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The ‘fukra’ from Punjab

brunch Updated: Jun 17, 2013 09:39 IST
Navleen Lakhi
Navleen Lakhi
Hindustan Times
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He did his schooling from The Lawrence School, Sanawar, but ended up playing a ‘sarkari’ schoolboy from Delhi in his debut Bollywood flick. In person, he’s evidently different than the ‘fukra’ character he plays in recently released film, Fukrey, which was produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani. And the name of his character garners all the more attention — Choocha.


The Jalandhar Choocha; sorry, boy; starts the conversation by talking about his background. “Though I hail from Jalandhar, I studied at The Lawrence School, Sanawar, followed by doing Class 11 and 12 from APJ School, Jalandhar, and later a Bachelor’s degree in media, entertainment and film technology from Chandigarh. Since acting had always been on my mind, I moved to Mumabi in 2011,” says Varun Sharma.

After a bevy of auditions, Sharma landed advertisements for Virgin Mobile, Airtel, Ebay, Nissan Micra, Margo soap etc. He adds, “Last June, I got a call from casting director Honey Trehan — who did casting for Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Mausam, Omkara and Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola — to audition for Fukrey. After a couple of rounds of auditions and a few script-reading sessions, I got a confirmation call saying I’m playing one of the four main characters in the film. The news took time to sink in, given the association of big names — Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Excel Entertainment and director Mirghdeep Lamba (of Teen Thay Bhai fame) — with the film.”

About the preparation that went into playing Choocha, he says, “It was seriously difficult to play a character whose body language was the exact opposite of mine. Choocha is a very free spirited, happy-go-lucky boy. Though I’m a Punjabi, the ‘Punjabi extent’ of this character befuddled me. Before the shoot, I went to Delhi and stood outside a few government schools to see how students behave. Then, I visited a few ‘posh’ schools in Delhi, and realised the jarring difference between the two. The movie has been shot at various crazy locations in Delhi.”

Though Varun has seen his share of struggle, he is not one to glorify his ‘struggle period’. “See, competition and struggle are a part of every field. Even a dhobi faces competition! Why do we talk about the ‘struggle’ actors have to go through? All that matters is passion and focus.”

Expressing his desire to be a part of Punjabi cinema some day, he says, “Being a Punjabi, my fascination with Punjab is obvious. I’d like to do either a Punjabi film or a Bollywood film shot in Punjab.” Varun would next be seen in Anubhav Sinha’s action thriller.