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    All grown up, Varun Dhawan talks about his transition from romantic to badass hero

    VENGEANCE drama Badlapur, which is releasing on February 20, could just mark the graduation of Student of The Year Varun Dhawan from teen heartthrob to actor. Here he tells us what it took to channelise Raghu and how an A-rated film might affect his ‘lover boy’ image. More from him:

    Your fan following has largely been teenagers. What made you pick a hard film like Badlapur to follow Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania?
    I have done it for the teenagers. Teenagers like thrillers, slightly twisted, edgier films. They like rock ‘n’ roll and EDM and adrenaline, and that is what Badlapur is—it’s an edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting love story drama. In terms of moving away from the romantic hero image, actually there is a lot of romance. There are four women and I have some kind of romantic or sexual chemistry with all of them. So Sriram (Raghavan, director) has played on my lover boy image, but in a different way and I have had to be charming, but like a man. And that’s the shift.

    varun1Growing up with your filmmaker father, David Dhawan and working as an assistant director before facing the camera, you were aware of life on a set. But was there anything you were not prepared for?
    I was not prepared for Badlapur or to work with Sriram or to shoot in an ICU or in a morgue with dead people. I loved the story of Badlapur, but I was not sure I would be able to do it. I asked Sriram if he was sure he wanted me. But he knew whom he wanted and took me right after my first film, Student of the Year. I think he was getting a kick out of ageing me and deconstructing this chocolate boy-type and totally messing him up. What I will say is that on February 20 you are not coming to see a Varun Dhawan film. It’s not me. You will be meeting a new person.

    What’s next after this?
    There’s ABCD 2, my brother Rohit’s film Dhishoom, with John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez, and there will be a film with Shashank Khaitan (director of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania) sometime next year. There’s another film, too, but the official announcement is yet to be made.
    Badlapur is scheduled to release on February 20.

    Udita Jhunjhunwala

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