Thursday 19 October 2017 News Updated at 07:10 AM IST
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He's on the 'hit' list - Deccan Herald
He's on the 'hit' list
Nishika V
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Varun Dhawan
He’s been upwardly mobile since his debut five years ago with Student Of The Year. Not a single film of Varun Dhawan’s, audience-wise, has been a flop. Even Dilwale made over 100 crore at the box-office. Dishoom, directed by his brother Rohit Dhawan, again did well, but it did not recover its high budget.

The rest are decidedly successful and hit movies like Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, ABCD 2 and Badrinath Ki Dulhania. This makes his next film Judwaa 2 (his second with dad David Dhawan after Main Tera Hero) one of the most anticipated films in the trade and for his fans.

However, Varun, unassuming, effusive and charming as ever when we meet up at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai, would rather not take things for granted. "Yes, I am a star now, but not a big star,” he says pragmatically. "That is why there is no pressure on me, and we can never believe we are always right. There’s an old saying in this industry: 'Har Friday qismatbadalti hai’ (Fortunes change every Friday), and that’s right. Films are the main thing. If they work, we actors work.”

By the same token, he also says that actors should never be blamed for the failure of a film. "I am a director’s son, and if any director has made a film as per his vision and it fails, it is primarily his failure. Actors cannot be held responsible as they do not shape the film’s content. But most of the time, as the faces of the film, they are blamed,” Varun explains.

The 90s magic
Judwaa 2 is a reboot and not a sequel. What was the logic to this? "The original film is now 20 years old,” he replies. "The 90s kids - and I am one too - have never probably got to watch this genre, because there is hardly any film made of this kind now. But this space is ours, it is a Hindi cinema genre, not a Chinese or American one, and they should watch it! Manmohan Desai would make such films, and almost all were successful. My dad considers him his guru.”

Having said that, Varun explains that Judwaa 2 is far from being a very close remake. "There is a fresh approach to the film, the story is slightly different, and naturally, so is the screenplay. We obviously have to do something new, and even I play my role in my way.”

We ask a reverse question: apart from the two popular songs from the older film, is there anything that is retained from the older film? "Fans of the brand will definitely find a few meeting points, like the sequence where Mala takes Prem inside a bathroom assuming he is Raja. Hardcore Judwaa fans may find a few more!” he grins.

It’s a family affair
How was it working for the second time with his father? "This time, Dad worked harder on the story and screenplay, and on the relationships, which means there are some serious scenes too,” says Varun. "When we did Main Tera Hero, it was just my second film, and I was not really a star. This time, I am one, and he knows it. After all, he has made over 40 films and they have all had big stars.”

Would his father have made Judwaa 2 at all if he had not been around, and how does he look at comparisons with Salman Khan that will obviously arise? Candidly, Varun replies, "The idea of a reboot was there with Sajid Nadiadwala (producer) for a long time. He discussed this one day with my father. And I don’t think Dad would have made this film without me.”

However, the actor is prepared for comparisons. "I knew that from the moment I accepted the film. Come on, how will the comparisons go? Good, not bad, terrible, I have ruined the film - any one of them, right? But that’s fine, because whichever way we look at it, it will result in some incredible buzz for Judwaa 2 that can never be bought or created, and everyone will have to watch my film to know which way it will go,” he quips.

The youngster, who is now doing Shoojit Sircar’s October, Yash Raj Films’s Sui Dhaaga, and is in talks for ABCD 3, would not like to be branded. "I should be able to make people laugh, cry, be scared and get emotional,” he stresses. "If you must brand me, do it after a body of work, over a decade.”

Does he have any special ambitions? This is where Varun springs a surprise. "I would like to do a South Indian film to please my fans there.