Gully Boys' Vijay Varma: A tormented man, an interesting character
Unravelling nuances of Rashid as he browses through the pages of A Suitable Boy, Gully Boy's Vijay Varma on hopping aboard Mira Nair's adaptation
Well abreast that they would play second fiddle to Ranveer Singh in the rap-drama Gully Boy, a crop of actors shone so bright in Zoya Akhtar's offering that they opened several doors for themselves in Bollywood. Unarguably one among them, Vijay Varma admits that his casting in Mira Nair's A Suitable Boy was an opportunity that the Singh- starrer afforded him.
"I first sensed Mira's interest [in me] when Zoya told me she had loved the film. I was surprised that Mira had seen it," says Varma, who had auditioned for a couple of parts for the six- hour BBC adaptation of Vikram Seth's novel. "A few weeks later, I got a call from the casting agents. I have been roped in to play the role of Rashid, an Urdu teacher."
Seth's novel describes Rashid as a complicated man stuck in a marriage that lacks passion. He strikes an unlikely friendship with a pivotal character.
While the actor has read the screenplay, he is yet to unravel the nuances of his character, given that he's taken up the task of reading the 1,400 pager only now. "I was waiting to get clarity [ on my role] before picking up the book. It's better to not know too much before an audition so that you can bank on your instincts to [ deliver]." He understands that nabbing the language will demand a fair share of toil. "There are nuances to him; he is a tormented man, and a fairly interesting character to play. We should start shooting in September."
As is the case with every character- actor like him, Varma is evidently delighted to add a Nair film to his resume. "She has been among the most influential people in my life during my formative years as an actor. [Nair- backed] Namesake is among my all-time favourite films. We spoke at length about it. Mira has a [certain] prestige; [it's akin to doing] a Woody Allen- film."
Actors including Tabu, Randeep Hooda and Shefali Shah feature in the show.
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