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Dhawans share the stage at IFFI

Dhawans share the stage at IFFI



David and Varun Dhawan have garnered a lot of fame in the Bollywood film industry. David Dhawan is known for his films like ‘Swarg’, ‘Judwaa’, ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’, ‘Coolie No 1’ and others. Varun on the other hand is known for acting in films like ‘Student of the Year’, ‘Badlapur’, ‘October’, ‘Judwaa 2’, ‘ABCD2’. The father-son duo shared the stage at IFFI and gave an insight into their life, career, cinema and much more.

Not planned for a film career

Being an actor was not initially in Varun’s plan list, he wanted to own a television channel and host a comedy talk show through which he could make the audience laugh.“I used to love comedy and some of my favourite comedians were Jim Carrey, Govinda, Mehmood and others. I was so obsessed with their talent that I wanted to be like them. Also, if you see in every friend circles or groups they always have one friend who entertains everyone and makes them laugh so did I; I wanted to make everyone laugh and wanted to leave a lasting impression on their lives,” said Varun.

His father said he was unaware of his passion and all he knew was that Varun would work in a bank as he had applied for a job there. “I thought he wanted to work in a bank and I was pretty okay about it but then one day Karan Johar came to me and said he wanted to cast him in his next film. I was surprised I did not even know that Varun had already auditioned for the film and Karan liked his work and told me to direct the same film. I was happy at least this would give Varun a break but at the same time, he also auditioned for certain films which I was just scared as it was the initial start of his career,” David said.

David in making

Varun recalls how he discovered that his dad was a famous director and the world knew him. “I was playing on the terrace and I climbed the tank. Suddenly, the watchman walked up and started shouting at me to get down and said your dad is a famous director he will shout at me. And I was like, everyone knows that my dad is famous and was I the last one to realise it?” said Varun.

David then spoke about his journey, starting out as a film editor after which he began directing films, over 65 to put a number. Interestingly, David’s actual name was Rajinder, he shared how he got the filmy name. “When I was young, I would go to our neighbours home who were Jewish, they used to call me David all the time and thus slowly everyone picked it up and began calling me David. When I went to apply for my studies at the FTII, my father called up and he said, don’t say you are Rajinder, just keep David. I will do the paper work and change the name,” said David to which, Varun replied laughing, that his grandfather must have realised that the name would work in the future.

Serious business

Varun went on to share some secrets about shootings, especially when he worked with his father. David was always very strict and serious with Varun. He recollected an incident when he fell off the bike while doing a stunt for a film and got hurt, to which his father retorted: Go send him back to Dharma Productions where they treat him royally. “I was very upset; he is my father and why is he being this way to me. That’s when Rohit, my brother, made me understand that dad has worked with big celebrities and has treated everyone equally and you’ll have to go to him, he won’t come to you or treat you differently,” said Varun.

But his father takes no credit for his success, “Whatever Varun is today it is all his hard work, dedication and passion to do something that has got him all this” said David.

Varun’s acting

Varun does not believe in restricting himself to a particular role and wants to explore all genres. He believes an actor needs to explore all the areas of acting and should know how to do it all. For him acting in films is not a means to earn money but to follow his passion and leave a lasting impression on the minds of the audience.

Student of the Year’s film release was not as stressful, he admits, as much as the ‘Main Tera Hero’ film release was. “In Student of the Year there were three actors like Alia, me and Sidharth and though it was the first time, we were equally responsible for our acts and more over it was Karan’s dream. But in ‘Main Tera Hero’, I was the only one there and had to give my best. I had lot of stress thinking of the response from the audience, the film and much more.”

Speaking of his experiences so far, Varun said that he has evolved a lot as an actor. “I learnt to be calm and slow. I understood the importance of listening to the director and following his instructions. Everything is possible if you have determination and power. There is nothing one cannot achieve,” he said.

Love for elder sibling

While Varun’s parents were at work and busy making a living, Varun credits his elder brother Rohit for being there for him and supporting all his endeavours. “My mom was busy with her work and dad would take three to four films at a time but back home was my brother, who is my real hero and my angel. Work wise he is a great director and I am looking forward for his upcoming film that is going to be quite exciting,” Varun said.

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