Since February 20, the patakha gudi of Bollywood, Alia Bhatt, and dishy dude Varun Dhawan have been shooting for Dharma Production's Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania at Aura Vaseela. Yes, it came as a surprise to us too. Had our sources not been kind enough, we would have been living in ignorance too.
We catch up with them during the shoot of a catchy song sequence on Sunday afternoon. Alia is still rejuvenating after her post-lunch power nap; Varun decides to oblige, kicking off with his love for Punjab. "I was one of the first people to hear the script with Karan Johar and the creative team. I realised that it has a lot of heart and soul. It gave me the chance to explore north India - Chandigarh, Ambala, Delhi. Being a Punjabi myself, I really wanted to do something Punjab centric. Chandigarh and Punjab in general feels like home, thanks to the generous nature of people here," says Varun.
About his character, he says, "Humpty is a character; he's not the hero. He is someone who says inappropriate things at the wrong time."
Two-film old Varun's second release, Mein Tera Hero, is also all set to hit theatres. We ask him if his role in the film is similar to his real self. "I think when you play a character, it has to have some similarity with your real self. Seenu is what Varun was five years ago," says the actor, who would also be seen in Sri Ramraghavan's next flick. Though Varun is not very choosy about his characters, he says, "It's a dream to be on a set and acting. Since I have been passionate about this field, it's a dream to be doing what I love."
Almost jealous of Varun getting all candid, Alia steps in, painting a pretty picture in a Punjabi suit, albeit covered with a shawl. Without much effort, she reminds us of Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met. When asked how she takes these comparisons, she says, "It's a big compliment, but I don't think comparisons like these are valid; we're in absolutely separate leagues. I just laugh it off."
About her character of Kavya Pratap Singh in the film, she says, "She is a funky young girl in her early 20s from Ambala. But, she also is really sensitive and has her traditions in place."
Though the Bhatt daughter has been making news for the success of her latest release, she says she's not very affected by the response. "Whatever I could get from Highway I did during the shoot. It changed me as a person and actor. I am, however, happy that the film is doing well," she says.
So, what's her criterion for choosing roles? "I don't calculate if the film would do well or not. It just has to be challenging for me and most definitely has to be different from what I have played in the past. In Two States, I'm playing a South Indian; here I'm a Punjabi. My aim has always been to pick my roles carefully," says she.
Director Shashank Khaitan, who is making his directorial debut with this film, says, "I based the story in Punjab because I have spent a lot of time in Chandigarh, Ambala and Ludhiana. Since Punjabis are large-hearted and flamboyant characters, they offer a lot to the script. Chaos and madness go hand-in-hand with Punjab."
The director also doesn't forget to mention that they are trying to break various myths about Punjabis with this film. "We are also showing that Punjabis are not only about alcohol. There is much more to them," he says and adds, "Humpty Sharma is a funny name. There is an explanation about it in the film. The day I saw Student of the Year, I knew I wanted to cast Alia and Varun in my film."
Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is being shot at Vaseela till March 11, before the crew moves the shoot to Ambala and Chandigarh, where they'd be shooting till March 19. Besides the 150 people from Mumbai, the cast and crew also includes local actor. The film's production is being handled by Timmy Productions locally.