Young actor Varun Dhawan, whose fan following seems to have increased following his latest release Main Tera Hero, wants to avoid calling himself a 'star'. He says that establishing a connect with the audience will always be of importance for him.
"I wouldn't call myself a star. Not now, not ever," said Varun,
who made his debut with 'Student Of The Year'.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Main Tera Hero (MTH) is a success and you
now seem to have fans in all age groups?
A. Very honestly, the hero in this film is my father David
Dhawan. We promoted the film like crazy. Nowadays, the pressure's
on an actor on how to market a film is excruciating. There wasn't
so much pressure to promote my first film 'Student Of The
Year'. Dharma Productions was the hero of that film and Karan
Johar was there with the three of us - Sidharth Malhotra, Alia
Bhatt and me to promote the film. Karan made sure everything went
right. With MTH, the pressure was fully on me to sell the
film to the audience.
Q. Couldn't have been an easy place to be in?
A. There were times when I had to force my eyelids apart. But
when I saw those expectant crowds at the promotional events just
waiting for a glimpse of the actors, one couldn't go in front of
them all droopy and tired.
Q. The hallmark of a true star?
A. I wouldn't call myself a star. Not now, not ever. I'm here
because I love the movies. I am not here to make money. By god's
grace I don't have to worry about my next 4,000 meals. At the same
time, I am not here to do charity either. But my relationship with
the audience will always be more important than all other
considerations. I've to make sure of that.
Q. You seem to have established the same kind of connect with
the audience as Govinda did in your father's films. Does that
comparison annoy you?
A. Not at all. If anything, it is unfair to an actor of
Govinda's stature and durability. At the same time, I do realise
that all newcomers are compared with established actors. And
because MTH is a full-on David Dhawan film, the kind that
my father did with Govinda, the comparisons are inevitable.
MTH is very different from its source of origin - the
Telugu film 'Kandireega'. The style of storytelling and
packaging is full-on David Dhawan.
Q. You've caught the flavour of David Dhawan's cinema
A. I had to. Otherwise I'd have been thrown out of the film. He
was very strict with me during the shooting. Out of the 60 days
that we shot MTH, I was on tenterhooks for 45
Q. Did that bother you initially?
A. Yes, it did. Not that I expected to be pampered. But I
expected to be treated normally. But he was being extra-strict with
me. Now when I see the film, I realize why he behaved the way he
did. My father has 42 films behind him. He knew exactly what he was
doing and why he needed to make sure that I worked harder than all
his other heroes. He just threw me in the deep end of the water and
let me learn to swim my way out. Either I swam or I
Q. You come from a totally filmy background. Is that an
A. I am not too sure. Today the sur (tone) of cinema has changed
beyond recognition. Things are gradually changing. We don't know
whether the future of Indian cinema is going to be Dabangg,
Rowdy Rathore and MTH or is it going to be
Queen and The Lunchbox...we don't know.
Q. Which cinema would you rather be part of?
A. I am greedy. I want to do both. The sur of acting is so
different in MTH and Queen. I am doing the more
naturalistic sur in Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. It's a
very real film.I play a working-class Punjabi guy.I feel very
thrilled about this film. I feel as an actor I should explore
everything there is to explore. I am consciously choosing roles
that are different from one another.
Q. How has Main Tera Hero changed you as an
A. I am exhausted. But satisfied. I feel sapped out. I can't do
another films like MTH for the next two years. I did this
film from the heart. We had a huge lot of improvisation on the
sets. We were constantly adding, revising, polishing. To me, this
is what commercial Hindi cinema is all about. After release, when I
went to the theatre, this elderly gentleman came and put his hand
on my head and blessed me. Then his children came and told me they
liked the film. For me, that was the reward for all the hard