Riding high on the success as well as the praise that he’s earned for his performance in Fukrey Returns, an ecstatic Varun Sharma in a chat with Suranjana Biswas
Congratulations on the success of Fukrey Returns. What was it like teaming up with the fukras again?
I was just very excited because Fukrey is very special to me as it was my debut film. I started my career with this film, so obviously there are a lot of memories attached to this film and the character. We grew very close while we were working on the first part and also during the course of four years, when we were doing different films in our careers. We made it a point to keep in touch and even meet every now and then. So, it was obviously very exciting and very nostalgic for all of us to get back together on the sets. It shaped up really well. We started the shoot of Fukrey Returns exactly where we had started the shoot of the first instalment.
Your character Choocha has become extremely popular. How difficult was it to retain the same energy or rather raise your energy level, in the second instalment?
It was quite tough to get back into character because when I shot for the first film, I was kind of shaping the character; I was working on the body language, characteristics and the traits. Since it was my first film, there was a raw quality and a freshness to the character. Since I was playing the same character after four years, I was familiar with the basic structure of the character but there is a thin line between going overboard with it and underperforming. I was very conscious of that.
It was a little challenging to get back into the character with that similar rawness and freshness, so the director kept correcting me, letting me know about my errors. Also, in the course of four years, I had done projects like Dilwale, Dolly Ki Doli, Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, etc, and I had received a great deal of exposure and maturity in terms of work and age, during these four years. So I had to unlearn a lot of things, and start off fresh, as I had as a 21-22 year old boy, which again was quite challenging..
How does it feel like to get so much appreciation from the audience, for your character?
It is so beautiful; it is very unreal, to be honest. The kind of love pouring in for Fukrey Returns and Choocha is overwhelming. We have gone to some screens and have done some theatre visits, but the best feeling was when I went to Gaiety in Bandra with the crew. When the scenes were on, there were almost 900 people I could see watching the film on a Sunday night. I heard so much laughter and people were enjoying the scenes so much. The audience hooted so much at the scene where I try to impress the girl with SRK’s signature pose. I was almost in tears seeing such a response. It is the first time I have experienced something like this. It felt really nice to see the audience giving a character, a situation and the content so much love.
Thanks to social media, we get to know about the likes and dislikes of the audience. We have been getting such an amazing response from everyone who has watched the film. I feel the characters are very relatable, there is a Choocha in every group or there is a Huney in every group. And that has helped us connect with the audience.
By now, the audience knows that comedy is your forte. What else would you like to explore? Which genre excites you most?
Not many people know that when I used to do theatre while in college, before I came to Mumbai, I never played a comic character and was never part of anything even remotely linked to comedy. I have done really serious plays, like hardcore period dramas and have played Ashwathama. So Fukrey was the first time I played a character like Choocha, which was a funny character. Before Fukrey, I didn’t know I could make people laugh. It is one of the toughest genres to do and also one of the most beautiful genres as you get to make people laugh. There is a lot of love that has poured in for me in this genre and so, this is one thing I will keep doing. It has given me a name and acceptance; it would be wrong to give this up and try other genres. Apart from comedy, the thriller genre looks quite exciting to me.
Fukrey was your debut film and you won many awards for your performance. What are your expectations from Fukrey Returns?
I don’t know about awards. As a kid, I was always very filmy and I used to prepare speeches before I went to bed. I have dreamt of making many speeches in my life, and I have been able to fulfill four to five of them with the first instalment of this film. Let’s see how many more speeches I can make with this one!
This year, comedy films enjoyed a good run at the box office, like Golmaal Again!!!, Judwaa 2 and now Fukrey Returns. What is your take on that?
As a member of the audience, at the end of the day, most of us need an entertaining film. When we go with our families or friends to watch a film, we want to come back with happy thoughts. Also, I believe it is the content of the film that is pulling in the audience.