Darshan, who has previously done a handful of cameos in different projects, has made an extended guest appearance in the film Mumtaz at the behest of his friend Dharma Keerthiraj. In this special role, the star plays the character of a don, for which he shot for three days. For Dharma, Darshan's appearance in his film has definitely made a big difference, he admits. Darshan and Dharma were first seen together in the film Navagraha and have remained good friends since. “Mumtaz will be my third film after Olave Vismaya. More than friendship, Darshan also thought about my career growth in films and he felt that it was the right time to support me and make sure that I take that next step. In fact, he never even once brought in his star value on to the sets. The director, Raghava Murali, had weaved a role to suit him and he went ahead and shot it in a professional manner. He has recently completed his portions,” says Dharma, who was more excited to hear Darshan addressing him as ‘Hey Cadbury’ in Mumtaz.
“Darshan had previously addressed me as ‘Hey Cadbury’ in Navagraha that released in 2008, which was popular with the audience. Though Mumtaz sees me playing a more mature character, Darshan in one of the scenes with me, calls me 'Hey Cadbury' and it was fun as well reminded me of those early days," he says.
Apart from this dialogue, Mumtaz is also special for a couple of reasons, says Dharma. "To start with, I have a got an image makeover through this movie. Secondly, the film reprises my pairing with Sharmiela Mandre after Navagraha. Darshan’s appearance has only boosted the film," he says.
As actors, they prefer to share a good working rapport. Darshan and Dharma bonded well because they had stuff in common. "We travel a lot together. We often go on bike rides and our best ride so far has been to Goa. We are both crazy about cars and bikes and have common hobbies. Before we were friends, I was a big fan of Darshan. Since he lived near my house in Banashankari, I was keen to see his collection of bikes and cars. Later, I started interacting with him and today he treats me like his younger brother. We go to each other’s houses during functions. As he is an animal lover, I gifted him a couple of Labrador pups and we enjoy spending time with these dogs. He was also the one who actually taught me horse riding at his farm house," says Dharma.