He has had a dream run at the box office ever since his career started (his first film was Student Of The Year; 2012). But Varun Dhawan reveals that he had to face detractors at every step. Here, he talks about working with Shah Rukh Khan in his next, his equation with Salman Khan, and more.
You are currently working with Shah Rukh on your next, Dilwale. Like others, are you also his fan?
Like all boys and girls of my generation, even I grew up watching Shah Rukh’s films. I am so excited about working with SRK the ‘actor’, and to get a chance to perform alongside him. It is a great opportunity for me to learn.
But don’t you fear that you might get overshadowed by such a big star in the film?
Some actors might feel that way due to their insecurities. But I am not insecure. I am an extremely secure person. People should realise that there must be a solid reason for me to do this movie. I was dying to work with Rohit (Shetty; director of Dilwale). So, it came as an amazing opportunity.
You have also been roped in to star in Karan Johar’s ambitious venture, Shuddhi, that was to feature Salman Khan initially. Is there any pressure on you?
Right from the start of my career, more people have bet on my failures than my successes. At first, it was said, "Oh, he is a director’s son; that’s why he is here." Then, with my second film, people said, "How will he do this kind of comedy?" Then, it was said that it’s impossible for me to pull off Badlapur. So, I am used to these constant quality checks. I have felt the pressure right from the start. I just hope to perform to the best of my ability. As for Salman bhai, I don’t need to explain the kind of equation I share with him. I’m always going to be a child for him.
Your father (David Dhawan; director) recently said that you can never replace Salman…
He is absolutely correct. It’s stupid to even think of comparing us.
He also said that you won’t get married before Salman does…
I am sure he must be kidding. Salman bhai and my dad have known each other for many years. So, it must be an inside joke.
Are you thinking about getting married?
Not really. I have so much work that I don’t have time to think about anything else right now. Even before my last film’s success (ABCD 2) sunk in, I flew off to Bulgaria to shoot for my next. I didn’t even get time to organise a success party.
You are set to work with your brother (director Rohit Dhawan). Is that going to be a tough film for you?
It’s going to be a tough film regardless of our relationship. We will do a lot of action scenes, and other new stuff. It will be a challenge to do those things. Anyway, I feel that my last couple of films haven’t been just any films. They all have been tough in their own way.
You have different kinds of films releasing at regular intervals this year. Has this been planned?
Not really. I had signed four films — including my last release — immediately after Student Of The Year (2012). I didn’t sign them with a plan in mind. The way they are coming out now is absolutely fine with me. There’s a simple logic behind it; if I like something, why should I let it go? In that case, I will do it anyhow.
Aren’t you ecstatic about the success of your latest film?
It feels great, but I wouldn’t like to take away the credit from anyone else in the team. The film is a result of team effort. It also goes on to show how big a star Remo (D’Souza; director) is, who made all of us dance so beautifully and effortlessly.
Many in the trade call you the star among the younger generation…
I don’t know how to react to that. Such titles are given on a regular basis. In fact, with every Friday release, the title also changes. So, they shouldn’t be taken very seriously. More than anything, such titles come with a lot of responsibility. Plus, it goes on to prove that fans appreciate your work, which makes me only work harder.
Do you think people expect more from you now?
People should expect quality entertainment. We are all working towards one goal — to regale people. But the pressure is good. As an actor, I always put pressure on myself.
Unlike your past releases, your next film Dilwale (directed by Rohit Shetty) is a multi-starrer. Are you anxious about it?
Not at all. I have always been Rohit’s fan; he is an extremely dedicated director, and Shah Rukh Khan is a very passionate producer. It’s going to be one of my biggest films till date. So why would I worry about such things?
Read: Did Salman pick his replacement in Shuddhi?
Read: SRK-Kajol come together for Rohit Shetty's Dilwale