Varun Dhawan: I am selfish about my career
Once the poster boy of masala films, Varun Dhawan on taking box office risks and becoming more mature in his movie choices
With an enviable box office record, Varun Dhawan is a bona fide star. While others may feel the weight of early stardom, the actor finds it empowering; he says it allows him to take risks. "I am the guy who did Badlapur (2015); going against the tide is in my DNA. I can't be stuck with the chocolate boy image or the goody-two-shoes image," says Dhawan, whose last two releases - October and Judwaa 2 (2017) - are proof that he can effortlessly straddle the meaningful with masala movies.
While the Shoojit Sircar-directed venture established him as an artiste with a fine understanding of his craft, he also credits the film for bringing about a shift in his approach towards cinema. "Doing October wasn't a calculative move. I may be a brand today, but at the core, I am an artiste. It was such a pure film that I had to be part of it."
Varun Dhawan in a still from Sui Dhaaga - Made In India
Up next is Sui Dhaaga - Made In India, which Dhawan argues is "a safe film" at heart. "The screenplay has a populist tone to it. Sharat's (Katariya, director) writing is quirky, so it caters to a large population. I am offered a lot of films on a regular basis, so the challenge is to decide what to say no to. I am selfish about my career. At the same time, I am making movies for people, and my job is to give them their money's worth."
It is probably this school of thought that sees him giving a nod to the likes of Judwaa 2. Though it was a blockbuster, the film was heavily criticised for its inherent sexism. Quiz him if he feels the need to be more socially responsible, and he says, "It was the character in the film that was sexist, not the entire film. His twin, who didn't subscribe to his views at all, served as a counter to the character. People have to understand the intention with which something is created."
"Today if we decode the 3 Idiots joke, it could seem offensive in hindsight. Yet, we are all guilty of laughing at it. I don't pretend to be a flawless role model. There have been multiple lapse of judgment on my part. When I go wrong, I have the guts to admit to it and change myself. I do agree that we can spread better messages through our films. Moving forward, I realise I need to put my foot down on certain things."
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