COVER STORY: Varun Dhawan on exploring his wild aspect

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There’s one thing about Varun Dhawan that’s completely different. I can’t place my finger on it, at first. Sure, he’s trying rested, trying dapper, trying good. However then he’s a film star. You anticipate that of him. There’s therav, for positive. However there’s extra. There’s extra to Varun Dhawan than his quintessential film star appears. Speak to him for a couple of minutes and you already know, there are layers to the happy-go-lucky persona that we’ve all come to anticipate of him.

So we’re sitting in his front room, comfortably ensconced on the couch.  

He sits on his favorite rocking chair, having fun with his omelet. Whereas his newly-acquired beagle, Joey is fortunately exploring my ears.  A pleasant canine if I ever noticed one. Identical to the grasp. Varun Dhawan, who has Bhediya developing, is in a reflective temper. Sure, he’s enthusiastic about his film. In spite of everything, he’s given his all and extra to the movie. We do the common film speak after which the temper shifts. He talks about the necessity to again off from social media, to be much less of a individuals pleaser, to provide himself extra credit score for the issues he’s executed. He talks about how he’s trying inside as of late. Says Covid has modified every little thing and everybody. After which he stumps me by saying that he’s taking recourse into faith. He’s studying The Mahabharata and The Bhagvad Gita… Sure that’s what has modified about Varun… He’s pondering deeply… asking questions. He isn’t dazzled anymore by decadent existence or film star appearances… There must be extra to life than that, he says. I agree. That is how the dialog flows then:

Varun Dhawan

To start with, what attracted you to Bhediya?

It was the wildest script that I’ve ever heard. I really mentioned sure to the movie simply primarily based on the one line that Dinu (Dinesh Vijayan) advised me on the cellphone. I simply knew that Amar (Kaushik) was going to make it a couple of man getting bitten by a wolf.

And turning into a werewolf?

I’m not going to say werewolf. Bhediya ban jaata hai. In order that was thrilling. After which the script developed and got here to me after a yr. I confirmed curiosity all through the event course of. I met Amar three to 4 occasions. I heard him out and obtained to know his thought course of, issues he likes and dislikes. After which the lockdown occurred. After which the second lockdown occurred. Simply earlier than the second lockdown, Amar was like, “Let’s simply begin.” Then I had COVID, so Jug Jug Jeeyo stopped. I had plenty of time readily available. So I simply obtained into this one. 

You’re getting into this world of horror, the supernatural… What was the expertise like for you? 

It was insane. It was every little thing that I needed it to be. And as an actor, I simply surrendered to the director. He knew the world very effectively as a result of he’d executed Stree. So he knew the beats of the world. He knew the type of reactions he wanted. He knew the type of issues he needed so far as the VFX of the movie is anxious, prosthetics and stuff. We had been all studying collectively. However Amar was too arms on throughout the course of.

Varun Dhawan

VFX and prosthetics could make or break a movie like this.

Sure, and that was one in every of my issues too. Fortunately, Dinu obtained MPC on board; they did the VFX for Jungle Guide they usually’ve executed a great deal of movies that take care of animals. So then I knew we had been in protected arms. However till you don’t see, you don’t know precisely. We additionally had one nice supervisor, James, who’d come from London. He was working with us. I had plenty of belief and perception in him too. And so did Amar. Darrell Mclean, who was doing our motion, had flown down from South Africa. These guys actually labored laborious to convey to the display what Amar needed.

You assume the Indian viewers will join with the idea? Werewolves, in any case, aren’t a part of our mythology.

No, however it’s. We don’t assume it’s as a result of we don’t know a lot about our tradition. We’re  sitting in our ivory towers. That’s why you might be reacting like this. However there’s a full mythology,  folklore in Ziro, in Arunachal Pradesh, about Yapum. So when you go there, they’ll let you know about Yapum and what occurs whenever you go into the forest. The forest is sacred to them. I don’t need to inform the story, however yeah, it’s born out of the mythology of our land. There are such a lot of locations in our nation and so many issues that we don’t know. We’re ignoring the village viewers. Why are we not making village tales anymore? What number of mythologies do they’ve? Amar all the time says, “Why ought to we hold speaking in regards to the West?” We’re impressed by Junoon and Naagin. Why give credit score to the West for every little thing?

