There is no doubt that Varun Dhawan is one of the brightest talents in Bollywood. The actor who began as 'The Student Of The Year' went on to taste success at an early age and since then there has been no looking back for him. But that hasn't changed him a bit.
He is still grounded, bursting with energy and leaving you with a smile on your face every time you come across him. Recently I caught up with Varun for a quick chat when he was busy promoting his upcoming film 'Dishoom'. What followed next was a fun conversation filled with talks about his film, 'abs' and love. (Psst..he even disclosed some of his fitness secrets but that's a tale for some other day!)
Excerpts from the chat-
1. 'I Get Hyper Sometimes'
It's been a blast working with John (Abraham). He is very disciplined about his work and yet he is very calm, sweet and easy unlike me. I get hyper sometimes. I think it's a very good mix- he and me form a good energy on sets.
2. 'Dishoom Doesn't Only Mean You Punch Someone'
There are three standout action scenes in 'Dishoom'. One is the bike sequence which we have done in the hills of Morocco, second is the speedboat portion shot in Marina, Abu Dhabi and then the helicopter sequence. There are a lot of chase sequences but the action is very different. 'Dishoom' doesn't only mean you punch someone. It's not as basic as that. Akshaye Khanna plays a lot of mind games with me and John throughout the film. He is like this menacing force and how he tricks people into doing his work is very interesting.
3. 'I Don't Feel Intimidated While Working With Senior Actors'
I don't feel any intimidation now while working with senior actors. I have worked with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in my last film. I have worked with Anupam Kher, Rishi Kapoor in the past. From the current generation I am probably the only one who has worked with some many senior actors so early. I don't get intimated anymore because that's just the way India's new generation is now.
4. 'You Don't Have To Oversell A Line While Doing Comic Scenes'
In today's time because of the tone and the way people speak you don't have to oversell a line while doing comic scenes. As normal as you throw away a line which is fully loaded the better it sounds on screen in comedy. My father told me that the tone of comedy should be very casual in today's generation.
5. 'It Is Not Easy When You Are Working With Your Family'
It just gets tougher when you are working with your family members. They know your strength and weaknesses so they push you. My brother knows my pain threshold. Every day on set he was like 'be Junaid Ansari..you are not Varun Dhawan'. After a while when we shot for those 45-60 days, after pack-up we didn't even meet because if I had to be my character I didn't have to be his brother. I would not speak to my brother after pack-up for this film. I would just greet him on set. For those 55-60 days, most of the time I was chilling with my driver who was from Islamabad. He was 65 years old. I shared a special bond with that man and he would take me on a city tour for delicacies and we used to listen to Nushrat Fateh Ali Khan. I got a lot of inspiration from him. I had Arabic to speak in the film. A coach was hired to teach me the language. But eventually I gave my lines to my driver and said, "Aap bolo kaise bolna hai' and he would everyday correct my dialect.
6. 'Karan Johar Made Me Join Twitter'
I recently crossed 3 million followers on Twitter and it feels special. I joined the platform because of Karan Johar. It feels good that so many people listen to you and talk to you. Social media is a lovely place to share your thoughts.
7. 'My Attempt In Every Film Is To Be The Best'
I feel there are two categories of films- good and bad. Commercial films mean that you are reaching out to more people. This is what I would say before 'Badlapur' released. My attempt in every film is to be the best and make my character special. I think a film like 'Dishoom' is coming at the right time. I would definitely do other films which deal with different themes. 'Dishoom' is not a comedy film. It's a action-thriller at the base and a bit dark because the crux of the subject is very serious. In the trailer we presented it as a very universal film which it is, but the subject which it deals with is a menace that the Indian government or the cricketing world has dealt with for a long time now which is match-fixing and the influence of the underworld in it. That's what makes 'Dishoom' different from the other lighter films done by me. It is educative and opens a can of worms almost.
8. 'It Becomes Very Difficult To Maintain 'Abs' With Age'
I had been pretty okay while shooting the swimming trunk scene. I mean in 'Student Of The Year' only I was pretty much stripped (laughs). I remember my trainer had told me then, "Aaj tune body dikhayi ab tereko career bhar body hi dikhani padegi'. Mine and John's body types are different. I just wanted them to focus on my 'abs' because if they are sharp then I know I am safe. With age it becomes very difficult to maintain abs and I was 23-24 when I showed them first time on screen. Today I am 29. But thanks to You tube and social media, there is a possibility of comparison coming up like 'yeh tab the aur yeh aaj hai'. So you have to keep them sharp 24 X 7. (laughs)
9. 'I Really Admire Christian Bale In The Machinist'
If someone told me that I would have to be 100 kgs for a film I would do it. If someone told me to lose weight I would do that too. I really admire Christian Bale in 'The Machinist'. I have even in fact cut down on weight for 'Dishoom' which I had bulked up for 'Dilwale'.
10. 'I Believe I Can Do A Good Horror Or A Sci-Fi Film'
I want to do a horror and sci-fi film. These are the two genres I really want to try. Firstly I have never done them in my career and secondly they ain't made much here. I believe that I can do a good horror or a sci fi film. A horror film doesn't necessarily need to have sex scenes. But if it's demand of the script that it has to be a little sexy then that's fine but it shouldn't be forced. Honestly I like horror films.
11. 'I Don't Want To Be A Part Of Herd Mentality'
I am open to doing biopics if it's something which interests me and the subject is interesting. I am not getting into it just because everyone's doing it. I don't want to be a part of herd mentality. For me every film that I do is like a biopic for me.
12. 'Love Stories Are Always Going To Connect With People'
We have finished 30% of the shooting of 'Badrinath Ki Dulhania'. After 'Dishoom' promotions I am going for 'Dream Team' to America in August and will resume shooting for the same. I am very excited for that film and have my fingers crossed. It's a very new character, something which I haven't played before. It's the first love franchise. I feel love stories are always going to connect with people. We want love to always exist. My other film 'Judwaa 2' is currently in the scripting stage. It's work in progress. Hopefully it should take off next year.
13. 'Acting Is My Priority'
I would like to do music videos. However I did 'ABCD 2' which had 13 songs. After doing them I felt that 'yaar main ek aur video karunga toh yeh thoda galat ho jayega'. Right now I have to concentrate on my acting. I will probably do something in the future. We did 'Jaaneman Aah' for 'Dishoom' which is almost like a music video. There is so much dancing in it. 'Sau Tarah Ke' had a Moroccan- Arabic vibe, 'Toh Dishoom' had a rap vibe and 'Jaaneman Aah' has 90s Bollywood music. All three songs were so different from each other. Creatively that fulfills my palette and I have a lot of films coming up too.
14. 'Love Is Someone Who Is Constantly There And Always Stands By You'
For me love is someone who is constantly there and always stands by you. Right now for me it's John, Jacqueline and Parineeti. (laughs).
15. 'I Have No Plans Of Settling Down Right Now'
I am sure that a lot of you must be having a boyfriend. So when you go home even your parents must be scrutinizing your whereabouts and when you are going to get married. For me too it's the same thing but multiplied by a lot of people in the country asking the same question. (laughs). I have no plans of settling down right now. I am busy catching a Pokemon. (laughs)