Varun Dhawan is a passionate actor, whether he is kicking the baddies in Badlapur or kicking up his heels in ABCD 2. In conversation with the fast rising star who enthusiastically discusses emoting through dancing, the people closest to his heart and his forthcoming films
What were the challenges of doing a dance-based film like ABCD 2?
I had just loved the first part in 3D so it was a major challenge as the sequel had to be bigger and the level of dance had to be raised. Everything has to be twice in size. It’s a major responsibility for Shraddha and me.
Remo D’Souza says that you suggested Shraddha’s name for the film.
Suggest as in…a lot of people are not aware that she is a good dancer. I knew about it as I knew her since childhood. When I told Remo about Shraddha, he was a bit skeptical so I suggested he see her dance. Shraddha auditioned for this film -- usually actresses in her position do not audition -- but she did so because she wanted to do this film.
Did you learn any dance form for the film?
For my song ‘Chunar,’ I learnt dance in the sense that I should be able to perform non-stop …the emotion has to come through dancing. It is a contemporary dance choreographed by Punit. This is very pure dance. This film was taxing, it tired me. Contemporary dance is not easy to do…it is like poetry in motion. I ate a big bite of chocolate after completing the song ‘Chunar’. My mother loves this song.
Since the song speaks of the mother-son relationship, how would you describe your relationship with your own mom? You have made her proud; but have you ever hurt her?
I have hurt her a lot of times ….I made mistakes as a child and even when I grew up, I erred. When I was doing this song, I went into a flashback thinking how much I have hurt or caused trouble to my mother.
Who are you closer to - your mom or dad?
I am close to both mom and dad though I do share my professional problems with dad. Actually I am close to my entire family, including my bhabhi.
Can we say you have learnt the ABCD of acting now?
I have learnt the ABCD of acting but I don’t have a PHD in it.
And what about dancing?
I have just started … I have still far to reach.
What was it like to act and dance alongside Prabhu Deva?
Prabhu sir used to improvise a lot on comedy. We share a great chemistry onscreen. It was a unique take on Guru-Shishya. As an actor I loved working with him and Prabhu sir is the best dancer.
For Badlapur you beefed up your physique and now in ABCD 2 you perfected your dancing. You seem to immerse yourself in each film.
It is not easy to bring the audience into the theatre as there is excellent programming on TV and there is also the internet. If you want the audience to come to the theatre, you have to make an entertaining film. So I give my all to a film. I finish one film before starting another; there is no time to breathe.
Your other film this year is Rohit Shetty’s Shah Rukh-Kajol starrer Dilwale.
Rohit Shetty is a brilliant and successful director. I have just followed what he said. I am sure people will enjoy the film this Christmas.
And thereafter you have large shoes to fill with the Karan Johar produced Shuddhi which was earlier planned with Hrithik and then Salman. Do you think Alia and you can deliver the lofty expectations from this biggie?
An actor’s job is to act ... and I will just do that to the best of my ability once director Karan Malhotra starts shooting with Alia and me. Let people decide whether Alia and I have lived up to the expectations.
Will you have to work on your look for Shuddhi as well?
There are lots of things that are new in this film. There is a rumour that the film is based on Lord Shiva, but that is untrue.