In conversation with Varun Dhawan

Rummana Ahmed

Varun Dhawan is quite a charmer. He has had a busy day promoting his forthcoming film Badlapur but there isn’t a hint of irritation or fatigue as he talks to members of the media. He has already done half-a-dozen interviews, recorded teasers for local radio stations, flashed his disarming smile for all the women around him, and yet he is calm and focused when he settles down to chat with us.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. What was your first reaction when you were offered the role of Raghu in Badlapur?

A. I though that the makers are mad. They wanted me to do the role of a boy who would then become a 38-39-year-old man. I found it very interesting. I think the whole idea of transforming myself and becoming something I was not, was very exciting.

Q. How difficult was it to prepare for a role like this one?

A. It was difficult, I was lost, I didn’t know which way to go, but Sriram helped me graph this character. He speaks a lot through silences and with his eyes in this film.

Q. In your prior films you have been appreciated for your comic timing. Do you think it’s a little too early in your career to take a risk like this one?

A. It is a risk, it is too early, I am afraid, but at the end of the day if you don’t take risks, you’ll never be able to create something new. If you’re scared, you’ll never create something new. You’ll never be able to give the audience the high of something fantastic, something magical, if you don’t take risks.

Q. Was playing Raghu an emotionally draining process?

A. Extremely. I can’t even tell you in words how draining it was….

Q. Would you rather be a popular star or an intense actor?

A. I think both. Why chose one? I want both.

Q. What kind of roles are offered to Varun Dhawan these days?

A. Mainly comedies, mainly happy-go-lucky, fun type of roles. Badlapur is a very rare role that came to me because no one would think of me doing such a part. So, now is my chance to prove that…

Q. Is there ever a fear you would be typecast as a comic hero?

A. Not really. I love doing comedy. Trust me, I love it. So, I don’t have that fear really, I don’t see it as just doing comedy or just being a hero, it more than that for me.

Q. Your next project ABCD 2 is a 3D film. How different was the experience?

A. In a 3D film, the camera is the hero. Always. Because it takes [a long] time to set up. But the result is something else; it looks visually stunning.

Q. It is often said that Varun Dhawan is filling in the void created by Govinda. How does that feel?

A. I really don’t react to that. I think it’s really unfair to Govinda. He is a legend and we all look up to him. It’s wrong to compare me to such a great man.

You can connect with the author on Twitter.