COVER STORY: Varun Dhawan on exploring his wild facet

There’s one thing about Varun Dhawan that’s completely different. I can’t place my finger on it, at first. Sure, he’s wanting rested, wanting dapper, wanting good. However then he’s a film star. You count on that of him. There’s therav, for certain. However there’s extra. There’s extra to Varun Dhawan than his quintessential film star appears. Discuss to him for a couple of minutes and you already know, there are layers to the happy-go-lucky persona that we’ve all come to count on of him.

So we’re sitting in his lounge, comfortably ensconced on the couch.  

He sits on his favorite rocking chair, having fun with his omelet. Whereas his newly-acquired beagle, Joey is fortunately exploring my ears.  A pleasant canine if I ever noticed one. Identical to the grasp. Varun Dhawan, who has Bhediya arising, is in a reflective temper. Sure, he’s enthusiastic about his film. In any case, he’s given his all and extra to the movie. We do the common film discuss after which the temper shifts. He talks about the necessity to again off from social media, to be much less of a folks pleaser, to provide himself extra credit score for the issues he’s performed. He talks about how he’s wanting inside nowadays. Says Covid has modified every thing and everybody. After which he stumps me by saying that he’s taking recourse into faith. He’s studying The Mahabharata and The Bhagvad Gita… Sure that’s what has modified about Varun… He’s pondering deeply… asking questions. He isn’t dazzled anymore by decadent existence or film star appearances… There needs to be extra to life than that, he says. I agree. That is how the dialog flows then:

To start with, what attracted you to Bhediya?

It was the wildest script that I’ve ever heard. I truly stated sure to the movie simply primarily based on the one line that Dinu (Dinesh Vijayan) informed me on the telephone. I simply knew that Amar (Kaushik) was going to make it a few man getting bitten by a wolf.

And turning into a werewolf?

I’m not going to say werewolf. Bhediya ban jaata hai. In order that was thrilling. After which the script developed and got here to me after a yr. I confirmed curiosity all through the event course of. I met Amar three to 4 instances. I heard him out and acquired to know his thought course of, issues he likes and dislikes. After which the lockdown occurred. After which the second lockdown occurred. Simply earlier than the second lockdown, Amar was like, “Let’s simply begin.” Then I had COVID, so Jug Jug Jeeyo stopped. I had numerous time readily available. So I simply acquired into this one. 

You’re coming into this world of horror, the supernatural… What was the expertise like for you? 

It was insane. It was every thing that I wished it to be. And as an actor, I simply surrendered to the director. He knew the world very properly as a result of he’d performed Stree. So he knew the beats of the world. He knew the sort of reactions he wanted. He knew the sort of issues he wished so far as the VFX of the movie is anxious, prosthetics and stuff. We have been all studying collectively. However Amar was too arms on through the course of.

Varun Dhawan

VFX and prosthetics could make or break a movie like this.

Sure, and that was one in every of my considerations too. Fortunately, Dinu acquired MPC on board; they did the VFX for Jungle E-book and so they’ve performed a great deal of movies that cope with animals. So then I knew we have been in secure arms. However till you don’t see, you don’t know precisely. We additionally had one nice supervisor, James, who’d come from London. He was working with us. I had numerous belief and perception in him too. And so did Amar. Darrell Mclean, who was doing our motion, had flown down from South Africa. These guys actually labored onerous to convey to the display screen what Amar wished.

You assume the Indian viewers will join with the idea? Werewolves, in spite of everything, aren’t a part of our mythology.

No, however it’s. We don’t assume it’s as a result of we don’t know a lot about our tradition. We’re  sitting in our ivory towers. That’s why you’re reacting like this. However there’s a full mythology,  folklore in Ziro, in Arunachal Pradesh, about Yapum. So when you go there, they’ll let you know about Yapum and what occurs whenever you go into the forest. The forest is sacred to them. I don’t wish to inform the story, however yeah, it’s born out of the mythology of our land. There are such a lot of locations in our nation and so many issues that we don’t know. We’re ignoring the village viewers. Why are we not making village tales anymore? What number of mythologies do they’ve? Amar all the time says, “Why ought to we maintain speaking concerning the West?” We’re impressed by Junoon and Naagin. Why give credit score to the West for every thing?

