I Truly Believe That Fans Give You Stardom - Varun Dhawan | Exclusive Interview

With his boyish charm, extraordinary dance skills and fine performances, Varun Dhawan has become one of the biggest stars in the Indian film industry. Five years and eight films later, the actor has been one of the few successful artists to deliver back to back hits at the box office. In less than a decade, the actor has proved his mettle by experimenting with different genres and essaying memorable characters. His performances in films like Main Tera Hero, Badlapur and more recently, Badrinath ki Dulhania has earned him appreciation and millions of fans across the globe. 

This time, Dhawan or VD, as he is popularly known, is back to doing what he enjoys the most - comedy. A remake of an iconic film and his father, the king of Bollywood comedies - David Dhawan, helming the project. Well, this can't get better. As Raja and Prem, VD is all set to win your heart with his crazy, fun antics in Judwaa 2, a remake of the iconic 1997 film starring Salman Khan. And if the trailer, promos and buzz around the film is anything to go by, the film is all set to rule the BO charts. We met Varun Dhawan for a quick chat, in between the crazy promotion schedule for the film. Despite the city tours and back to back promotional activities, the actor was cheerful and visibly excited. In an exclusive chat, we got VD to talk about his upcoming film (all set to release tomorrow), Salman Khan, working with his father and lots more. Excerpts from a fun chat with Varun Dhawan:

We heard that you are very stressed, especially now with the release around?It's my dad's film, so I am a little stressed. I want the audiences to watch the film and laugh. Paresh Rawal also told me recently, "Why are you youngsters so scared and stressed? Go out there and perform to your best."In fact, both Tapsee (Pannu) and Jacqueline (Fernandez), asking me to take things easy. So, I am finally trying to take thing easy and smiling a lot these days (smiles). 

What do you have to say about your co-stars, Jacqueline and Taapsee? How was it working with them?
They are both very good. They are extremely positive and inspiring people. I feel, both my characters have come out better while performing with them.  Jacqueline has done a lot of hits with big stars. She is experienced. Tapsee too has done South films and is known for her roles in Baby and Pink, which have won accolades. So, I know for a fact that both of them will be appreciated in this film.

Since you are playing a double role for the first time, how challenging was the process for you? 
It was definitely tough. Though they are shown as identical  twins in the film, I had to change my walk and modulate my voice for both the characters. One is born in Mumbai, while the other has grown up in London. So, I had to keep that and several other factors in mind when I was performing the two characters. 

Do you feel that your dad, David Dhawan, brings out the best in you?
Well, I think so. My dad likes to take two takes. He loves monologues and songs, as he has worked with bigger actors. He used to give me lengthy lines and would then ask me to perform it in one take.  He is experienced, and when an actor gets stuck somewhere, he knows how to handle it.  He knows how to draw performances from actors.  I also know what he likes. Now, we have become very good friends. We share a very honest relationship. 

Do you have any special memories of visiting the sets of Judwaa?
I don't remember much. I was just ten years old, but I used to go on the sets with dad. However, I watched the film much later when I grew up. Everyone knows that the film is a hit and the songs are iconic.  

You also got the original Judwaa, Salman Khan, for an appearance in the film. Did he give you any advice?
Salman sir said, don't spoil the song Tan tana tan and don't change the steps. So, we have retained the original hook steps in the song.  He was kind enough to send a bag full of  jeans for my character Raja, which he had worn in Judwaa. People will get to see all the jeans in this film. Salman's sister Arpita is my close friend, so we know each other's family since quite long. 

Dad and I have become very good friends. We share a very honest relationship

Considering this is a remake of an iconic film, there would be obvious comparisons. Especially when it comes to your performance as Raja and Prem.
Of course. I am sure people are going to compare Judwaa 2 with the original film, but it would be unfair to compare me with Salman or any of the Khans or Akshay Kumar.  They have been stars for the last 25 years, and that's why, they are known as superstars today.  They have always been well connected with their fans through every medium, be it  Radio, Cinema or social media. I truly believe that fans give you stardom. When my first film released, Salman sir had told me,  "This has done well, but what about the future?" I think that's very true. First film is like a challenge, and after that, if I don't do what the audience wants to see me do, they will throw me out of the industry.

Varun, how important is a film's performance at the box office for you? What do the BO numbers mean to you?
I personally feel that box office collections are important to gauge a film. I remember that people would often talk about my father's success and box office collections of his films. Some even said that when they were not feeling well, they would watch papa's film and feel better. In a similar manner, I want to make the audiences happy and achieve that kind of stardom too. 

First film is like a challenge, and after that, if I don't do what the audience wants to see me do, they will throw me out of the industry

A majority of your fan following includes youngsters, who dutifully look up to you. However, off late, there have been instances where these young kids take drastic steps like committing suicide for a game or get addicted to drugs. What would be your advice to them?
We are surrounded with such beautiful nature, but we don't enjoy that. We are always busy with our cell phones. According to me, the biggest stress-buster is music, so please listen to music. Talk to your parents, play some sports, go out and enjoy the nature. Also, please put your mobile off when you are sleeping. Also, try to do some Yoga and meditation. Look at the brighter side of life.

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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