I feel lucky and blessed to have worked with dad for the second time: Varun Dhawan
Actor Varun Dhawan, who has just tasted big success with Judwaa 2, says he won’t change anything from his life in the last five years “as you learn from each step”.bollywood Updated: Oct 08, 2017 17:26 IST
It has exactly been five years since he made his Bollywood debut with Student of The Year. Call it a co-incidence or something else, but 2017 has seen Varun Dhawan score two back-to-back Rs 100 crore grossers. “I am very happy that everyone – exhibitors, distributors and people who put in money – are happy,” says Varun, as his latest film, David Dhawan’s Judwaa 2 hits the bull’s eye. We catch up with him for a chat about career, life and more.
To start with, what’s the feeling like after Judwaa 2’s huge success?
Obviously, it feels amazing. I am very grateful to the audience and everyone else [who made it possible]. I am very happy for the fraternity – distributors and the exhibitors; and the fact that people have come back to the theatres to watch movies, which is a very good sign.
Your dad (David Dhawan) makes very few films nowadays. Do you feel great that audiences still love his movies?
It is a conscious decision to slow him down. All the family members – me, Rohit (Dhawan; brother), my mother and bhabhi – have made him slow down. Otherwise, he would be making a lot more films. It feels amazing as it’s a bigger moment for me as a son than as an actor. If you look at it; the director of Judwaa has come back after 20 years and given a hit after rebooting his own film.
Do you feel blessed that you have worked with him twice?
Yes, honestly, I feel so blessed. I can’t deny that I am lucky as it’s my second film with him. He is a very senior director, who has done 44 films, so you can only learn from it. Just getting to spend time with him on sets is amazing. I must say he is a very different person on set than he is in real life (smiles).
This year, Judwaa 2 is your second 100 crore film after Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Are you happy being called the new 100 crore hero?
Obviously, these titles make you feel good. But at the end of the day, these clubs don’t matter much. What matters is how much you have made the film in and how much have you recovered? For me, success is even love [of the audiences]. People have reacted crazily. This is more love than I have ever got for any of my other film.
It’s your fifth year in the industry. Are you happy with the way things have gone or would you like to change anything?
No, I won’t change anything because you learn from each step. I have made a lot of mistakes in these five years but I have also learnt from them to rectify and get better.
Watch Chalti Hai Kya 9 Se 12 Song | Judwaa 2
Any particular ‘mistake’ that you remember?
Initially, I used to be very hyper and competitive in my career. But I feel I haven’t been like that in the last three years. I have changed in that sense. I have seen how the business has been evolving and today, I want every film to do well and even better than Judwaa 2. I want the films of every person I am compared to and am reportedly in competition with to do better than me. We are an industry, and we are all in this together and can’t survive without each other. I feel it is high time we realise that. If we go against each other, or if we get happiness from other people’s fall, then there is no way we will move ahead.
So, you are in a happy space right now?
Yes, very much. To be honest, since Judwaa 2 released, I have not been at home. For the last 200 days, I have only been working and I am going to work even more. I have just spent time at home, relaxing and not doing anything. I am getting into a very important film (October) of my life now, so I am genuinely excited about that.
When are you moving into your new home?
It’s coming up soon. There is no [fixed] date [to move in]. As and when it’s ready, I will move in but it will happen this year only. My mom’s still doing it up, so still some time. I am close to my parents, so I am happy that I will be living close to them. At first, I was like, ‘maybe I should go a little further away’; but now, I feel it’s good that it’s just one floor below.
Vis-à-vis Judwaa2, weren’t you ever worried that there will be comparisons with Salman Khan?
Well, that was given, so it wasn’t a new thing. When the trailer released we got a very positive response and I knew what I had done in the film. So, we knew that if audiences accepted the trailer, then the film will be fine. We were very honest and never put out any content that wasn’t the film. I truly believe that today, content is the star and that only does all the marketing. People exactly knew what the film is as soon as the trailer came out.
The film took off at the box office. Did it take you by surprise?
Yes, it did. I had not expected that. I thought it would do well but didn’t expect it to become what it has. I am very happy that everyone – exhibitors, distributors and people who put in money – are happy. Of late, as an industry, we have been facing many losses of late.
Watch Lift Teri Bandh Hai Song | Judwaa 2
You were called new-age Govinda recently and now, you are being said that you are a mix of Govinda and Salman. Do you take such things seriously?
I don’t take them seriously at all. What matters is whether the audience likes the film or not. Everything else is secondary. For instance, I have realized that your personal life does not matter and it should not even come out. Only your performance matters. If you are a great guy off screen but you are a bad actor, and are dishonest to your work, then I would not spend my money on you. Even I have spent so much time speaking about so many other things besides my film that sometimes, My top priority is to make good cinema and to do films that entertain people all around our country.
