“There was no nervousness about playing a role which was originally written for Shah Rukh Khan” – Varun Dhawan

In his (almost) seven-year long career, Varun Dhawan has not delivered a single flop. That is not his biggest achievement so far but it is definitely an important one in an industry where actors wait for years looking for that elusive hit. In this interview, the actor talks about playing a role which was originally written for Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Kalank’, similarities between Zafar and him, the responsibility attached with remaking a successful film like ‘Coolie No.1’ and whether ‘Rannbhoomi’ will be made in the near future.

Zafar, the character you play, was originally written with Shah Rukh Khan in mind. Were you nervous at the thought of portraying a character which was written for one of the biggest superstars in the country?
There was no nervousness about playing a role which was originally written for him. In our industry, a lot of the times a role is written for a particular actor but because of various factors, another actor ends up doing it. The film was supposed to be made a long time ago. At that time, Karan (Johar) had Shah Rukh (Khan) sir in mind for this role. Later, when Abhishek (Varman) came on board to direct the film, he reimagined the film and wrote a fresh screenplay. He believed I would be able to do justice to Zafar’s role and I hope I have been able to live up to his expectations.

Was it tough preparing for the role?
It was very tough. It was physically difficult but also there is a lot of emotional baggage attached to my character. I remember Abhishek telling me that I cannot show my teeth when I am smiling (laughs). He wants the audience to find Zafar a little arrogant when they see him for the first time. Zafar is a very quiet person but he has got a lot of aggression within him.

Do you find any similarities between Zafar and you?
I think there is one similarity. If I believe something is wrong, I will take a stand against it even if there is nobody around to support me. Zafar has that quality too.

Which is your favourite character from the film?
My favourite character is Roop (Alia Bhatt). It is a very interesting character and Alia has done complete justice to it.

Your dad and you delivered a successful remake with ‘Judwaa 2’. Both of you are now working on the remake of ‘Coolie No.1’.
There are hopes and expectations from the film and then, there will be people who believe we will make a mess out of it. When I watched ‘Coolie No.1’ for the first time, I had a great time watching it. It is one of the funniest films I have seen in my life. I want people to feel the same when we come out with our version. We are not making a remake of ‘Coolie No. 1’. We are adapting it. Dad has changed a lot of things in the original screenplay and it is a fresh take on the subject.

Is ‘Rannbhoomi’ happening?
It will happen. It has been pushed for some time but it is a wonderful script and I am sure Shashank (Khaitan) will make it when he feels he is ready.


“I make it a point to meet everybody who wants to narrate a script to me” – Alia Bhatt

“I say yes to a script only if I like it immediately” – Sonakshi Sinha