He got hurt, fell sick, and travelled extensively for his back-to-back professional commitments this year. But Varun Dhawan has no complaints. After kicking off 2015 with the hit film, Badlapur, which was followed by ABCD 2, the actor is now awaiting the release of his next biggie, which has been directed by Rohit Shetty. “It has been a really good year for me,” says Varun, while talking to HT on his way to an event in south Mumbai.
You seem to be in a hurry to do a lot of work.
There’s no hurry; I think it’s just the way I have been brought up. When I was growing up, I saw my father (David Dhawan; director) working 24/7. That was his passion for cinema. So, that got instilled in me too, as a kid. It was his passion that made him work hard. I, too, have a platform now, where I work for passion, not for money. I don’t know any other way, and I don’t know anything else [apart from acting]. My passion for cinema is the reason I am working so much. But every now and then, I also cut off and do other things. I love doing what I am doing, and God has been very kind to me that every day I get to do what I love the most.
Are you working harder because there is a lot of competition among the younger lot in Bollywood?
I feel there should be more actors in my age group. It’s only better, because it keeps everyone on their toes. There should be more scriptwriters, directors, cinematographers and even other technicians. In such a big country, I am sure we have so much more talent. So, every year, we must get newer ideas and fresher talent.
Speaking of competition, rumours claim that your mentor, Karan Johar (filmmaker), is favouring Sidharth Malhotra these days…
That’s rubbish. I have an emotional equation with Karan, and so does Sidharth. Karan should support Sid like he supports me. He is a mentor to the both of us. In fact, Sid and I support each other as well. There are no ill feelings. I owe my career to Karan. I will do anything that he asks me to, and I will always be there for him, if he needs me.
Is it true that you are helping the people who have been affected by the floods in Chennai?
I feel uncomfortable talking about that as such things shouldn’t be talked about. A lot of us felt that we wanted to do something. I wanted to do something, too, but I didn’t know how to. That’s when Rana Daggubati (actor) got in touch with me. So, we started a small fund. Then, members of Ketto, a charitable organisation, also contacted me. I am trying to raise some funds for them too. I am just trying to do my bit.
Are you a competitive person?
I’m not a monk or saint in that sense; I doubt anyone in the film industry is. If I am part of a race, I would not want to come second. I would want to win. But I don’t run anyone else down.
Are you acting in Judwaa 2, which will be directed by your father, David Dhawan?
That is just a rumour. I want to do another film with my father. But we haven’t decided on anything yet. He is working on a few ideas, so I guess he is the best person to talk to about this.
You are also working with your brother, Rohit Dhawan (director).
The reason I am doing this film is because I really love the script. It’s something I haven’t done before. But I am not allowed to praise my brother, because he doesn’t like it (smiles). Let the film release and people see his work.
Were you nervous when you gave your first shot with Shah Rukh Khan or Kajol?
I wasn’t intimidated, but that’s because I had already started shooting with Rohit sir (Shetty; director) before they joined the unit. Plus, they make you feel so comfortable. There is no junior-senior thing, or a star system, on the sets. I am their fan, and it’s been an honour to be part of the same film.
After spending three years in the industry, do you still get nervous before a new release?
I do. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am always nervous in the last week of my film’s release. You experience both the emotions - excitement as well as nervousness - when a film is due for release. It is always a mixed bag of emotions.