Vijay Varma Aka Moeen On How Gully Boy Changed His Life: 'I Now Choose What Works Best For Me, Gully Boy Has Been A Blessing'

·4-min read

Brilliant as he always was, actor Vijay Varma’s career took off in a big way after a sterling performance in Gully Boy. This was followed by a stint in the series She on Netflix as a sleazy gangster who befriends and tries to sexually subjugate an undercover female cop. In a freewheeling conversation, Vijay admits Gully Boy was a turning point in his career. “ The character Moin in Gully Boy happened back in 2017 end when I learned about the character from the casting director Nandini Shrikent. She and her team reached out to me asking if I can come read for a part. I played a couple of scenes out in my audition which eventually Zoya saw and then she requested a meeting with me.”

At the meeting with Zoya Vijay was asked to do the scenes again. “I went there and in that meeting, I wasn't prepared, but Zoya pointed the camera at me and told me to do the scenes from my audition. So I brushed up my memory and I did those scenes again while she was shooting it and I left after a handshake. After about a couple of weeks, I got to know that I had been locked for the part.” When he eventually read the script for Gully Boy Vijay was bowled over. “I eventually read the script and I understood what Zoya is doing and I loved the part and it was a great opportunity to work with the incredible ensemble.”

After being selected Vijay had to prepare to face the camera. “Immediately after I was locked for Moin’s part I was put in a workshop with the street kids and with the rappers. And Zoya was monitoring all of this. I jammed a lot with the boys with whom I have a lot of scenes with.”Vijay also tried to understand the underworld drug racket in Mumbai. “I explored the local lanes where there are a lot of garages and just understood the ways the weed and hashish get smuggled and pedalled…. just understanding who Moin is and brushing up on my Bambaiya. I had enough resources provided by the director Zoya and the producers the Excel team to kind of put in everything that I have and that was the process. My role and character got developed a bit more during the process of the shooting. I was given some space to improvise. It was a process of creative awakening for me.”

Gully Boy became a turning point in Vijay’s career. “All my hard work and patience kind of paid off and the film appealed to a large audience and was received with a lot of love. So it created a lot of opportunities workwise. And it also created a certain kind of peace around me. There was acceptance from my family, not that I had the freedom to choose my roles. Now I keep hearing a lot of stories and I choose what works best for me. So yes, Gully Boy has been a blessing.”

How does Vishal look back on his years of struggle? “I look back at the years of struggle right now with not too many hard feelings because I lived through it and I went through the motions of feeling angry bitter upset disappointed dejected depressed and hopeful and did everything that I could to cope with it. There were many chances given to me and some of the changes didn't materialize and some chances came and they went away. So I just made sure that I continued to keep myself inspired. So watching good movies spending time with people I admire like Irrfan Saheb and Naseer Saheb. I knew that things can change with one phone call, so that kept me going.”

Before Gully Boy, it was the film Pink that brought Vijay into the limelight. “It was the first film that I was part of which became a hit. Although the role left a certain impact, it was a very small role and an extremely negative character. So the impact that it created was, I got more of the same kind of negative characters. I avoided picking up those offers because somehow I didn't want to go down that path without a solid director. So yeah, I didn't take up the opportunities that came to me right after Pink. I waited patiently. I did a film in Telugu called MCA at that time because I was not happy with the offers I was getting in Mumbai. And it became a hit. Around that time Monsoon Shootout also released and then MCA also released and so I believed in myself. I waited it out.”

Image source: youtube/Excelmovies

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