Varun Dhawan

You shot in Arunachal  for this. What was the expertise like?


Unbelievable. It was my first time there. There’s no direct flight to Arunachal. You go to Guwahati or Dibrugarh, after which from there, you drive right down to Ziro. It’s a fourteen-hour drive. When you get there, it’s simply wonderful. The air you breathe is so clear. There’s greenery throughout. It’s lovely. We have been there for 2 months. I favored it greater than the town. All my life, I’ve been within the metropolis. It was such a pleasant change. Anyway, it was lockdown, and there have been no circumstances there. It was nice to be there.

What sort of preparation did you do for the movie?

I labored with Devrath Vijay (Ninja Dev). He educated me fully for this. After which, in the direction of the later half, after all, Prashant got here on once more. However Ninja Dev was there all through. We did numerous animal circulation. I reduce down on numerous weight as a result of Amar didn’t need pronounced muscle tissue on me. I needed to be versatile by way of actions, particularly through the transformation scenes. In order that was tiring. There was one scene the place 

I did like 42 takes. That was essentially the most tiring day of my life. My vocal cords have been strained after screaming a lot. Then I additionally labored so much on my speech, on how Amar wished the strains to be delivered. Because it was the lockdown, we had ample time. So each day I used to be simply getting ready, studying the script with him, and spending numerous time with Abhishek Banerjee additionally. I bonded so much with him. Apparently, Amar doesn’t say “motion,” he says “Khelo.” and he all the time performs music earlier than you begin performing.So when he says Khelo, does he allow you to play together with your character or give strict directions? No, he doesn’t allow you to play. The whole lot is inside the framework of the movie and the character. 

Varun Dhawan

Did you shock your self whereas taking part in the character, or that doesn’t occur anymore?


I ready so much for this movie. Generally whenever you don’t put together and go into a movie, then there are extra possibilities to be stunned. Right here, there was a lot onerous work earlier than the movie began. We knew precisely what we wished to do. I don’t assume I’ve acted on this movie like I’ve acted in different movies. I couldn’t pitch the strains like I usually do. There are some scenes which have a realness to them, and a few which are hyper. Amar didn’t need me to be the place I’m. It was sur upar ya sur neeche pakadna hai. Right here, he had informed me beforehand, “Aisa hai, aisa karna hai.” 


You’ve accomplished ten years within the trade. Can we name you a bonafide veteran now? 


No, I’m not. I believe birthdays and these years that we maintain counting are the worst issues we do. We must always cease doing it. We must always cease reminding folks. Why are you reminding folks? Take pleasure in, social gathering… Ab tum itne saal ke ho gaye ho. Tumko kya hai? Let’s get pleasure from each day.


However what has been these ten years like for you, whenever you look again? 


I nonetheless really feel like a newcomer. Particularly with Bhediya and Bawaal arising. Within the post-pandemic interval, I really feel we’re beginning over again. Successful again the viewers, making movies that are related to now…The query now could be how will we interact the viewers once more? 

Varun Dhawan

The world has modified and we aren’t ready to grapple with the change. Proper? 


However that’s true of each  enterprise. The issue is that humara report card sabko dikh jaata hai, baakiyon ka report card sabko nahi dikhta hai. Bas that’s the distinction. 

Are you anxious concerning the folks not coming to the theatres?


I spend an excessive amount of time worrying. Now I don’t wish to. When Jug Jug Jeeyo occurred, it gave me a glimmer of hope. If the lots hadn’t taken to it then possibly I might have been a distinct particular person. However thank God the movie did properly. We made the movie with good intentions. When your intent is sweet, generally issues work out. It was good that folks got here to observe the movie. When I used to be selling the movie, I felt they wished to return into the theatre. However now you’ve to provide them a little greater than you gave them earlier than. Yeah… So Bhediya is much more by way of the story,  the VFX, the motion. It’s thrilling. You don’t know what you’re going to count on. And there’s numerous humour too. It’s new.


However are you anxious as a result of nothing is working.…


Clearly everyone seems to be anxious. However nobody has the reply.


