Exclusive interview! Varun Sharma: I wanted to be someone’s Raj and was looking for my Simran for the longest time – Eagles Vine

As soon as we connect with Varun Sharma, who is currently busy with the promotions of his soon-to-release horror-comedy ‘Roohi’, he shares how happy he is to be able to urge the audience to watch his film in theatres after waiting for one long year. Over the course of the chat, the actor reveals how he came on board the film, his plan of action for a zombie apocalypse, and his filmy childhood. Read on:

Are you a fan of horror films or do you get scared?

I had watched ‘Bhoot’ as a kid and was so scared afterward that I had stopped watching horror films altogether. But ‘Stree’ changed everything. I think that’s why horror-comedy, as a genre, works. The comedy comforts you enough to deal with the horror elements.

So, do you now watch horror movies?

Yes, during the lockdown I binge-watched on a lot of out-and-out horror films.

How did ‘Roohi’ happen?

I fell off the chair laughing when writers Mrighdeep Singh Lamba and Gautam Mehra, and producer Dinesh Vijan, gave me a narration. I was flipping especially over the love angle, which is so whacky and quirky. They have written it in a way that you will be convinced my character is in love with the chudail. Plus, the makers of the film are building a horror-comedy universe and I certainly wanted to be a part of it.

Were you, at any point, apprehensive that the makers might want to opt for a digital release?

It’s not easy for makers to hold on to a film for a long time but I am so grateful that Maddox Films did even when everything looked really uncertain in the beginning. A horror-comedy like ‘Roohi’ is more fun when watched with the whole family on the big screen, so I am glad we are releasing it in theatres.

Why did you colour your hair red for the film?

Don’t I look cute (chuckles)? A lot of thought went into it, actually. The story is set in a fictional town that’s located around the UP and MP border. So, I used to watch a lot of viral videos generated from that part of the country when prepping for the role. I have tried to imbibe the confidence with which they carry themselves and their look.

What would you do if you fall in love with a chudail in real-life?

I don’t know what I’ll do but one thing is sure, now I know how to woo and impress a chudail, which should come handy should I have such a spirited encounter (laughs).

What would be your plan of action during a zombie apocalypse?

I will dress as a zombie myself and join the herd then they will not realise that I am one of them. And if they sniff me out, it will be really bad timing!

Were there times when you and Rajkummar Rao improvised since you both have impeccable comic timing?

We stuck with the script for the most part but there are certain sequences where Raj and I improvised. Even the director was fine with it because it seemed organic.

Your character seems quite filmy, going ‘Palat…palat’. Are you filmy in real-life too?

Cinema has impacted my life in a big way right from my childhood. I am a true blue ’90s kid who flaunted a ‘COOL’ chain after Shah Rukh wore one in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, and even wore a hairband after watching John Abraham rock one in ‘Elaan’. I wanted to be someone’s Raj and was looking for my Simran for the longest time; unfortunately, I didn’t find her.

What is the one most filmy thing you have done?

There was a girl I used to like in school but that was the pre-cell phone era and we had to talk on landline phones, which was difficult when parents were around. Luckily, both her mother and mine used to watch ‘Kasautii Zindagi Kay’, so I used to call her up at that time. Soon, we had figured out the break timings so we’d know when to hang up and reconnect. That show played a huge role in my love life. But then it ended, as did my relationship (laughs).

The show had a part 2 though…

(Guffaws) Unfortunately, there was no sequel to my love life!

What are you doing in Cirkus?

I’ll tell you later else I’ll be scolded.

Okay, tell me about Rohit Shetty then. Since you are filmy, were you a fan?

Oh, I have a lot of respect for him and am a huge ‘Golmaal’ fan. Every time it airs on TV, no matter which part or which scene it is on when I tune in, I watch it.

You seem to have a choc-a-bloc diary for the year…

2021 looks very beautiful; I have ‘Roohi’, ‘Cirkus’, and ‘Fukrey 3’ in the offing. I am working with the people I wanted to and doing the kind of roles I had always dreamt of. It’s a very amazing feeling!

Do you feel the pressure to constantly deliver now since it is said that making people laugh is more difficult than making them cry?

Of course, there is constant pressure to deliver. When your performances get noticed, the audience starts expecting similar or even better work from you. When they see me in a film, they might be looking for a particular level of humour. So, I am always conscious of giving it my best shot. It’s a healthy pressure to have.

Do you want to do non-comic roles too?

Yes, I’d love to. I like thrillers a lot and would want to be a part of one, and attempt other genres too. I hope I get offered something in the space but I don’t want to do it just for the heck of doing a non-comic role. It has to be something good.

You couldn’t attend Varun Dhawan’s wedding…

I went to his house for a small get-together; it was super fun! I am very happy that he is married now and Natasha (Dalal) ‘bhabi’ is officially our bhabi now.


The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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