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Vijay Varma: I’d rather be a log of wood in a good director’s film

Updated on: 03 July,2023 07:12 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Mohar Basu |

Feeling ‘seen’ with Dahaad and Lust Stories 2, Vijay on how working with a like-minded director is more important to him than being the lead

Vijay Varma: I’d rather be a log of wood in a good director’s film


Vijay Varma is on a hot streak. In only a year, the actor shone bright in Darlings (2022), Dahaad and now Lust Stories 2. “I feel on top of the world,” he smiles, when we sit down to chat with him. The actor made waves this summer with his intense depiction of a serial killer in the widely acclaimed Dahaad, following it up with the Netflix anthology that dropped this weekend. Tell him he has come a long way since his breakout turn in Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy (2019), and he reflects, “There is so much content coming out every week, across languages. When everyone stops to look at my show, it’s amazing. I finally feel seen. It feels like I’m moving in the right direction. While these may seem like dangerous stories, I want to continue doing them.”

While Lust Stories 2 opened to mixed reviews, Dahaad won wide praise
While Lust Stories 2 opened to mixed reviews, Dahaad won wide praise

Unheard stories excite him. Varma’s second criterion is directors. He admits his good work is the result of finding like-minded filmmakers. “I’d rather be a log of wood in a good director’s film than be the lead in a movie made by a filmmaker I don’t admire. I am glad Sujoy Ghosh thought of me for The Devotion of Suspect X and Lust Stories 2. He is teaching me so much, including Bangla,” he laughs. While their segment in Lust Stories 2 received mixed reviews, the actor stands by the storytelling. “A short film is challenging because a lot of it is on paper, but there’s time constraint. It’s an actor’s job to internalise the character.”

Over the past year, there has been intense scrutiny on OTT content. As an actor who gravitates towards risky stories, does he find himself curtailing his choices? “I’ve shot stuff that sometimes doesn’t make it to the edit because the maker feels it doesn’t serve his story. Filmmakers know what can or cannot get them in trouble. Actors surrender to the script and the makers’ vision. Censorship is not always from the outside; makers have their own moral compass. I’m working with some of the finest directors in the country, and they are far more intelligent in handling censorship than actors.”

We can’t end the chat without asking him for an update on The Devotion of Suspect X, which sees him alongside Kareena Kapoor Khan and Jaideep Ahlawat. Varma teases us, saying, “Uska dhamaka jaldi aayega.”

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