It appears folks don’t wish to come into the theatres.…


However they’re watching. Don’t say they’re not watching content material. Sab kuch dekh rahe hain streaming pe. See, expertise has hit the trade. Now it’s about discovering the stability, that which movie is supposed for which medium. So it’s simply the medium that’s evolving. Theatrical releases will work ultimately. Clearly, we have to introspect. I believe everyone seems to be doing it. You will note that change quickly. There’s going to be numerous high quality management arising.

Varun Dhawan

Would you say you’re at a contented place in your profession now?


I’m attempting to be. The issue with us is that we don’t wish to all the time be glad. We have to begin being a little bit grateful for the place we’re. And I’ve by no means been. I’m all the time like yeh achcha nahi hai, woh achcha nahi hai. I truly wish to begin giving myself a pat on the again.


What’s stopping you?


I don’t know. However I don’t do it sufficient. That’s what I’ve been telling myself nowadays… I’ve actually labored onerous and I’ve truly performed good work. And I have to give myself credit score for it. However I don’t.  It was in all probability the way in which I used to be introduced up. Or in all probability the individuals who have been closest to me didn’t let me…


Sit in your laurels? 


Perhaps they overdid it. Whether or not it’s my dad or whether or not it’s Karan (Johar), since day one they’ve been like, “Don’t do it.” However I’ve performed cool issues. Whether or not it’s issues they wished me to do or issues they didn’t… I’ve to be extra grateful for every thing.

There was a time whenever you had a one hundred pc document on the box-office. Did that ever put any strain on you? 


Ya, it did. And I discover it silly that I allowed the strain get to me. I suppose I’m not silly. It will have put strain on anybody, for that matter. So it put strain on me and I couldn’t address it. I believe I let folks get to me at that time. I used to be too naive, I had not lived sufficient life. I nonetheless haven’t, truly; I’m nonetheless younger. This expertise has made me develop up so much. So I must work on different issues, not my profession.

Varun Dhawan

What are the opposite issues it’s good to work on?


The overthinking.




Yeah. We’re all competing. We’re working in an imaginary rat race, the place there’s none. The world has modified, proper. Koi first aa gaya toh theek hai, superb. Second aaya woh bhi achcha hai, third aaya woh bhi achcha hai, jo fifth, sixth, and jo tenth aaya wohi bhi achcha hai. We have now to cease pondering an excessive amount of about who’s on high and who’s not. I simply really feel that social media has added to all of it. It’s all imaginary. We have to recover from it. We’re falling into that bubble. It’s occurring to everybody. I’ve not taken very constructive steps. However I do attempt to steer clear of expertise as a lot as I can.

Varun Dhawan

How do you retain sane with a lot occurring round you? 


You’ve acquired to cease being a folks pleaser. I’ve realised that what I like most is definitely simply performing. I get pleasure from performing, taking that shot. I don’t know if I’m having fun with the remainder of this nonsense that comes with it. So I’m pulling again. I ought to get pleasure from that too as a result of I did at one level. I went to Thumkeshwari’s launch lately. I went to Gaiety. I had a good time. Seeing folks dance on chairs. I loved it. However then going to a TV present for promotion is so blah… Perhaps it really works. It used to work at one level. I don’t know if it’s nonetheless working. And even when it’s working, when you’re not snug doing it, then possibly you shouldn’t do it. You need to do what you’re feeling snug with. It’s getting a little bit monotonous. We’ve all been doing the identical factor for some time. I really feel the issue with movies can also be this: every thing is similar. You need a little bit, “abhi kya naya kar sakte hain.” That’s why I’m enthusiastic about Bhediya. I’m not simply saying it’s 3D. It has all these features. It might probably promise a very good time. And who doesn’t wish to have a very good time? 


Varun Dhawan

True. What are you grateful for proper now? 


After I was taking pictures the music Thumkeshwari for Bhediya, I used to be going by means of an sickness generally known as vestibular hypofunction, the place you lose your stability. The whole lot was dizzy and shaky. That continued for a very long time. And it took some time to determine what the issue was. There’s no remedy for it. There’s no pill for it. There’s nothing. So what do you do? It was very troublesome. However when I did the music, I realised that I may work, and that gave me a lot happiness that I may ignore every thing. Repeatedly, it’s good to be reminded of why you like working. It’s like a love story. And you must maintain falling again in love with your self and your work.

