Thursday, August 23, 2007
In a crowd of actors jostling to make hay while the sun shines, Varun Badola is a class apart. If there is a thinking actor on television, it's Varun who fits the bill. He is not the one to be seen in every other family drama, playing mundane characters. His work in "Koshish Ek Asha", "Astitva-Ek Prem Kahani" and the now running weekend show "Aek Chabbi Hain Padoss Mein" on Star Plus speak volumes of what he is capable of delivering as an actor.
In "Aek Chabbi", Varun is Sandeep Babu, an agonizing musician uncle of his mohalla. His subtle performance allows the other characters in the show to shine through. The talented actor has also scripted a few episodes of the serial. He says: "The first 18 episodes of the show were scrapped because the script was abysmal. Then I was asked to write, considering my background as an assistant director. I wrote three scripts and now I keep pitching in when required. Recently our scriptwriter couldn't turn up for some reason, so I helped out. I like working at my own pace. All the characters are well etched out and there is a method to the madness in the story."
Thankfully, Varun is one of the rare professionals in the television industry who has consciously decided not to be a part of daily soaps. "I need time to relax and lead my life the way I want. I hate working on deadlines on a daily basis. Like in "Kutumb", I once worked all night till noon the next day. I think I have every right to leave the sets at 9 pm if I come in at 9 in the morning," he points out. That's one of the reasons he has accepted a cameo in "Ghar Ek Sapana" on Sahara One. "The character is interesting. And cameos don't drag on forever. They're essential to keep viewer interest high in the serial. For me, most importantly, it was the economics that made me decide on the role," admits Varun.
About the experience of working with his father in "Aek Chabbi", he says: "It didn't bother me. We don't share the usual father-son relationship. After pack-up, I can share a drink or smoke with him on my way back home. We discuss many things and it's never all about acting. We work like two professionals who are in sync with each other. I have to admit that I've learnt at least 90 per cent of my acting from him."
Badola Senior also doesn't seem unhappy that his son steers clear of the maddening rat race in the industry. "Compared to him, I'm a non-starter. But he hasn't denounced me so he must be happy," laughs Badola junior. And what does wife Rajeshwari have to say about his choosy work attitude? "When have you seen Rajeshwari work?" he retorts with a smile, adding "Maybe 10 days in a year is all she works. But one has to be privileged to work like that. She's happy and has no issues."
At the end of the day, what Varun values most are "life, people around me, relationships and then work". Just the perfect recipe for quality living.