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HT Brunch Cover Story: What Makes Varun Dhawan Bollywood Most Beloved?




If we were to ask readers to recall the last cover of Varun Dhawans Brunch HT, where the actor appeared with the dog filter covering his face, were sure seven in ten would be successful. Because in the world of perfect cover photos, it takes an open mind and a willingness to experiment for a major league Bollywood star to cover their face, especially when appearing on the cover of the biggest. Indian magazine.

That very quality made Varun the most beloved Millennial star he is today.

Varun and Natasha choose their favorite movies
Varun and Natasha choose their favorite movies

Nobody from the people

I was just 23 when I started in the public eye. My audience and my followers saw and identified everything I was going through, just as I grew up with them, Varun says. I’ve said stupid things, and sometimes said smart things. But anyway, I went from my twenties to thirties with this generation. This is probably why they identify with me so well.

Varun Dhawans previous covers of the HT Brunch in 2012 (left) and 2017 (right)
Varun Dhawans previous covers of the HT Brunch in 2012 (left) and 2017 (right)

Image consultants and marketing gurus can officially take a break. For the Varun spontaneously disarming on social networks, this is where love lies. Yes, I think that at the beginning the managers advised me [against putting up social media posts so spontaneously]. But you know what, a lot of people find me randomly. I have been called this all my life, from school. So I appreciated that. Even though I’m now in my thirties, I find it very easy to connect with people younger than me. I find it fun to sit down and have a conversation with them about their life, their daily issues that concern them

If #Relatability is a Varuns playing card, does he think a star today is popular if people see the real you, no filter, no makeup?

A photo from Varuns' Instagram feed which he captioned Life Isn't Always Black and White.  There were over 10 lakh likes last week
A photo from Varuns’ Instagram feed which he captioned Life Isn’t Always Black and White. There were over 10 lakh likes last week

See, I think at the end of the day there is a commercial side. It is much better for the industry as a whole to have a greater number of smaller stars than to have only three large stars. There’s a lot more work to be done, whether it’s through TV commercials, through social media, whatever! In today’s world, you don’t have to pay a movie star as much as you have social media stars and others who can represent you. The world has moved, Varun says.

Then, after a thoughtful pause, he adds, as the world moves more toward this obsession, I pull away from it. I don’t want to be clicked all the time, it bothers me a bit. Fortunately, we now wear masks, so it’s a good way to protect ourselves.

With her mother Laali Dhawan and her brother Rohit for her birthday
With her mother Laali Dhawan and her brother Rohit for her birthday

Point taken. What does Varun say about the moments when he puts himself on purpose, just before the release of a film?

It doesn’t come from a professional POS, although a lot of people can break it down that way, he explains. For me, it comes from a space of creating excitement to get people to go and have this cinematic experience. When I was younger I remember Akshay Kumar picking up Undertaker and it made me so excited to watch this movie. It helped my cinematic experience, and that’s what I want to do.

Will we now see less Varun on social media? And is this a repercussion of 2020?

Body of Varun Dhawans when he was 16 years old
Body of Varun Dhawans when he was 16 years old

I’ll always do fun things, Varun assures us. But I’ll make sure to indulge in positive things. Taking a stand in real life is what matters, and what I would like to do. Social media is not a place to make big claims. Actions speak louder than a tweet.

His lady’s man

Varun Dhawan is also Bollywood’s latest bachelor, having tied the knot with his girlfriend Natasha Dalal, whom he met in sixth grade school nearly two decades ago. Unlike new Bollywood stars, he never strayed from his relationship and never talked about it either.

Varun Dhawan tied the knot with Natasha Dalal on January 24 this year
Varun Dhawan tied the knot with Natasha Dalal on January 24 this year

I think it was a joint decision [between Natasha and me] not to talk about us because she is not part of that lineage, says Varun. As for living the life that I lived, honestly, when I was a teenager, I did things that teenagers do, when I was 20, I did things at 20, I saw Natasha on the basketball court at school. was in the yellow house and I was in red. And it occurred to me that I will marry this girl someday, he said.

Why we can't help but love Varun Dhawan!
Why we can’t help but love Varun Dhawan!

Nothing has changed in our relationship after marriage, he continues. I think we’ve known each other for too many years. I’m happy and everything, but after the wedding I got down to work too. I’m starting a new film, I had some assignments to complete, there was also a lot of preparation work. I feel more focused and more grounded. But again, I just got married, so I’m finding out for myself!

With his father, filmmaker David Dhawan
With his father, filmmaker David Dhawan

While most men let go after marriage, Varun seems to be in better shape than ever. Which give?

Varun laughs. Honestly, it’s for a movie I’m getting into. I did a lot of animal flows: I don’t need a lot of muscle, but a lot of strength. And after Covid, it was difficult! (See box.)

Varun with his niece Niara
Varun with his niece Niara

Future filmography

Unlike stars who flirt with pretty faces, Varuns flirts with movie genres. From extremely commercial stories to niche, cerebral stories that have limited audiences.

Ok, so October could be called an arthouse. But no, that’s not strategic either. People think I’m a random guy. These decisions are about how I feel artistically right now, he explains.

With actor Alia Bhatt in Jalandhar in 2019
With actor Alia Bhatt in Jalandhar in 2019

So now that he can choose, will such a mixture be his formula for the future?

I don’t want a formula. I don’t know if it’s the right thing to say or the wrong thing. These rules are made by human beings, so if they are to be challenged and broken, it should only be done by us, Varun says.

Varun Dhawan on post-Covid care
Varun Dhawan on post-Covid care

Does he think he’s #BollywoodsMostLoved because of his jovial dad David Dhawan and his warm, outgoing mom, Laali? What work ethic did he learn from his father and what social skill did she entrust to his mother?

Varun had several tests and often posted negative results on social media, but he contracted Covid during a shoot in Chandigarh in December.
Varun did several tests and often posted negative results on social media, but he contracted Covid while filming in Chandigarh in December.

The work ethic I learned from Dad is twofold, says Varun. First of all, producer ka paisa nahin kar sakte waste (never waste a producer investment). And two, give each hit like it’s your last hit. What about my mother? I have too many life lessons. I am who I am today more because of my mother than anyone else. Shes my hero # 1!

Follow @JamalShaikh on Twitter and Instagram

From HT Brunch, February 21, 2021

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