Varun Dhawan

You shot in Arunachal  for this. What was the expertise like?


Unbelievable. It was my first time there. There’s no direct flight to Arunachal. You go to Guwahati or Dibrugarh, after which from there, you drive right down to Ziro. It’s a fourteen-hour drive. When you get there, it’s simply wonderful. The air you breathe is so clear. There’s greenery throughout. It’s lovely. We had been there for 2 months. I appreciated it greater than the town. All my life, I’ve been within the metropolis. It was such a pleasant change. Anyway, it was lockdown, and there have been no circumstances there. It was nice to be there.

What sort of preparation did you do for the movie?

I labored with Devrath Vijay (Ninja Dev). He educated me fully for this. After which, in direction of the later half, in fact, Prashant got here on once more. However Ninja Dev was there all through. We did plenty of animal circulate. I reduce down on plenty of weight as a result of Amar didn’t need pronounced muscle tissue on me. I needed to be versatile by way of actions, particularly throughout the transformation scenes. In order that was tiring. There was one scene the place 

I did like 42 takes. That was essentially the most tiring day of my life. My vocal cords had been strained after screaming a lot. Then I additionally labored loads on my speech, on how Amar needed the strains to be delivered. Because it was the lockdown, we had ample time. So day-after-day I used to be simply getting ready, studying the script with him, and spending plenty of time with Abhishek Banerjee additionally. I bonded loads with him. Apparently, Amar doesn’t say “motion,” he says “Khelo.” and he all the time performs music earlier than you begin appearing.So when he says Khelo, does he allow you to play together with your character or give strict directions? No, he doesn’t allow you to play. Every thing is inside the framework of the movie and the character. 

Varun Dhawan

Did you shock your self whereas taking part in the character, or that doesn’t occur anymore?


I ready loads for this movie. Typically whenever you don’t put together and go into a movie, then there are extra probabilities to be stunned. Right here, there was a lot laborious work earlier than the movie began. We knew precisely what we needed to do. I don’t assume I’ve acted on this movie like I’ve acted in different movies. I couldn’t pitch the strains like I usually do. There are some scenes which have a realness to them, and a few which might be hyper. Amar didn’t need me to be the place I’m. It was sur upar ya sur neeche pakadna hai. Right here, he had advised me beforehand, “Aisa hai, aisa karna hai.” 


You’ve accomplished ten years within the business. Can we name you a bonafide veteran now? 


No, I’m not. I feel birthdays and these years that we hold counting are the worst issues we do. We should always cease doing it. We should always cease reminding individuals. Why are you reminding individuals? Get pleasure from, get together… Ab tum itne saal ke ho gaye ho. Tumko kya hai? Let’s get pleasure from day-after-day.


However what has been these ten years like for you, whenever you look again? 


I nonetheless really feel like a newcomer. Particularly with Bhediya and Bawaal developing. Within the post-pandemic interval, I really feel we’re beginning another time. Successful again the viewers, making movies that are related to now…The query now’s how can we interact the viewers once more? 

Varun Dhawan

The world has modified and we aren’t ready to grapple with the change. Proper? 


However that’s true of each  enterprise. The issue is that humara report card sabko dikh jaata hai, baakiyon ka report card sabko nahi dikhta hai. Bas that’s the distinction. 

Are you nervous in regards to the individuals not coming to the theatres?


I spend an excessive amount of time worrying. Now I don’t need to. When Jug Jug Jeeyo occurred, it gave me a glimmer of hope. If the plenty hadn’t taken to it then possibly I might have been a special individual. However thank God the movie did effectively. We made the movie with good intentions. When your intent is nice, generally issues work out. It was good that individuals got here to observe the movie. When I used to be selling the movie, I felt they needed to return into the theatre. However now you’ve to provide them a little greater than you gave them earlier than. Yeah… So Bhediya is much more by way of the story,  the VFX, the motion. It’s thrilling. You don’t know what you’re going to anticipate. And there’s plenty of humour too. It’s new.


However are you nervous as a result of nothing is working.…


Clearly everyone seems to be nervous. However nobody has the reply.


