I am from this (Punjabi) soil: Mukul Dev
With a career that started back in the 90s, actor Mukul Dev has run the gamut of the entertainment industry; the formula films of the 90s, television and now what is touted to be the first ‘creature’ film to be made in Bollywood by the forerunner of horror genre, director Vikram Bhatt.
“It’s not a horror film per se, more like a terrifying creature will be present in it,” says Mukul. While most big production houses are too afraid to touch the horror genre, pun intended, Vikram Bhatt who is known for churning out horror films has gone ahead with a creature flick now. “This was a whole new experience for me too. Half the time we had to react to an invisible presence or act in front of a blank screen, it was quite something,” laughs Mukul, adding, “Vikram (Bhatt) has gone the whole nine yards for this film. ”On being asked why this particular genre hasn’t developed properly in India, and no we are not counting the Ramsay Brothers in, Mukul believes it is the detailing in such films that scares most filmmakers out of their wits (again pun intended). “A horror film does not rely on dialogues and music. It is the sound of creaking doors, the window banging open and the build-up that is not easy to achieve. ”Having appeared in the recently released Punjabi flick, Paisa Yaar N Panga, as well as having played a Sardar in the 2012 Bollywood film Son Of Sardar, Mukul believes that while the Punjabi movie industry has been around for some time, it is this recent boom of churning out films that will propel the industry forward to a more professional level. “I am from this (Punjabi) soil. My father’s village is near Jalandhar and I spent four to five years in Patiala training as a pilot, so the language has never been an issue for me. ”Having also started his career in the 90s, an era of formula films, he says it was filmmakers like Ram Gopal Varma who paved the way for the kind of films we now consider a norm rather than an exception. “Satya was a groundbreaking film that opened people’s eyes. People like Ram Gopal Varma and Shekhar Kapur introduced such films in the industry as never seen before and it wasn’t easy if you went to a producer with an arthouse film back in the 90s. They’d laugh you out of the room,” he reminisces
Having also acted in the small screen for a good few years, he says it is a very hectic medium where you run the risk of burning out quickly. “That is why I took a break, but I give TV it’s due as my career was in a lurch and TV revived it,” he says. And with a sibling in the industry, model/actor Rahul Dev known for his villainous portrayals, Mukul says it is good to have someone out there .“Rahul’s my elder brother and I feel good to have someone in the industry who has helped me out,” he smiles and signs off.