Coming from Hyderabad, actor Vijay Varma was the first person in his family to try his luck in the showbiz. “I didn’t really make up my mind to be an actor until I joined Sutradhar theatre group. Then, I completed FTTI (Film and Television Institute of India) in Pune and decided acting was my life’s passion and took it seriously as I was failing miserably in other things. I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai to nurture my dream in the world of cinema.”
He rose to fame in Bollywood with films like Rangrezz, Shoojit Sirkar’s Pink, Monsoon Shootout and now making his Tollywood debut as the baddie with MCA (Middle Class Abbayi). He says his performance as Ankit Malhotra in Pink has earned him this film. “I play Shiva, a Warangal-based businessman who has an obsession with winning at everything, no matter what. It will be an interesting role which has a constant presence in the film. I feel the audience will be able to discover me after the film.”
Although he cannot speak Telugu fluently, Vijay has dubbed his lines for MCA. “I asked director Venu Sriram to give my scene papers two-three days before the shoot and wrote it in English and Hindi. I wanted my diction to be in sync with my body language and didn’t leave a chance to get it right.” Ask him about his experience of working in Tollywood, Vijay is all praise for the team. “It’s a beautiful journey.
enu is confident about his script and is happy with my work. Being such a big star, Nani remains grounded and accommodating. He always thrives on improvisations and wants to bring some magic to the shot. My producer Dil Raju has a great balance of work. Incidentally, both Nani and Dil Raju are on a roll with successive hits. In that way, I’m in safe hands (smiles).” Vijay explains that after MCA, he has decided to make his presence felt in multiple languages. “ I want to diversify to all Indian languages and connect with all kinds of audience.
Being an actor, we should spread our wings and if you don’t get to see you in multiple languages, then, what’s the point? In that sense, I will carefully choose whatever that comes my way. I stopped dreaming because, when I did so, everything started to happen (smiles).” Contrary to his onscreen persona, Vijay talks gently and has a soft voice. He has no qualms to make a transition from doing villainous roles to hero characters. “I want to play all kinds of roles that come my way. After Pink, I turned down several films as they didn’t appeal to me. I don’t categorise a role. I only look at how much response it draws from the audience. In Pink, I played a small role but the impact it created was huge. Many people used to come to me and tell, ‘I wanted to slap you.’ I did it with a sense of commitment and I can understand that it is genuinely disturbing (laughs).”
Besides MCA, Vijay also worked in a web series — Cheers, an independent film titled Mara. “It’s about a suicidal guy who tries to find a purpose in life,” he adds. The lanky lad also teamed up with Reema Sengupta for a short-film titled Counterfeit Kunkoo which has made it into the Sundance Film Festival, scheduled to take place from January 18 to January 28, 2018. “I’m looking forward to it as it’s a big platform and I get to meet many people there,” he signs off.