The extensive search for the role of King Dushyanta in director Gunasekhar’s forthcoming film Shakuntalam, starring Samantha as Shakuntala, is finally over. Malayalam actor Dev Mohan will be seen in the role of King Dushyanta.
“Prince Dushyanta is known for his charming looks. He’s the teen heartthrob and wherever he goes all eyes would be on him. Since none of us know how Dushyanta actually looked we decided to go with a new guy who carried no specific image or audience expectations and finally zeroed in on Dev, a newcomer,” explains director Gunasekhar.
The director also points out that according to him the role needed a guy with classic features. “Dev, a model and a Mr India contestant, has those charismatic looks. Talent-wise, he’s a performer and has the right physique, so he seemed to have all the traits we were seeking in an actor playing Dushyanta,” shares the filmmaker.
For the role, Dev apparently underwent three months of horse-riding training, sword fighting, body training, etc. He has also started taking classes in Telugu, which the filmmaker thinks he will master soon.
“We did not decide his casting overnight; rather, it was done over a period,” adds Gunasekhar, revealing that he had no particular actor in mind when writing the script.
The filmmaker says the team hoped to find a new guy to keep a surprise element around this role.
“We hoped we could live up to audience expectations and we are glad we’ve cast the right guy, and especially after getting the look trials and screen tests done, we knew we stood vindicated,” says the Okkadu director.
The team is on the verge of finalising the remaining cast and crew.