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Vijay Varma, having been acclaimed for many of the recent roles he’s been seen in, is next to be seen in ZEE5 Global film ‘Yaara’. The film’s based on a French film on friendship and the Hindi version has been directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia. caught up with Varma ahead of the film’s release on 30th July.

What first drove you to be a part of ‘Yaara’?
Tigmanshu Dhulia. Just the fact that he is making this really epic saga of four friends, gangs and crime. Being such a huge admirer of Tigmanshu Sir’s work, I wanted to jump on to the opportunity. And I could see the role he offered me of Rizwan was so magnetic that I couldn’t stay away from it.

What was it like working with Tigmanshu Dhulia?
It was so effortless. I always knew that actors shine under his direction. Before I worked with him, I felt there must have been a lot of work involved. But the thing is, he takes you in so much confidence, gives you so much freedom and the right kind of guidance that you feel free to go out there and do whatever you want to do. He is just an audience member who wants to be having a good time while he’s shooting what he’s seeing on the monitor.

At the same time, it was a great learning experience because he is the man who has directed stalwarts like Irrfan Khan in several films. So just the sheer insight he has about the workings of the actor is incredible. And his humour, the way he is, all those qualities are very special and over the years we became very good friends as well.

The film is about a group of friends, so what was it like working with the other actors like Amit Sadh, Vidyut Jammwal and Kenny Basumatary?
It was a very easy experience. In fact, it was so much fun that I remember we would end up cracking up between shots and giggling for no reason. It was just a happy set for sure. At the same time, these bunch of boys you have mentioned Vidyut, Amit, Kenny and myself were really having a great time. We were at a stage in our lives where we really wanted to do a gangster film. So we were just happy wearing bell-bottom pants, fancy shades and carrying guns around, just pretending to be cool.

I relish those moments even when I think about them. It’s so special that I don’t think I can recreate it again. Those kinds of friendships are rare, that we have made on that film, so they will always remain very special.

How excited does a digital release for the film make you?
I’m just excited that the film is reaching the audience. It is a film that is unique for a digital release because it’s a large-scale, massy Bollywood entertainer. It will be nice to see something like that for an audience who has been deprived of the movie experience. So, I want them to create that that experience within their living room right now: cheer, hoot, clap, seeti maar (whistle).

Apart from the friendship element of the story what else do you feel the audience will strike a chord with?
I guess, the common theme of aging. People starting very early, how things change when they are little boys and how the world changed, the times changed. How you mature as a person when you are a young man and then you move to the mid-40s. To see somebody right from their beginning to about their middle age is going to be an experience for all of us because there will be so much to relate with. Everybody will have phases/faces, everybody will have that friend who reminds them of what they see on screen in the four of us and Shruti (Haasan).

I think apart from that there is a lot of nostalgia attached to the film, the ‘70s and the ‘90s. The ‘70s specifically for the music and the fashion of Bollywood, and the ‘90s for the pop culture. There is a lot packed in this film.

‘Yaara’ also stars Vidyut Jammwal, Amit Sadh and Shruti Haasan and will be available on ZEE5 Global from tomorrow.