It appears individuals don’t need to come into the theatres.…


However they’re watching. Don’t say they’re not watching content material. Sab kuch dekh rahe hain streaming pe. See, expertise has hit the business. Now it’s about discovering the steadiness, that which movie is supposed for which medium. So it’s simply the medium that’s evolving. Theatrical releases will work finally. Clearly, we have to introspect. I feel everyone seems to be doing it. You will notice that change quickly. There’s going to be plenty of high quality management developing.

Varun Dhawan

Would you say you might be at a cheerful place in your profession now?


I’m making an attempt to be. The issue with us is that we don’t need to all the time be pleased. We have to begin being slightly grateful for the place we’re. And I’ve by no means been. I’m all the time like yeh achcha nahi hai, woh achcha nahi hai. I really need to begin giving myself a pat on the again.


What’s stopping you?


I don’t know. However I don’t do it sufficient. That’s what I’ve been telling myself as of late… I’ve actually labored laborious and I’ve really executed good work. And I need to give myself credit score for it. However I don’t.  It was in all probability the way in which I used to be introduced up. Or in all probability the individuals who had been closest to me didn’t let me…


Sit in your laurels? 


Perhaps they overdid it. Whether or not it’s my dad or whether or not it’s Karan (Johar), since day one they’ve been like, “Don’t do it.” However I’ve executed cool issues. Whether or not it’s issues they needed me to do or issues they didn’t… I’ve to be extra grateful for every little thing.

There was a time whenever you had a 100% file on the box-office. Did that ever put any stress on you? 


Ya, it did. And I discover it silly that I allowed the stress get to me. I assume I’m not silly. It will have put stress on anybody, for that matter. So it put stress on me and I couldn’t deal with it. I feel I let individuals get to me at that time. I used to be too naive, I had not lived sufficient life. I nonetheless haven’t, really; I’m nonetheless younger. This expertise has made me develop up loads. So I have to work on different issues, not my profession.

Varun Dhawan

What are the opposite issues that you must work on?


The overthinking.




Yeah. We’re all competing. We’re working in an imaginary rat race, the place there’s none. The world has modified, proper. Koi first aa gaya toh theek hai, excellent. Second aaya woh bhi achcha hai, third aaya woh bhi achcha hai, jo fifth, sixth, and jo tenth aaya wohi bhi achcha hai. We now have to cease pondering an excessive amount of about who’s on high and who’s not. I simply really feel that social media has added to all of it. It’s all imaginary. We have to recover from it. We’re falling into that bubble. It’s occurring to everybody. I’ve not taken very constructive steps. However I do attempt to steer clear of expertise as a lot as I can.

Varun Dhawan

How do you retain sane with a lot occurring round you? 


You’ve obtained to cease being a individuals pleaser. I’ve realised that what I like most is definitely simply appearing. I get pleasure from appearing, taking that shot. I don’t know if I’m having fun with the remainder of this nonsense that comes with it. So I’m pulling again. I ought to get pleasure from that too as a result of I did at one level. I went to Thumkeshwari’s launch lately. I went to Gaiety. I had a good time. Seeing individuals dance on chairs. I loved it. However then going to a TV present for promotion is so blah… Perhaps it really works. It used to work at one level. I don’t know if it’s nonetheless working. And even when it’s working, when you’re not comfy doing it, then possibly you shouldn’t do it. You must do what you are feeling comfy with. It’s getting slightly monotonous. We’ve all been doing the identical factor for some time. I really feel the issue with movies can be this: every little thing is identical. You need slightly, “abhi kya naya kar sakte hain.” That’s why I’m enthusiastic about Bhediya. I’m not simply saying it’s 3D. It has all these elements. It could actually promise a very good time. And who doesn’t need to have a very good time? 


Varun Dhawan

True. What are you grateful for proper now? 


Once I was taking pictures the music Thumkeshwari for Bhediya, I used to be going by an sickness often known as vestibular hypofunction, the place you lose your steadiness. Every thing was dizzy and shaky. That continued for a very long time. And it took some time to determine what the issue was. There’s no remedy for it. There’s no pill for it. There’s nothing. So what do you do? It was very tough. However when I did the music, I realised that I might work, and that gave me a lot happiness that I might ignore every little thing. Many times, it’s good to be reminded of why you’re keen on working. It’s like a love story. And you must hold falling again in love with your self and your work.

