedy.

You had written the basic plot for Hansal Mehta's 'Omerta'. How did writing happen?

I wrote Omerta in 2008 and gave the script to Hansal sometime in 2010 or 2011. I had several commitments as an actor, so Hansal developed it into a full-fledged screenplay with dialogues.

Did you ever think of turning that script into a film yourself?

I did. I even shot something with a basic camera to see how it looks visually but I could never make it into a film. Hansal took the story, went somewhere for one year and took another six or seven months to shoot it. Only a person who is a director or is actively involved in filmmaking can do that. But, writing a story is always possible and I try to do that in whatever spare time I get.

Have you written something else too?

I have another story called 'Christopher'. I have given it to Purab Kohli. He is planning to make his directorial debut with that script. Hansal and Purab are my friends, so I am more than happy to give it to them.

Would you like to direct a film someday?

I would love to do that but it is not viable at this point in my career. Making a film would take more than a year and I would not be able to take up ay acting assignments during that period. When I feel I have made enough money and can take a break from acting for some time, I will direct a film.

What's next?

I have shot for a Punjabi film which will release soon. Divya Dutta is there in the film too. Then, I am doing a show for Sony which is being produced by Salman Khan Productions. It is a cop drama and the pilot episode has been directed by Mahesh Limaye. I have shot for a Hindi film called 'Varanasi' which is being directed by Aryaman Ramsay. There are other actors like my brother Rahul, Ravi Kissan and Rama Sen in it.

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