When filmmaker Gunasekhar announced Malayalam actor Dev Mohan’s name for the role of King Dushyantha opposite Samantha as Shakuntala in the film Shakuntalam, it came as a surprise to many. Dev, who is making his debut in Tollywood with the costume drama, says that working for the film has been a great and unique experience.
“I have started shooting recently and things have been going very well,” shares Dev, who received training in sword fighting and horse riding for the part in Hyderabad.
“I still train whenever I am free; I try to spend my leisure time working on my skills. But it’s a challenging and different role. I had a good preparation and I am following Gunasekhar Sir’s instructions on how to handle the character yet give it my own spin. He has this uncanny knack of bringing to life such historical characters,” says the actor.
Shakuntalam is not a typical masala film, and requires actors to emote dialogues in shudh Telugu. “I am picking up the language with the help of two assistant directors; Gunasekhar sir is also helping me get the hang of it. I believe if we know the meaning of the dialogues, we can better express and convey the right emotion,” says the actor, who is also working on his diction and accent.
Mohan Dev reveals that the director wanted him to sport a lean look. “The director wanted me to have a toned body like Prince Charming. So I have been on a diet for the last couple of months, and I continue to be throughout the film. I am a fitness freak, and am already in shape,” says Dev. And if the role demands that he shed a few more kilos, he is game for it, the actor adds.
He describes Samantha as a “cool” co-star, and adds that she has no airs of a superstar on the sets. They talk about films and pets on the sets, he reveals, adding that her humility is one of her strongest points.