Varun Dhawan


What are the steps you’re taking to only chill now?


Slicing off slightly bit from social media. Not getting so obsessed  with it. Yoga has been very useful. Simply taking day off, on and off. When you may take day off, it’s best to take day off. Being not so concerned is an effective factor. .


And the way’s marriage been treating you? 


Excellent and actually enjoyable. It doesn’t really feel like I’m married. It nonetheless seems like we’re courting. It’s very new, so it’s thrilling.

Varun Dhawan

Has life modified for you since marriage?


I’ve my very own home; I stay with my spouse and my canine, in order that’s an enormous change. My mother and father stay above my flat. However yeah, I’m made to really feel much more accountable.

You’ve purchased your self a pet? How did that 
come about?


Sure. I obtained Joey after the movie. As a result of there have been so many canines in Arunachal. There weren’t Beagles however there have been indies. I’d hold taking part in with them. I don’t know why, after doing this movie one thing occurred to me. I fell in love with canines. So I obtained him. He’s very loving. I feared canines initially however now I’m okay. 

Varun Dhawan

Do you see a change in your behaviour since you bought him?


Rather a lot. Particularly in direction of them. Massive change. Change in direction of people additionally.


You began loving people extra?

(Guffaws) Much less.

How has Natasha modified you? 


All these items about realising to not be laborious on myself are all hers. I really feel everybody ought to hold engaged on themselves to allow them to be most peaceable, happy, and pleased.

Varun Dhawan

What would the actual Varun Dhawan like 
to do now? 


The true Varun Dhawan wish to assume much less and simply be current within the second. Sure, we’re all overthinking. We’re all losing our time fascinated about what others are pondering. Woh kya soch raha hai appears to be on high of our minds. We don’t get pleasure from our current. That is what social media has executed. I’m making an attempt to take a position extra time in studying about God and spirituality. 



Greater than spirituality, studying about my very own faith. As a result of we don’t learn about Hinduism. I’m a born Hindu, however how a lot do I learn about my faith? I’ve taken steps this yr to learn your complete Bhagavad Gita, to learn the Mahabharata, to practise sure issues. And simply to study extra and perceive extra. I genuinely consider Hinduism is such an incredible faith. such a peaceable faith. We now have a lot data in our personal nation and in our personal tradition that’s untapped. And we’re more often than not solely getting influenced by the West, when we’ve got much more energy in our roots than another nation.

Varun Dhawan

You’re going again to your roots?


Hmmm. I’ve this calling… So  at any time when a movie or a trailer of mine releases I’m going to Hare Rama, Hare Krishna Iskcon. It’s my factor I do.Just lately, one in every of my closest buddies Ankit got here dwelling and requested me to go together with him to the temple. For some cause, I couldn’t go. I bear in mind it was Karva Chauth. Natasha had taken Joey for a stroll within the morning. And a few monks approached her and gave her a card. She got here dwelling and gave me the cardboard, it had Hare Rama Hare Krishna written on it. I used to be like this can be a calling. Within the afternoon, I had a script narration and I’m not mendacity, I’m listening to this script and usmein koi bacha kidnap hota hai, and the monks are returning the kid, they usually’re saying Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Krishna. Simply think about. I realised it was telling me one thing.  The one cause I’m saying this story is as a result of it was so wonderful. I went to the temple then. I had to go. Then  it began raining so closely that I couldn’t depart for one and a half hour. Finally you must return to who you might be… We discuss every little thing however we wont discuss our spiritual aspect. Why? There are such a lot of actors who’re into the artwork of dwelling or do meditation. However nobody talks about it. I don’t know why? This can be vital. 

Perhaps as a result of faith is non-public? 

Why is it non-public? In case you’re gaining power from Ishwar, Prabhu, from no matter you name him, why is it non-public? I’ll not put movies of me praying, that’s my non-public factor. However when you ask me what offers me pleasure, I don’t assume I ought to disguise that. It actually offers me a way of peace and belonging.  


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