Varun Dhawan


What are the steps you’re taking to only chill now?


Slicing off a little bit bit from social media. Not getting so obsessed  with it. Yoga has been very useful. Simply taking day off, on and off. When you possibly can take day off, you must take day off. Being not so concerned is an efficient factor. .


And the way’s marriage been treating you? 


Excellent and actually enjoyable. It doesn’t really feel like I’m married. It nonetheless seems like we’re relationship. It’s very new, so it’s thrilling.

Varun Dhawan

Has life modified for you since marriage?


I’ve my very own home; I dwell with my spouse and my canine, in order that’s a giant change. My dad and mom dwell above my flat. However yeah, I’m made to really feel much more accountable.

You’ve purchased your self a pet? How did that 
come about?


Sure. I acquired Joey after the movie. As a result of there have been so many canines in Arunachal. There weren’t Beagles however there have been indies. I’d maintain taking part in with them. I don’t know why, after doing this movie one thing occurred to me. I fell in love with canines. So I acquired him. He’s very loving. I feared canines initially however now I’m okay. 

Varun Dhawan

Do you see a change in your behaviour since you bought him?


Rather a lot. Particularly in the direction of them. Large change. Change in the direction of people additionally.


You began loving people extra?

(Guffaws) Much less.

How has Natasha modified you? 


All this stuff about realising to not be onerous on myself are all hers. I really feel everybody ought to maintain engaged on themselves to allow them to be most peaceable, glad, and glad.

Varun Dhawan

What would the actual Varun Dhawan like 
to do now? 


The actual Varun Dhawan want to assume much less and simply be current within the second. Sure, we’re all overthinking. We’re all losing our time serious about what others are pondering. Woh kya soch raha hai appears to be on high of our minds. We don’t get pleasure from our current. That is what social media has performed. I’m attempting to speculate extra time in studying about God and spirituality. 



Greater than spirituality, studying about my very own faith. As a result of we don’t find out about Hinduism. I’m a born Hindu, however how a lot do I find out about my faith? I’ve taken steps this yr to learn the complete Bhagavad Gita, to learn the Mahabharata, to practise sure issues. And simply to be taught extra and perceive extra. I genuinely imagine Hinduism is such a tremendous faith. such a peaceable faith. We have now a lot data in our personal nation and in our personal tradition that’s untapped. And we’re more often than not solely getting influenced by the West, when we’ve got much more energy in our roots than another nation.

Varun Dhawan

You’re going again to your roots?


Hmmm. I’ve this calling… So  every time a movie or a trailer of mine releases I’m going to Hare Rama, Hare Krishna Iskcon. It’s my factor I do.Lately, one in every of my closest mates Ankit got here house and requested me to go together with him to the temple. For some cause, I couldn’t go. I keep in mind it was Karva Chauth. Natasha had taken Joey for a stroll within the morning. And a few monks approached her and gave her a card. She got here house and gave me the cardboard, it had Hare Rama Hare Krishna written on it. I used to be like it is a calling. Within the afternoon, I had a script narration and I’m not mendacity, I’m listening to this script and usmein koi bacha kidnap hota hai, and the monks are returning the kid, and so they’re saying Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, Hare Rama, Hare Krishna. Simply think about. I realised it was telling me one thing.  The one cause I’m saying this story is as a result of it was so wonderful. I went to the temple then. I had to go. Then  it began raining so closely that I couldn’t go away for one and a half hour. Finally you must return to who you’re… We discuss every thing however we wont discuss our spiritual facet. Why? There are such a lot of actors who’re into the artwork of dwelling or do meditation. However nobody talks about it. I don’t know why? This can also be necessary. 

Perhaps as a result of faith is non-public? 

Why is it non-public? If you happen to’re gaining energy from Ishwar, Prabhu, from no matter you name him, why is it non-public? I’ll not put movies of me praying, that’s my non-public factor. However when you ask me what provides me pleasure, I don’t assume I ought to disguise that. It actually provides me a way of peace and belonging.  

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