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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon and Dinesh Vijan chat about Bhediya

Tone for adda with trio on their Friday film by Amar Kaushik was set at ITC Royal Bengal’s Skypoint

Saionee Chakraborty Published 24.11.22, 02:26 AM
We were all heart for this frame. Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon at the Esplanade Tram Depot, on Tuesday

We were all heart for this frame. Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon at the Esplanade Tram Depot, on Tuesday

I was probably the only one in a mask at this chat with the Bhediya pair — Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon — at ITC Royal Bengal’s Skypoint, on Tuesday evening. Producer Dinesh Vijan was quick to notice and quipped in a comment that immediately set the tone for this adda with the trio on their Friday film, which has been directed by Amar Kaushik. Excerpts from the fun tete-a-tete....

Dinesh, are you the humour man in the team?

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Dinesh: No, no, Amar Kaushik is the one. We are missing him.

Kriti: He is the creature in the comedy... (laughs)....

Dinesh: I am the creature and she is a darling!

Kriti and Varun, did you have your mishti doi?

Varun: I had one....

Kriti: Actually both of us had one, but we want to have another one...

Varun: But this which Prosenjit sir (from Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick) has sent, is the most special one....

Dinesh: There’s also some good rabri here, na? Imtiaz (Ali) used to... when I had come here for the first Love Aaj Kal...

Kriti: Even rasmalai....

Kriti and Varun enjoyed their second rounds of mishti doi, this one a treat from Prosenjit Chatterjee

Kriti and Varun enjoyed their second rounds of mishti doi, this one a treat from Prosenjit Chatterjee

Prosenjit Chatterjee who was there to give a shout-out to Team Bhediya, with Varun and Kriti

Prosenjit Chatterjee who was there to give a shout-out to Team Bhediya, with Varun and Kriti

We loved the trailer of Bhediya, especially the ending. How much fun was it to work on this?

Dinesh: Jungle, jungle (Jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai/ Arre chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai phool khila hai) you like na? I think Varun Dhawan has one very strong fan base in children who are also now young adults and children and he hasn’t really given them something. We all saw the film last night and I think they are going to go mad! It’s ageagnostic. Everyone will like it, but in two years, there hasn’t really been a film for all generations, especially the young adults and kids to enjoy and this is that film, according to us.

Kriti: Well, it was amazing shooting the film. We shot in Arunchal Pradesh most of it. It was our first time in Arunachal Pradesh. It was beautiful. This film has a world which is unique. The forests are real and vibe of Arunachal Pradesh is just so happy and about 83 per cent of the oxygen comes from there, in India. Amar Kaushik is a blast. I thought Varun’s going to have the maximum energy, but it’s actually Amar. He used to play a song in the beginning of the day. Everyone would dance on it and get into the mood. He has this lovely thing of not saying ‘let’s shoot’. He says ‘khelte hai, khelte hai... khelo, khelo’. The energy on set was amazing.

Varun: We are all friends. Kriti and me are good friends, besides the film too. I became good friends with Paalin (Kabak) and Abhishek (Banerjee) during filming. Amar is one of the most fantastic makers.

And, we were shooting in a place that was just amazing. We could just be free and wild and very liberating. We celebrated Holi too. That was amazing.

Mahesh Bhatt’s iconic Junoon obviously comes to mind. What are your memories of that 1992 film?

Varun: Totally... I actually believed Rahul Roy is a tiger. For a very long time, I would get freaked out about the whole scene.

Dinesh: Will kids believe you are the wolf? Varun: After they see the transformation, I am pretty sure...

Kriti: Do you think they will start getting scared of you?

Varun: No, because I won’t have my beard all the time....

Dinesh: So, there is a preinterval scene of the transformation and it is one of the most special scenes in the film.

Kriti: I have not watched Junoon, honestly.

Dinesh: She loves bhediyas, not tigers.

Kriti: I love bhediya!

Varun: She is more a wolf person than a tiger.

Kriti: I like Tiger Shroff though.

Varun: She is basically a darling!

Kriti, Varun and Dinesh Vijan at the The Telegraph chat, on Tuesday

Kriti, Varun and Dinesh Vijan at the The Telegraph chat, on Tuesday

Dinesh, what draws you to horror comedies?

