MUMBAI: The dark mood of his forthcoming film Badlapur has shrouded Varun Dhawan to the extent that his close friends feel that the actor, who found it to be his “most challenging” role, has changed.
“He’s constantly edgy and nervous. He looks through friends at public places…Though he has repeatedly talked about how this role has changed him and so has his mother, Varun’s behaviour still shocked all of us,” said one of his co-stars.
Director Sriram Raghavan, who has earlier made edgy dark thrillers Ek Haseena Thi, Johnny Gaddar and Agent Vinod, says Dhawan had a tough time getting a grip on the role.
“Varun had never suffered the kind of loss and pain that the character has to go through. He told me he had never lost anyone close to him. Varun needed to understand the anguished grief and desperation of the character,” Raghavan said.
The solution was to get close to grief that Varun had never experienced.
“He met people, who had lost someone very dear, just like his character. As he became familiar with bereavement it began to take over his psyche,” said Raghavan.
Badlapur looks like a dark and desolate film, in which one sees Varun playing an inconsolably grieved man.
Varun’s earlier films Student of The Year, Main Tera Hero and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya all featured him as a happy-go-lucky person. To get into this other dark space required a lot of re-acclimatisation.
“Nothing that Varun has done in the past prepared us for the transformation in him. It’s a different human being.”
On the other hand actor Radhika Apte, who plays one of the leads in action-thriller Badlapur, says, “This is a content-driven film, but it’s entertaining too with all the commercial elements.”
She plays the owner of a restaurant in the film and most of her scenes were with Varun Dhawan.
“I play this role of an independent woman. It’s a strong character and that’s all I can reveal about it,” she said.
Radhika believes it’s really brave of Varun to do something “contrary” to his onscreen image.
“I really loved working with Varun. He’s a very hardworking actor. It’s so brave of him that he took a leap of faith. I think it’s really great that he had taken up this project,” she added.
Radhika confessed she’s a fan of director Sriram Raghavan’s work and that she had been waiting for an opportunity to work with him.
“Sriram is very experimental with his ideas and always tries something different. He allows his actors to collaborate and contribute their ideas to the project. He’s supremely talented as a director and writer. I think it’s great that he writes as well as directs,” she said.
Radhika also has projects such as Hunterrr, Manjhi: The Mountain Man, a yet-untitled film with Anurag Kashyap and Telugu film Lion in her kitty.
Also starring in Badlapur are Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautham and Vinay Pathak. The movie will release on the February 20 across cinemas in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2015.