They started their Bollywood journey together with Student Of The Year (2012), and then went on to star in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014). Now, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan are set to share screen for the third time in film-maker Karan Johar’s new production, which will be directed by Shashank Khaitan.
Here, the two actors talk about their camaraderie, and clear the air about their supposed rift.
There were rumours of a rift between the two of you. Are you aware of such reports?
Varun: Our relationship is always going to be interesting because we have known each other for so long. What’s really good is that it is an honest relationship. We share a bond that I can’t explain in words, but I guess it translates well on screen; that is what matters.
Alia: People create things for the lack of information. There will be times when you wouldn’t talk to certain people, not because you don’t want to, but because you are doing your own thing and living your own life. So, you lose touch for some time, but there is no bitterness.
How will it be sharing screen space again?
Varun: Everyone knows she is a very good actress. We have always shared a great relationship; we keep fighting and making up. She is very special to me, and since we are coming together for the third time, we will make sure that it is amazing, and we live up to everyone’s expectations.
Alia: Working with Varun and Shashank is double the inspiration for me because both of them are so passionate. With Varun, I can talk, walk, eat and sleep movies, and not get bored. He is always coming up with ways to make everything better and always wants to push and do more, which makes me push myself more. Plus, working with Varun means I get to do a lot of comedy, since he has a funny bone in him.
Also, film-maker Karan Johar is the common factor between you two. But Varun, there were rumours of a rift between you and Karan too?
Varun: It feels amazing to be back with Karan. There has never been any issue between Karan and me, and there will never be. The reason I am here is because of him. His dreams are to push out the actor in me. He never wanted me to just be in a film for the sake of it. I think such talks started doing the rounds because my last film with Karan was in 2014, and I didn’t do a film with him till now. I was completing my other movies, and we were also looking for something exciting to do together.
Alia: Karan’s production house is almost like home for me. Also, it is one of the best production houses that we have. Karan makes me a better person, as I see him dealing with people. So, there’s no way I can ever go past that example, and start behaving badly – both professionally as well as personally.
With your new film, do you feel like you’re back on familiar territory?
Varun: It feels really good. First of all, I am coming back to Karan’s (Johar; film-maker) production house after a while. And it feels good to be back with him, since I started my career with his movie. This film is also special for many other reasons. It’s my second project with Shashank (Khaitan; director), and my third one with Alia. I know the expectations will be a lot higher. I have a really cool character in this movie, called Badri, who is from Jhansi. But, I am nothing like the character. So that will make this role even more interesting and challenging for me.
Alia: I am very excited for two reasons. First, I had a great time working on Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (HSKD; 2014) with Shashank and Varun. Second, Shashank is a very unique writer. HSKD was loved by the audience, and so we want to crank it up a notch this time. I am waiting to see the audience’s reactions to this new movie.
Alia, is this movie going to be a break for you, since it’s a fun film after a couple of emotionally draining ones?
Alia: Yes, it’s going to be a fun film. But, it also involves a different kind of acting. A lot of hard work has gone into it. Varun and I were confused while shooting for our first film. And during our second film, I was doing too much work simultaneously. I feel I could have been better in HSKD. So, this time, I will be better prepared (laughs).