Home EntertainmentBollywood Amitji checked on me every day. He is spectacular and a great man: Varun Dhawan

Amitji checked on me every day. He is spectacular and a great man: Varun Dhawan

Actor Varun Dhawan will next be seen in Coolie No.1, which will start streaming from December 25 onwards, on an OTT platform.

He is known for his happy-go-lucky personality and ebullient nature. Probably that’s why even when Varun Dhawan contracted Covid-19 virus, he continued to do promotional work of his next, Coolie No. 1, digitally. Interestingly, besides all the other innumerable good wishes and messages, the actor had a special well-wisher during his illness. “One person, who checked on me throughout when I was unwell is Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan). He diligently asked me every day if I was doing fine. And I was like, ‘I have to get okay now (smiles).’ He is spectacular and a great man,” says Dhawan, who recovered, and tested negative last week. Excerpts from an interview:

How are you feeling now? The illness period must be a difficult one…

Definitely! Honestly, we took every precaution possible; we were wearing masks [on the sets of Jug Jugg Jeeyo] but when you have to deliver your lines, you have to remove your masks. Also, if you make a film, there are going to be people around. That’s why it’s difficult for me to say as to how I got it because I don’t know. But luckily, my immunity is good so I have gone through it. But if I can just warn people, I want to say that everyone should take every precaution possible and take this [virus] very seriously as it’s a serious disease. I still feel weakness and doctors have said that it will take some time (for things to get back to normalcy). But I have a lot of work to finish because Coolie No.1 is coming on the December 25, and plus, I’ve to shoot [for Jug Jugg Jeeyo] and complete my commitment for the film.

How does it feel to be back on the sets, for Jug Jugg Jeeyo?

I wish everyone understands that but even our industry gives employment to a number of people. And I am not talking only about ‘top talents’ or those who are in front of the camera. There are many others who also leave their families and come to work on a film set. For example, my staff/team members including the makeup and hair assistant, and my Man Friday, have to earn their daily wages. Likewise, there are others like spot-boys, and costume assistants etc. on a film set. So when a movie gets made, they get employment as well. Every industry is suffering at the moment but we have to try and make things work. We have to make a comeback.

Not just the film industry, the Covid-19 is affecting every other industry including the media. We have all grown up reading papers and during the lockdown, when we didn’t get newspapers for several weeks, life felt a bit incomplete every morning. For some reason, a visual is stuck in my head of my father having his morning tea, reading the paper and then announcing the news to everyone else in the house. Obviously, we have to adapt, move on and do things in a different way maybe, but I feel certain people get happiness when they see other people going through tough times, which is not cool at all.

Next up is Coolie No.1 for you. What’s the feeling like?

The film is made to entertain and put a smile on people’s faces. It is a full-on David Dhawan style film. I feel it is one genre that has remained relevant through three decades, and that’s what it promises – entertainment. I just wish that people watch it with their families. It is a ‘massy’ film and meant to entertain a mass audience but at the same time, every member of the family can watch it. It is two hours of pure fun and frolic.

How was it working with your father again after Main Tera Hero and Judwaa 2?

Both those films did well and that’s why he has done another one with me (laughs). I think, for him his career is very important and it is amazing to work with a man who is so driven even at this age. His drive towards people is immense. Every scene in Coolie No.1 has entertainment written all over it. It will make you smile or bring a chuckle on your face.

It’s a remake/adaptation of a hit film, Coolie No.1 (starring Govinda and Karisma Kapoor). Are you, in a way, worried about comparisons?

That’s a part-and-parcel [when you attempt a remake) and I was aware. It’s human nature. If I wasn’t in the film, my instinct would also be the same. But as I said during Judwaa 2, it’s been 25 years since the original one came out, so there are a lot of children who have not seen the film. There are a lot of young people – whom I do films for – who have not seen the original one. Also, it’s an out-and-out comedy film. And this year we have not had too many comedy films apart from maybe a Lootcase. So, in a way, I feel I am doing something different because this year on OTT, there has been a lot of serious/intense films and content. So at a time, when everyone is doing that, I am doing comedy so alag hua na (smiles). I myself have enjoyed the serious/intense content during the lockdown. I honestly believe that that some brilliant content is coming out now. For instance, I loved Scam 1992, Paatal Lok and Mirzapur 2, but thoda sa hasna bhi zaroori hai.

How did you deal with the lockdown period? It must be tough?

Honestly, I came to realise a lot of things during the lockdown and promised myself that I will do a lot of things differently but as soon as I went back to work, I went back to my old way of life (smiles). But as I was contracted with Covid-19, it just stopped me in my tracks. Also, I would not like to shoot without a vaccine if I have to be anywhere near my family. I am only able to shoot [Jug Jugg Jeeyo] because I am away from my loved ones. But work is also very important. All the young people who are able to should work because that’s the only way to move forward. Our Prime Minister has also said that we have to work but safely with all the precautions in place.

Talking of Coolie No.1, you worked with a very interesting star cast including Sara Ali Khan, Rajpal Yadav, Johny Lever, Paresh Rawal and Jaaved Jaaferi among others…

All of them are such amazing artists. I worked with Jaaved sir and Paresh sir for the first time and their style is so different. There is so much to learn in terms of how they pitch their dialogues. I feel we have created something that will have an impact on screen. It’s been a long time since people have seen a mass masala film. It’s a dhamaal comedy film which can only happen in a Hindi film, and if you have missed that, this film is for you. At least, I miss going to the theatre and enjoying my samosa, bhel and popcorn. I would love to do that again because that’s what who I am as a person.

Kareena Kapoor Khan has reportedly ‘confirmed’ that you are now engaged to girlfriend, Natasha Dalal. True?

Honestly, nothing has happened. No ceremony has happened but obviously when I have been with a person for so many years, the commitment is there and then if one calls her anything of mine, that’s right only because she is. I am in a committed relationship and that means I am only with her and there is no one else.

So, there has been no engagement?

Nahi nahi, aisa kucch bhi nahi hua. For the past 18-20 days, I have been in a live in relationship with myself only since I was quarantined due to Covid-19.

Also, talks are that a destination wedding was being planned in Thailand this year…

I know there are rumours but there were no marriage plans and there can’t be because we also lost a family member due to Covid-19 this year. Now, I am like, ‘2020 khatam ho jaaye bas.’ Year end hote hote I got Covid-19. You know, we decided to release Coolie No.1, on December 25 so that people can end the year on a happy note, and then they should keep watching it next year too (smiles).

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