Father’s Day 2019: David Dhawan is sure son Varun Dhawan will be a very good father some day
Varun Dhawan’s father David Dhawan is sure that when it happens, Varun will prove to be a good father to his kids.Updated: Jun 16, 2019, 10:35 IST
That old adage, “Like father, like son,” holds quite true for filmmaker David Dhawan and actor Varun Dhawan. And why not! David is the official hit machine of Bollywood having mastered the art of directing films loved by the pan India audience, and Varun has followed the suit quite well as an actor and has taken his father’s legacy forward, churning out back-to-back hits.
As a team also, the duo has delivered two box office hits — Main Tera Hero (2014) and Judwaa 2 (2017) and are soon set to embark on their third, Coolie No 1. So, on Father’s Day today, who better than this No. 1 father-son jodi to share their heart out on their bond, quirks they share and what makes them the best team in the business.
Was it always planned that Varun would take up acting and be part of Bollywood just like his father?
David: He was always a very naughty kid. And I never knew what profession he is going to take up. I certainly didn’t know it would be acting. And one fine day, he just tells us that he is going to be a hero. I’ve been working for 40 years and I had no clue that my son was interested in my profession. He hid it from me.
Varun: I was hiding partly because since my childhood, my mother has raised both me and my brother [Rohit Dhawan] as self-dependent kids. And she used to tell me stories about my father, his struggle and how he made it big in life. I understood that there is no replacement for hard work. So when I decided to get into films, I knew that my father has a good equity and such name and I had to keep that up. But I didn’t want to do it with his help...
David: (interrupts) But one thing is there when he became an actor and got a break from Karan Johar [in Student of the Year; 2012], it gave us a big jolt. I was like can he even act? I went to watch his debut and I told my brother ‘he has turned an actor, yaar’. And then I made up my mind to work with him.
Varun: I wanted my second film to be Badlapur but dad signed me for his film [Main Tera Hero] and I couldn’t say no (laughs).
From being father-son to director-actor, was that transition difficult?
David: I treat Varun like I treat any other actor, rather a little worse. I’ve never treated him like my son or like a hero. If he does a bad shot, I reprimand him in front of everyone. But he is so good with improvisations. In the first film, he was a little nervous but he was still doing it well, but in Judwaa 2, he was he was full on — a complete commercial hero.
Varun: And that’s the kind of relationship I want to share with every director. I’m very selfish when it comes to my films. My endeavour is to try to push myself in order to entertain the audience. Working with dad is an extremely satisfying experience for me creatively. Also, he pushes me and makes me think.
One quality of each other that you wish you had.
Varun: The way he faces adversity. He has faced a lot of ups and downs but the way he has come back... after every failure, he has come back stronger. I remember in 2000s, his career had a bad dip and almost three of his films didn’t work in a row and he was written off. But, then he came back with a massive hit in Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2014). He has never waited for big stars. He made Chashme Baddoor (2013), which was such a big hit. I wish I had that quality. I don’t want to only wait for big directors. I want to be able to do well with new directors and with directors whose previous films haven’t done well.
David: The way he looks after his body. I look at him and I wish I had that quality in me (laughs). He takes good care of his health. I can’t resist good tasty food and he’s like ‘what are you trying to do’?
Do you see Varun as a father some day?
David: Of course. I see him become a father one day and I know he will be a very good father. My granddaughter loves Varun a lot. Life has changed in the family ever since she has come into our lives. It has been more than a year and you can imagine what pleasure she has been giving us. So obviously his kids are also going to be very special to us.
Varun: Having Rohit’s daughter is like living my own childhood. But I don’t want her to see me as an old chachu. I hope she thinks I’m cool (laughs). I’m already doing everything from changing nappies to other things involved with raising a bay with my niece.
First Judwaa 2 and now Collie No 1, is it only remaking old films that you two will team up for?
David: It’s not like that but yes, I’m more comfortable doing it with him. All my life I’ve worked with every hero in the industry, from Amitabh Bachchan to Ritesih Deshmukh, over 35 of them. Now, with my son, I’ve found the comfort level so I’m enjoying. If he wasn’t good, I’d not have cast him in my films, that way I’m very professional. I told him, ‘don’t spoil my work’. But he’s extremely disciplined.
Varun: I feel pressure with every film, not just in dad’s films. The screenplay of Coolie No 1 is outstanding. The film is coming back after 25 years. The premise has changed but the essence remains the same. I wanted to do the film because of the story and screenplay. It is going to be fun working with Sara (Ali Khan) and also Paresh Rawal.
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