Varun Dhawan & Kriti Sanon – Unplugged In London
Team Dilwale took London by storm and #DilwaleUKTakeover was trending on social media for hours on 1 December 2015, but amid the mayhem BollyBrit® was lucky enough to get a tête-à-tête with rising gen-next stars Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon, who feature in Rohit Shetty’s mammoth venture, alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol who reunite on screen after a hiatus of five years.
Young, affable, down to earth and extremely with-it Varun and Kriti, answered questions with a laid back candour with absolutely zero starry airs about them which made for an extremely enjoyable interaction indeed.
While Varun answered with discerning earnestness, questions about that infamous Inception quote for which he got trolled, and the upcoming clash with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, Kriti, despite being just a film old, answered the questions thrown at her like a seasoned pro.
Are you a 'Dilwala' or a 'Dimaagwala'? Does your heart rule over your head or vice versa?
Varun: That’s a good question! Definitely Dilwala!
Kriti: LOVE! Always!
Critical success or commercial success? Because Varun, you’ve had both!
Varun: I was just going to say… Both! Before Badlapur I always used to give this answer and I don’t want to change that post its release. What is commercial success? It means more people went to watch your film, so it’s the audience that makes a film successful regardless of critical reception. The public brings down governments, it brings down empires so at the end of the day it’s the audience that matters nothing else. They decide the fate of a film. So definitely commercial success as it's what the audience decides so that’s definitely more important for me!
Kriti: The commercial aspects are what matters at the end of the day, and whatever little critical appreciation we get is for us really. For the actor in us!
So how different is it working with a director like Rohit Shetty versus someone as intense as Sriram Raghavan for example?
Varun: I’ll tell you something really interesting… Sriram told me this before Badlapur released, when I asked him whether he thought the film was going to do well or not? He was like does it matter Varun? We’ve made a good film, we enjoyed making it, hit or flop it doesn’t matter at all! He was like, I’ve only given flops until now and you’ve only given hits, I might give you your first flop! In my eyes all that matters is you’re a good actor! Does that mean anything to you? I was like of course it means the world to me that I did a film under your direction. Sriram is so fearless he doesn’t care at all!
He’s not bothered about hits or flops he’s more of an artist. And even though Rohit and Sriram are so different, they do have some similarities. Like Rohit says the best thing about making a film is to focus on the fun we’re having right now. What is success? It’s not ours. Once the film is made it will go on to make money. People will enjoy it and that’s the audience’s victory, especially if they get some happiness out of it. We just have to focus on making the film right? I in fact get upset the day my film releases. The journey’s kind of over!
Kriti: (Laughing) I get upset when the filming of a movie is over too! That’s it – it’s the end of a journey.
Kriti, this is your first time in the UK for film promotions and promotions can be stressful! Heropanti was a smaller film so it didn’t have that kind of a crazy budget, where is in comparison, Dilwale is a MASSIVE film, so do you feel a bit more relaxed here where the pressure to deliver is shared by three other people, where as in Heropanti the onus is completely on you to deliver and ensure that it makes a mark?
Varun: Yeah look at her she’s lost so much weight! (Laughs)
Kriti: It’s always a different kind of pressure when it comes to different kinds of films! Like Heropanti came with a different kind of pressure, more expectations being a first film and all that, how will the audience react will they accept me? Tiger, on the other hand belonged to a film family so he had a different kind of pressure to deal with compared to me for example. Here for Dilwale, commercially I’m not worried as such. There are a lot of stars in the film and they can take the pressure off in that aspect, here the pressure is more that I have such amazing co-stars, that will I be able to make my mark, will I be able to do what I have to do for the betterment of the film? So the pressure is still there so I can’t necessarily sit there and relax and put my feet up, hoping I don’t need to do much here!
The next question, slightly controversial, you don’t have to answer it…
Varun: But no I WANT to answer it now!
Dilwale is clashing with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and I’m sure a lot of people have asked you about that supposed clash…
Kriti: (Laughs) We’re totally OVER it now!
They’re totally diverse films, but do you feel that that will impact the commercial aspect of your film? Bajirao Mastani is a grand film, while yours is a romance/action comedy, so do you feel a clash like that is healthy?
Varun: Sorry can I answer this? You know you’re asking me Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon this question, what was our audience prior to this film? So many people know us and our audience in total including SRK-Kajol is going to be way more than any film we’ve ever starred in! This film has been made for the audience, it’s a genre we refer to in the industry as the bulletproof genre, so I’m referring to commercial potboilers from the Manmohan Desai era of the 70s, David Dhawan, Priyadarshan and so on and now in this day and age, Rohit Shetty is the king of this genre! You make such films for families and it brings them together. So as actors we never thought this would happen or that there will be a clash with another big film really, we just went out there, enjoyed what we had to do and commercially it’s more up to the producer Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty – they decide release dates, and if there’s a holiday to cash in on, I would release it on that date regardless.
Kriti: See I personally feel they are two very very diverse films. It’s such a long holiday, it’s a three week long holiday, everyone’s feeling really festive so they all want to go out, to the cinema and so on, so I don’t think it kind of matters that our films are releasing on the same date really! Yes of course if two films come on the same day, any which way they will affect one another in some way or another.
Varun: I don’t think the audience really cares what two films release when! This is very interesting for the media, film industry folk but for the film going public they don’t really care. They’re not bothered ke yeh honewala hai ke wo honewala hai, they’re in their own zone. It’s a Friday they’ll go and watch what they want to watch irrespective of who’s film is releasing when! They liked a trailer they’ll go watch it, oh this has good reviews let’s go and watch that. The clash is media created it gives them something write and talk about!
Speaking about media created, Varun, I think you’re aware of a certain tweet or an interview quote where you compared Dilwale to Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Inception…
Varun: Yes! Please ask me about that! So look why did I say that? We spoke about the pros and cons of social networking right? There was a large group of press and media people during a song launch and someone asked me about the trailer of Dilwale, and why there are so many parallel tracks in the film so you can’t really make out what the film is really about. So I was being a little sarcastic and I said oh did you watch the trailer of Inception? Did you understand it? So he was like no I didn’t! But did you like the film? So the reporter was like yes I loved it! So you’ll love Dilwale too! So everyone in the room clapped and laughed but I don’t blame the person who wrote it really because for them it’s a headline. People will click on that link and their site traffic will go up!
Kriti: Have you seen what they actually put in the article?!
So it’s now a little clearer what you’ve said… And that’s not what the article says!
Varun: So there were some repercussions after that interview! So I have friends who make spoofs on Hindi films so there were a few people who made a mash up of Inception and Dilwale, you have to check it out it’s really funny, but anyway these things happen right? You never know how people will take your sarcasm really! I’m still learning, maybe I can’t be sarcastic with the media I don’t know! But can you make sure you clear this for me! I wasn't sure how to clarify it! Even now there are still people tweeting to me about that comment saying they expected better and so on! I mean my own brother messaged me asking what I was playing at! That’s a cult classic! I didn’t say it in that way at all! I was just being real!
And real they most definitely were! Without a doubt, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon were the most chilled out, down to earth celebrities I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and we would like wish both of them all the success for their big release Dilwale.
Dilwale, a Red Chillies production, directed by blockbuster maverick Rohit Shetty hits the marquee worldwide on 18 December 2015.
Are you looking forward to the film? Do keep us posted in the comments below!