Recently, you said that the term, ‘star’ is used very loosely…
Audiences give that tag to you out of love, and I have got a lot of love. People can call me a lot of things but eventually it is the film that matters. Actor is never bigger than a film. I do like the tag. Who doesn’t? It feels good. But I feel everyone – Taapsee (Pannu), Jacqueline (Fernandez) and Rajpal Yadav – are as much of a star as I am in Judwaa 2.
But stardom does get you the audience, doesn’t it?
Yes, it’s a great thing that people like to see my films. I am blessed. What’s nice is that somewhere, I have a clear connection with people who come to see my films, and they are beginning to understand me.
How do you see you career panning out now?
I am not a jyotishi (astrologer) to know what will happen in the future. I have no idea. I want to live in the present. If you think of the future a lot, then there’s a problem because you lose connect with what people want right now. I always try and do R&D on people and mindsets of today’s day-and-age, and social media is not the way to do that. Aamir Khan said that one of the best things to do is to travel around the country, and he is absolutely right. Else, how will I know what the people of Bhopal are thinking if I live in Mumbai.
After Judwaa 2, trade feels you are a bit ahead in the race right now…
There is no race. There is Race 3 which Remo D S’ouza is directing with Salman Khan which will be very cool but there is no race between any of us. If there is a race, then what is the finish line? How is there ever a finish line? As artistes, we are just working towards entertaining people and making good films and hopefully, we will get to make a career. I feel amazing about being able to do that and provide for my family and my loved ones. But I am not working so I can be better than someone.
So, you are friendly with everyone?
I am very friendly and so is everyone else. I will say on record that after Judwaa 2, I have got calls from people like Anil Kapoor, who had a long conversation with me and he has been such a big hero. Also, people such as Akshay Kumar, Ranbir Kapoor and Salman bhai praised my work. Javed saab sent me a beautiful message. Adi (Aditya Chopra) and Karan Johar enjoyed the film, so I’m like, ‘what else do I need?’ For me, it’s a big reaffirmation that such stalwarts have enjoyed the film and they know how difficult this genre is. But ultimately, it’s not about getting calls as I did this film to put smiles on faces and to make them laugh the way original Judwaa did.
Recently, you interviewed yourself. The way you cracked jokes on yourself, it looks like you don’t take yourself seriously..
I don’t and I believe you just can’t. I don’t believe my own hype. You have to laugh on yourself and I am absolutely okay doing that.
But do you realise that not many from your industry can do that?
No, I think it’s okay. Logon ko hansi aa rahi hai dekhke, toh acchi baat hai. I am laughing and having fun cracking jokes on myself. Many of thise jokes were inspired by some of the jokes that my friends have cracked on me, which I found funny. So, I thought this was a nice idea and I should put this out. And I feel what more negative can people say or write than what I mentioned in the interview. They won’t be able to. I had a lot of fun doing it.
Any plans to work with Rohit (Dhawan; brother) again after Dishoom?
I hope so, but I don’t think he wants to take me [in his films]. He does not think I am a star. If he has his own way, he will send me to fetch bread, open the door if the bells rings, and make me sit if there’s no space and make me do other household chores (laughs). He is my elder brother; and has that right. Even now, in a month, he still sends me at least once to get something or the other. Sometimes I go, and sometimes I tell him to go.
But you always had a thick bond with Rohit?
But he does a lot otherwise. Rohit is the one, who takes care of the house and everything. He also pays the bill every month for my DTH. I am more than equipped to handle everything but I still take money from my brother. For instance, if I’ve ordered a pizza, then I ask money from him. He always had money since he was 12 but I have never had (laughs). I think ever since I became an actor, people have only been giving me things; whether I go to a restaurant, travel in auto rickshaws or even cabs, which I did when I was in New York for IIFA. People give me free clothes and free food as they just refuse to take money from me. That’s why I talk about ‘connect.’ I don’t know if I look poor to them or if they feel I haven’t earned enough money. I feel people from lower strata of society have bigger heart than upper strata (smiles).
Watch Judwaa 2 trailer
At this stage of your life and career, what do you think about marriage?
When I get married, I will invite you. See, I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want it to take away from all the good work that I am trying to do because then, all the concentration will shift to that.
So, the ‘M’ word is nowhere on your mind…
When I get married I will tell everyone. I don’t when it will happen. No one even knows what will happen between North Korea and USA in the next 2-3 years (laughs). But I am unpredictable and can do anything. That’s the true, honest answer. Kuch bhi ho sakta hai zindagi mein.
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First Published: Oct 08, 2017 17:25 IST