Varun Dhawan talks about Dilwale, SRK-Kajol, box office battles and his back-to-back hits...
Most actors aren’t too fond of movie promotions, but Varun Dhawan claims he enjoys it. The young actor especially loves interacting with crowds. No wonder he is such a hit with the janta. He will be sharing screen space with Shah Rukh Khan for the first time in Dilwale and though he admires the actor he stresses, he isn’t star-stuck. With five back-to-back hits, Varun is riding the success wave. But he confides that despite the hits, he feels the pressure every time a movie is up for release. Here, the actor talks about film clashes at the box office, on his first ensemble movie and gearing up for his next release. Over to Varun...
What’s the best thing about working in an ensemble movie like Dilwale?
The best thing is that when you are doing scenes, the give-and-take is interesting. There are more people to play off your energies with. Like if there are three people in a room, there is far more interaction. I can look and talk to one person and the third person has his or her own reactions. It gives me an opportunity to do something with one person and give another reaction looking at the other person. The energy that you get is different and that can make a scene interesting.
With five hits back-to-back, is the pressure less?
No, it’s more. This thing about four hits, five hits... nobody was talking about it before, but now suddenly people have started talking about it and now it has started to play on my mind also.
But shouldn’t the stress be less?
Yes, but you don’t want your film to do badly, no? You want the best thing possible for your movie, so the pressure is always there.
The movie has SRK and Rohit Shetty backing it, what can go wrong?
No matter who is in the film I am still under pressure. I thought I won’t be under any stress because Shah Rukh Sir is in it and Rohit Sir is directing, but I am still stressed. I was not feeling the pressure before when we were shooting, but now that we are heading towards release... the song Manma is going to release soon and suddenly I feel the tension. and I am thinking to myself ‘Yeh kya ho gaya ke suddenly I am getting tense’. I guess when it comes to my films I am always going to be like that... it doesn’t matter whether I am in the movie for eight minutes or 80 minutes.
Were you star-struck while facing the camera with SRK?
Not at all.
You were hardly visible in the trailer and your fans noticed it...
I think that was a conscious decision from the marketing department. I think people do want to know about my role with Shah Rukh Sir. All I can say at the moment is that it is not a one-track role. There are some variations to it and if we show all of it in the trailer, it’ll be giving away too much. Like I said, it’ll be an important part and it provides a big twist to the story. All the characters in the movie are double-edged. And more than that, what’s in the trailers or the creative is not in my hands because I don’t decide that. For me, if I do a film that is my film, so as and when I can contribute towards it, I will always be there and do my best.
You have worked with SRK, been an assistant director on My Name is Khan, what’s the one thing about him that hasn’t changed?
It’s the way he interacts with other people. Anyone who has known him will vouch for that. It doesn’t matter whether you are the biggest person or the smallest person, he is always the same.
Weren’t you worried that you would be overshadowed, not just by SRK’s presence, but also because it has him and Kajol coming together after so many years?
If my story with Kriti was like that of Shah Rukh Sir and Kajol, then people could have compared, but it’s nothing like that. Our romantic song Manma Emotion Jaage Re has us jumping off monster trucks, while their romance is the eternal sorts. The structure and romance is very different. Ours is in the high energy space and theirs the janam janam ka saath kind.
With Dilwale and Bajirao Mastani releasing on the same day, it’s also being seen as a clash between you and Ranveer Singh....
To be honest, I find it a bit funny. I just feel two films are coming out. I don’t know how to sell creativity or art. The motive is to entertain people and make the audience happy. That’s it. If people want to see it, they will, that’s the way I look at it. Everything else just makes for good reading material. It’s fun for other people to see. Also recently, two movies like these haven’t released together. In the last two-three years... why is it like that? There should be more clashes. It’s fun to watch. I don’t see why they shouldn’t.
Won’t they eat into each other’s business?
I am not the producer, so I don’t have a say. It’s their point of view. But all I can say is, I had a great time being part of Dilwale, so obviously I want it to do well. I haven’t been thinking about it. My focus has been more on completing the dubbing, which I had very little time for.
You have an elder brother on-screen as well as real life. What’s the best and the worst thing about having an elder brother?
The best thing about having an older brother is that he has your back. You get into any fight, any problem, he’ll be there for you. There will be someone you can rely on or someone who can be there for you. The worst thing about older brothers is that if you are wrong they’ll complain to your parents.
One director on your wishlist?
I really like Aanand L Rai’s work. I have liked all his movies.
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