Varun Dhawan: “Alia & I have a comfort level off screen”

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Nobody enjoys a success ratio like Varun Dhawan. From his initial projects like ‘Maine Tera Hero’ (2014) and ‘Student Of The Year’ (2012) to his recent endeavors like ‘Dishoom’ (2016) and ‘ABCD 2’ (2015), the actor has delivered nothing but box office hits. Charming and humorous, Dhawan will next be seen in the romcom ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, which is a sequel to his hit flick ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania’ (2014). As the film races towards its release on 10th of March, our correspondent, Mohnish Singh, catches up with the actor to know more about his latest movie, his evolution as an actor and why box office numbers are important to him.

How did you become Badri?
Shashank (director) came over to narrate the story to me. We had just begun when I realized the name of my character would be Badri in the film. It was a great coincidence, because one of my closest friends calls me Badri. I called him up immediately and told him that I am going to play a character called Badrinath. We were both overwhelmed with this coincidence and I almost knew I am up for this role.

Who one of your character do you like more, Badri or Humpty?
I am more close to Badri as a character at the moment, but I am nowhere like him. There was a lot of preparation for me to become Badrinath and the credit goes to Shashank. He basically removed the Varun out of me. I am manlier in context to my voice and not so emotional or romantic.

Since this is your third film with Alia Bhatt, does it make it easier for you to work with her?
Definitely! Some things just happen. We have a comfort level off screen thus we pull it off really well on screen. But that doesn’t take away the hard work and home work that we do while on the sets. We take our job really seriously when we work and that adds to the productivity.

You have not delivered a single flop in your career thus far, how does it feel?
There is always a sentiment included. I am passionate to push this creative part of me out. I do movies because I see passion of other people as well. When I did ABCD, I could connect with what Remo wanted to convey, similarly now with Badri, I could connect with Shashank’s idea of love in a certain way.

How did you relate with your character in ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’?
Since I am not a small town boy there were many disagreements on the sets. We unknowingly become street smart when we grow up in big cities, but that is so not the case with small town people. They believe in openly displaying their emotions. Initially, I couldn’t connect at all with the character, but thankfully Shashank is from Nasik, which happens to be a small city, so he knows exactly what and how small city people are.

What do you take back from this film?
The film deals with male chauvinism and the double standard we have in the country. Somewhere I realize that there are things which are not okay from a woman’s perspective. Earlier, I would have a different mindset in terms of commenting or any other aspect of a woman which I thought was probably okay, but the movie taught me how bad and double standard it is. I was never sensitive enough to the fact that sometimes we are alienating opposite sex which I feel should not be the case.

How do you look back at your journey in Bollywood?
It has been really good. The media has been sweet to me. People have been amazing. I had to make hard to make them believe that I am here to stay. I am glad I was given a chance.

How do you think has Alia evolved as an actress over years?
I felt the change as an actor in her when we did Humpty together. But I feel she was outstanding in Highway, she came out as a different person altogether. Her evolution since then is tremendous. She is a bit more serious now.

Is there any particular genre that you would want to do?
I haven’t done science fiction and horror, so if given a chance I would love to do that.

How important are box office numbers to you?
They are important to me. It shows people are going and watching my movie. It’s not about the money to me because the profit will ultimately go to the makers of the movie. But I look at it in a way that this many people went and saw my movie in theatres.

‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ releases today.

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