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What Makes Marriage Work? Varun Tells Us

By MOHNISH SINGH
Last updated on: June 16, 2022 16:07 IST
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'Before you get married, you should know each other's secrets.'
'You should know all the things that could cause problems later on.'

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan with Kiara Advani. Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram

Varun Dhawan is very confident about Jug Jugg Jeeyo, which releases next Friday, June 24.

"If you make a good film, it will work," Varun tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh.

The JugJugg Jeeyo trailer looks promising.

If I had my way, I would have shown you the film today because we are happy with the way it has shaped up.

(Producer) Karan Johar has seen the film, and I have to gauge from his behaviour how he feels about the film. He gets very stressed out when it comes to films. But he said the film will have a great Sunday.

So instead of putting pressure on myself, I am putting it on what he has told me.

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani in JugJugg Jeeyo. Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram

We are going to watch a family entertainer after a long time.

I have grown up watching films like Hum Saath Saath Hain, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Hum Aapke Hain... Koun!, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

I have loved these films while growing up, so obviously when I became an actor, these films attracted me.

But there has to be a different premise; we cannot do the same thing again and again.

So, when this subject came to me of a young couple -- this boy wanting to divorce his wife and his wife wanting to leave him, and then the boy comes home to tell his father but his father is like 'I also want to leave your mother' -- it attracted me.

Now, only I know this information.

Kiara's character doesn't know it neither does my sister.

Nobody knows about this in the family.

Only I know that my father wants to leave my mother and that my wife and I are also having a problem, and I am trying to handle everything.

My sister is getting married, and I am helping as a brother.

Amidst this, his father asks him to meet his girlfriend, who happens to be his son's childhood teacher.

It's a great situation to create comedy.

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan with Anil Kapoor, Neetu Kapoor and Kiara Advani in JugJugg Jeeyo.

How do you think Hindi cinema has changed after the pandemic, keeping in mind the success of South Indian films?

I feel cinema is doing well right now.

The audience has the right to choose what cinema they want to watch.

If you make a good film, it will work.

What about the seven-eight major recent Bollywood flops?

That has happened because for two-and-a-half years, nothing released.

A lot of outdated films, which people held on to during the pandemic, released (when theatres opened).

I feel a good film will come and it will work.

We have a lot of good films coming, but every film cannot be great.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram

What do you feel the audience wants to watch?

The audience won't watch a bad film.

Whether it's a Hindi film or a south film, they don't want to watch a bad film.

They want to watch good films because they have the choice now.

What is the 'Varun effect' that you try to bring in when you do a film like this?

I tried to put it in every scene, but the director pulls me out.

He would be like, 'Varun, I don't want you to look like yourself in this. I want you to be very vulnerable.'

Because the man on the other end is my father, not my friend. I have to deal with the situation with a certain amount of respect.

It doesn't matter if he is having an affair.

I can't hit him.

I can't go beyond the level because that father and son relationship comes in between.

If he wasn't my dad, he could have done anything.

So, there is comedy in frustration.

It is situational because he wants to say it, but isn't able to.

My best friend is Maniesh Paul in the film. He is Kiara's brother and he doesn't know that Kiara and I are having a problem, so he is more on my side than on Kiara's side.

So he goes and tells my dad a lot of stuff.

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan with Kiara Advani and Anil Kapoor. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anil Kapoor/Instagram

How much fun was it to work with Anil Kapoor and everyone else?

It was a lot of fun working with Anil sir, Neetu ma'am, Kiara, Maniesh, and Prajakta (Koli), who is so popular with the youth. She brings new energy. She does so much comedy on YouTube, but hers is a very different target group.

So when we did scenes with her, I realised her timing was different.

It was not filmi.

It's different but funny, very funny.

Was it difficult to do emotional scenes in a film filled with comedy?

No. Ultimately, emotions are important in a film.

Kiara and I have that in the film.

Neetu ma'am and I have those emotional scenes.

As an actor, I love drama also.

IMAGE: Varun Dhawan with wife Natasha Dalal. Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram

What do you think takes to make a marriage work?

Friendship.

I feel before you get married, you should know each other well.

You should know all the things that could cause problems later on.

You want to discover new things, which you will obviously because people evolve.

But you should know each other's secrets well in advance.

It should not be like, 'Oh, you do this also? You are like that?'

That can rock the boat.

How long had you known Natasha?

I have known my wife for, I don't know, like last 20 years or so.

Any learnings from this film?

Don't be like Bheem (Anil Kapoor's character).

Photograph: Kind courtesy Varun Dhawan/Instagram

The film talks about a family reunion. A number of your collogues from the industry, which is like a big family, have gone out of their way to promote your film by making reels on the film's song. How does it feel?

I think this is a great question. When our song Naach Punjaban released, I did a reel with my dad (film-maker David Dhawan) and then I left for filming my next film,Bawaal.

But every day, literally every day, someone or the other has been dancing on the song and sending it to us.

It was like a reunion only, because we couldn't meet each other due to the pandemic.

Generally, when you meet you are like, 'Please do it for me.'

But I have literally not called people to do anything and I am not joking.

But be it Vicky (Kaushal), Ananya (Panday) or Vijay (Deverakonda), people are doing it and sending it to me, saying, 'We have also done it.'

Television actors are also doing it.

A lot of influencers are doing it.

The makers usually pay for these things to happen, but in our case, this has not happened.

This has taken off very organically and it's multiplying.

Ranveer (Singh) did it with Sara Ali Khan.

They don't need to do these things, but they still did it.

Did you ever get surprised by something that happened in your family?

That I was going to become a Chacha again, as my brother (film-maker Rohit Dhawan) was expecting a child for the second time.

I did not expect that they were going to surprise us like that.

My niece Niyara had just turned three.

I did not know anything about the second pregnancy, so, when my bhabhi told me she was pregnant, I was like, 'Again, wow'.

That was a very good surprise.

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MOHNISH SINGH