Dinesh: Most of the time, the film chooses you. The way I choose a film is, I cannot not make this film. The amount of time and love you have for it, like I see my director’s passion... he was in the mix till 5 in the morning. You need a ridiculous amount of passion to do it. So, I think, to choose wisely.... I think Robert De Niro once said the most important decision an actor takes, which is true for all decision-makers, is which story to tell. That comes purely on instinct and fortunately it has gone a little right. Otherwise you would be constantly looking for opinions from everyone else. The way we made this film is, he (Varun) was on the phone and I said this man was bitten on the arse by a wolf and strange things start happening to him. There is this one dialogue: ‘Kya khaya?’ He says: ‘Prakash... Prakash ke saath khana khaya hai’. That was all we had and that was like giving the wolf some sexy meat because he was after us after that!

Varun: I actually wanted to ask you this. You have made a lot of horror comedies. Why do want to do it? Is it because Stree, which is also one of the biggest hits of your career, worked or have these stories with supernatural elements always fascinated you?

Dinesh: I can’t watch horror.

Kriti: Same!

Varun: So, that’s why the comedy....

Dinesh: I had watched a film long back called Chhota Chetan and I felt it was a riot. I didn’t realise it, but as we speak, I think it was somewhere there at the back of my mind. But I believe in India anything that you do... like if you saw Badlapur, Nawaz (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) brought some comedy. I always like a little bit of comedy but I don’t want to limit the production house to my taste. Now we are doing a couple of stuff which is all intense....

Cast members Paalin Kabak and Abhishek Banerjee at ITC Royal Bengal

Cast members Paalin Kabak and Abhishek Banerjee at ITC Royal Bengal

Kriti, your look is interesting...

Kriti: Every time you are doing a look test and finding the look of a character, the attempt is obviously to be true to the character and the vibe of the character, but try to find a different look where you look different from the characters you have played before. So, here we had that opportunity. Anika is from Arunachal and that little pahadi vibe to her, flushed cheeks, we could add freckles... we were like ‘should we do it or not do it’... and when we did it we were like ‘it’s very different’. The hair also, I feel her personality is really quirky. She is a vet but she is an extremely confused vet who is never going to give you a straightforward answer. So, her quirky nature inspired the hair. Also, at the back of my mind, may be my childhood because I had the Sadhana cut when I was a kid (laughs).

Varun and Kriti struck a special pose for The Telegraph

Varun and Kriti struck a special pose for The Telegraph

Varun, is your look the most challenging one of your career?

Varun: I have grown the beard and the hair. It was a long and difficult process initially because as I grew my beard, Amar kept saying no, no, not enough. Twoand-a-half months passed, then he said, now this is fine. And every time the AD would come and ask whether they should trim it to match continuity, Amar would be like, no... ‘ugne do’. The last scene has the beard in full glory....

Dinesh: He was completely not metrosexual.

The physical transformation must have been challenging too...

Varun: About the physical transformation, I don’t like talking about it any more. I would do that a lot in the initial phase of my career. Even the dance films I have done, ABCD or Street Dancer... very difficult. Even for Bawaal, I have bulked up but that is something ho jata hai. The entire psychological shift to play in this film was the toughest.

How do you guys think Amar Kaushik thinks?

Kriti: I really relate to him a lot because he is a man who has progressive thinking and strong roots. It’s like modern mind but rooted values. That’s why his films reflect a modern perspective but his stories are rooted in desi, in folklore and the world of India. I think his personality comes out.

Dinesh: He is a great human and except the hunger to make films, he has no other hunger.

Kriti: He is a pure guy.

Dinesh: What is important is the life he has lived. He is a forest ranger’s son and spent time in Arunachal. His voice knows that territory. When we talk about the gaze, he is a best friend to his daughter and I think his understanding and the kind of father he wants to be, gives him that. If you grow up around sisters, daughters and are close to them, it’s a completely different aspect than only growing up as boys. That’s what you are getting at... his point of view from a woman’s perspective is beautiful.

Varun: I think he chooses a point of view that people usually don’t like to see the world from.

Pictures: B. Halder

ROFL...

Varun and Dinesh on Kriti...

Varun: She never asks questions!

Dinesh: Full conviction!

Kriti: They are kidding!

Dinesh and Kriti on Varun...

Dinesh: He is not hyper at all.

Kriti: Again sarcasm!

Dinesh: He is rarely on his phone. He hardly calls me up!

Kriti: When he says, ‘I am calling you back’, he always calls back! (Laughs)

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