Exclusive Interview with Varun Dhawan
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By Ninder Kaur
With the first instalment of Anybody Can Dance (ABCD) performing phenomenally well at the box office in 2013, Disney India is all set to release the sequel on an even higher note. With stunning international locales, eccentric music, sizzling performances and lead acting roles from Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor.
The film is based on the real life struggle of a Mumbai based dance troupe, led by Suresh Mukund, who go on to win the World Hip-Hop Dance Championship.
I caught up Varun Dhawan, the son of director David Dhawan, brother of Desi Boyz director Rohit Dhawan about his lead role in the newly released dance movie.
- The first movie had such great success. How will this one live up to it?
Well I can only hope that this movie lives up to its expectations. People are expecting a lot since the trailer went viral. The songs are doing really well, especially Sun Saathiya- people are going crazy over it. What’s great about this film is that its bigger and better than the first. The film is really emotional and takes you on a patriotic journey. It has been made with the best dance talent of India. We truly believe that this movie will make people want to dance because like the film says- Anybody Can Dance.
- Obviously you weren’t in the first film. What made you want to audition and be part of the movie? How was it playing a real life character-Suresh Mukund?
I was blown away with the script. It is such a great story about how a dance group went all the way to Las Vegas to perform in a competition. It was the first time India took part. Being a dancer, I always wanted to do something to show my love and attitude and this film has fit the bill for me to show what I can do. I had to train for 6 months and learn 20 different dance forms. Me and Shraddha would start with the basic dance moves. We’d train twice a day, going once in the morning to Remo’s studio and then in the evening. It was different to everything we had been used to. It wasn’t just Bollywood dancing, we were trying to match up with some of the best dance groups in the world. I’ve been exposed to and learnt so many dance forms during the making of the film.
- Looking at the promos some of the moves are incredible. How easy was it for you to get into character for this film? It wasn’t easy but it happened so organically for me. Suresh, who I play, was on set 24/7. He was there with me every time. Before I did a scene I discussed it with him. I got to learn his body language from the way he moved to the way he talked. So there were a lot of things in his personality that I got to put into the Suresh that I played on screen.
- We hear for a scene in the film you have mimicked the dancing styles of Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Govinda. Previously mimicking senior artists has got some stars in trouble, if true how do you think people will react to your take offs on them?
This is true. I wanted to do something on the spur of the moment so I tried the different dancing styles of my favourite actors. There is a scene in the film where Prabhu and Dileep have taught me to do small imitation. It was all just good fun. The actors have tweeted about the film and shown their support and appreciation.
- Your co-star Shraddha Kapoor says she had a crush in you when she was little, how do you take such compliments? How was it working with childhood friend?
I just blush. We are very comfortable working together. We have such a great relationship and we have so much fun both on-screen and off-screen.
- There is news that the release of the film has been postponed by a day due to Ramadan. Do you think releasing a film during the first few days of Ramadan will impact on the films opening at the box office?That is not my call. The production team deal with that. Despite it being Ramadan, everyone has been excited about the release. I just want everyone to see my film. I am sure people who can’t see it now will watch it when they can.
- Expectations are higher for ABCD2 than they were for ABCD. Firstly ABCD2 follows the hit original and secondly, ABCD2 seems to have been made on a much bigger scale. While the first film starred newcomers from various TV dance reality shows, the sequel has you and Shraddha Kapoor who have starred in several hit films. Do you feel any pressure?
There is a lot of pressure to live up to. I think there is more pressure learning the dance routines and working with the dancers who do this as a profession. The whole experience has been more of a learning opportunity. I have learnt so much from the best dancers in the country.
- You have shown your acting ability in films like Badlapur, where you have played a much more older character with action and intense drama. And you have also done well in both romantic and comedy roles. How do you decide on which film to accept? Is it all about the team your working with these days, or do you make your decision entirely on the script?
It has a lot to do with the team and the script. It is balance between the two. If i’m not comfortable working with the team then I don’t think I can accept the film. I get really passionate about the projects I work on, so if I see the same passion in the director then that’s when I know I am working with the right people. Like with ABCD2, the director Remo D’Souza was really passionate and I knew that I made made the right choice accepting the film.
- Rap scene in the film? Would that be something you would take up ?
That’s just a one off. It was the first time I’ve tried rapping and we wanted to something fun. We wanted to bring all of the elements in to the film- rapping, singing and dancing so that there is something for everyone.
- What’s next for you?
I am working on a new action-comedy film called Dishoom which is being directed by my brother Rohit. It has taken my brother a couple of years to write the script, so I am really excited to start it. The movie will star John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez and Akshay Khanna. There is a lot of work going on at the moment and hopefully I live up to all the high expectations.
ABCD 2 is out in cinemas now.
After bringing to the audiences, India’s first 3D Dance Film; ABCD Any Body Can Dance, Disney India and ace Choreographer turned Director Remo D’Souza are back with its spectacular sequel, ABCD 2. The second chapter promises to be even bigger in scale with current heartthrobs Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead and the inimitable dancing star Prabhu Dheva reprising his role of Vishnu Sir.
The story traces the journey of an Indian dance troupe, who come from the backstreets of a Mumbai suburb; their rise to fame, sudden downfall and then their heroic attempt to regain their lost glory and pride. Will they be able to achieve success at the biggest International platform?
ABCD 2 is a 3D Dance Film which travels to the vibrant city of Las Vegas and is a bittersweet journey of love, friendship, betrayal, honour and redemption.
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