With a 100 percent track record at the box-office in his six-year-old career, actor Varun Dhawan is easily one of the most enviable stars in the Hindi film industry today, but he admits that beneath the cloak of stardom, sometimes, the person within feels lost.
It is known to all that to be a star in the country, one needs to be more than just a good actor. He or she has to be packaged smartly – from the dress and make-up you wear to the PR you do. But there are times, when the actor inside the star feels overshadowed or so, says Varun.
“One thing about actors, which people don’t know, is that the world sometimes starts feeling very fake because someone else brings you clothes, someone else does your hair, make up and then you’re polished and pushed in the front like a product. But that is not Varun. I’m beneath all of this (the image),” Varun said at the trailer launch of his upcoming romance, October.
It’s perhaps the Shoojit Sircar film that has captured the raw and real side of the actor, as the director said at the event, “You will see the real Varun Dhawan in October.” Written by Juhi Chaturvedi, the film features debutant Banita Sandhu opposite Varun, and by the trailer, it looks like the film is a poignant story of love.
Throughout the trailer launch, Varun reiterated that the film changed him drastically as an actor and a person. For the Judwaa 2 star, October is what he needed the most in his career at the moment.
“Shoojit cast me before Judwaa 2 and Badrinath (Ki Dulhania) released. We were in talks since then. When he narrated the film to me and told me why he wants to make the film, I was so moved. To be honest, I need this film in my career today more than anyone else.”
“This film is based on honesty, I couldn’t do anything else which I do in other films. I couldn’t remove my shirt, dance, can’t behave cute, I can’t do all those things. I stopped applying makeup and still, he (Shoojit) would come and say ‘make it a little less’. I had just done Judwaa 2 and come for this film so my pitch was loud always. He told me, in real life Varun, if we are sitting next to each other, why would you shout? Do you have a problem with anyone? So he asked me to lower my pitch to a point that I felt there was a marker!”
“(From the time) I started shooting the film and till the end, I don’t know what he did because I was not acting the way I feel I’m acting. It was just a very different experience, all thanks to him, Juhi and Banita,” Varun added.
While Shoojit acknowledged Varun’s efforts to transform into his on-screen character, he did admit that before meeting the young star his sensibilities hardly resonated with that of the actor. In fact, he was auditioning new faces for Varun’s role until his eyes caught Shoojit’s imagination when for the first time the actor came to meet him in his office, while he and Juhi were writing October.
“I had a different perception altogether of people who become overnight stars with a crazy fan following, which I’m not used to. I’m used to my kind of cinema which, if people like it, I’m happy, if not, I’m still happy because I got to tell my story my way.
“I asked him, ‘Will you surrender yourself and are you honest?’ He said, ‘I’m an honest person, this, what you see outside (image) is not me.’ I told him to be himself in the film. I just narrated two lines to him while he was going to shoot another film. I said, ‘As a process to prepare for the film, don’t check your phone first thing in the morning—as was his habit—and instead as soon as you get up, go and sit in front of a plant and watch it for ten minutes. That’s your job.’ For almost one year, my instruction was, to get up and watch the plant and breathe,” the director said.
October arrives in theatres on April 13.