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Home > Digital Cover > Exclusive: We went back to the cinemas with Varun Dhawan to discuss movies, OTT, and more
Exclusive: We went back to the cinemas with Varun Dhawan to discuss movies, OTT, and more

Lifestyle Asia India exclusively shot with Varun Dhawan inside a movie hall and sat down with him to chat about all things movies.

After a lull of two years, the movie business in India is finally back on its feet. With several films performing well at the box office, it seems like the worst is over, and it’s time to go back to the cinemas. And celebrating the arrival of the good times with us is one of the most bankable and popular actors of the country, Varun Dhawan.

Exclusive interview with our March cover star, Varun Dhawan

He’s an actor who appeals to audiences across ages. His movies Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Judwaa 2, ABCD2 set the cash registers ringing, and films like Badlapur, October, and SuiDhaaga got him massive critical acclaim. He’s the quintessential Hindi film hero and knows the business of films like a pro. In our exclusive chat with him, Dhawan reminisced about all the movies he’s loved while growing up, the effect of the pandemic on him and his family, the box-office success of recent films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, Kashmir Files, and even gave a little hint about his much-talked-about OTT debut with Samantha Prabhu.

Varun Dhawan Lifestyle Asia India

What are your earliest memories as a kid about watching Hindi films?

Some of my earliest memories would be watching Dharamji (Dharmendra) fighting supernatural creatures or Mithun Chakraborty films on television. I remember coming back from school and watching these films on VCR. Even Govinda films were my favourite, especially the ones with my dad David Dhawan. I have early and fond memories of watching Andaz Apna Apna as well.

Showbiz was hit badly by the pandemic. What kind of an impact it has had on you and your family?

It had a large impact on me because of the business that my family and I are in. We had just finished Coolie No.1, and it was a theatrical film made for those single screens. My father has made 45 films, he doesn’t know anything else but his films releasing on the big screen. So, to accept that your film will not be releasing in theatres, but just coming on TV directly or on a streamer was difficult. I think I pretty much called it right in the beginning. My brother and my father were not agreeing. They felt it (the pandemic) will last three months. I felt it was going to be long and eventually we got Amazon Prime as a partner. They were great partners, and the film got the showcasing it needed and got the reach it needed on ZeeTV too. We’re grateful for that. I introspected a lot during that time and saw the world differently.

Varun Dhawan interview | Lifestyle Asia India

I’m sure you must be glad that it was released on OTT and got the viewership, but did you miss the mad Friday rush?

Hundred percent! I missed it. That’s a different kind of a buzz. But considering what was happening around me at that point, I was just happy that at least it had a release. And you know more than anything I was happy that people who put in their money into it, made money. How many people can say during a pandemic that their film has made money? And ours made good money. It added another profitable film to my list.

How are you usually on a regular movie release Friday?

It goes from me being nervous to me praying a lot to me being super-chilled to me knowing what will happen to me being anxious. I go through a gamut of emotions.

Varun Dhawan interview | Lifestyle Asia India

Which was the one Friday that you were the most confident about?

Before Judwaa 2, I was super confident. I was also assured about ABCD2 and Badrinath Ki Dulhania. To be honest, even during October, I was confident because I knew what the film is and what will happen. I knew at that time people would question the box-office performance, but I was clear what I wanted the film to do for me. And years down the line, people give that film love in a different way.

Which was the first film you saw after the theatres opened?

The first film I saw after the theatres opened was Sooryavanshi. I was shooting for Jug Jug Jeeyo, and I went to see the film in Pune with Kiara (Advani) and the whole crew of the film. Since the theatres have started, I’ve seen a lot of films. I saw Batman, Dune, Gangubai Kathiawadi.

What do you have to say about the success of Gangubai Kathiawadi and Alia Bhatt’s performance in it?

Alia is so damn good in the film and she’s amazing to watch on screen. The film’s success is great for the industry, and it gave a lot of confidence to a lot of people. It happens when films which people don’t think will be big but make a mark. What’s happening with Kashmir Files also is fantastic. When a film of that budget goes on to do such massive business, it gives a great feeling to everyone.

Varun Dhawan interview | Lifestyle Asia India

There’s a strong buzz that you are making a debut on OTT soon with a series co-starring Samantha Prabhu.

Honestly, there’s nothing much I can say and can’t divulge any details. I definitely can’t deny it. Talks are going on at this moment. Samantha and I did meet with Raj and DK, and it was good and exciting.

This October, you are completing a decade in the film industry. What are the things you’ve learnt in the last 10 years?

Don’t judge anyone, don’t be an asshole and nothing is constant.

Exclusive: We went back to the cinemas with Varun Dhawan to discuss movies, OTT, and more

Rahul Gangwani

Rahul Gangwani has been an integral part of the media & entertainment industry for over a decade now. When not eyeing the latest in films and fashion, he loves spending time with his adorable puppy, making travel plans and looking for the newest restaurants in town.


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