Varun Sharma Exclusive Interview: “I Attempted Comedy For The First Time When I Auditioned For Fukrey”

Mohnish Singh |Jul 25, 2019

Varun Sharma, who is known for his great acting skills in the comedy genre, is set to tickle audiences’ funny bones with his upcoming film “Khandaani Shafakhana”, co-starring Sonakshi Sinha and Badshah.

Varun Sharma needs to introduction! We all know him, mostly for playing the iconic character of Choocha Singh in Excel Entertainment’s hit comedy franchise Fukrey (2013) and Fukrey Returns (2016). 2019 is going to be a very special year for Varun Sharma as he will witness the release of his three much-awaited films in quick succession.

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Image source: Instagram

His first release will be Arjun Patiala which is set to enter cinemas on 26th July. Arjun Patiala will soon be followed by yet another comic-caper Khandaani Shafakhana on 2nd August. His last release for the year 2019 is going to be Dangal (2016) fame director Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore which is scheduled to buzz into theatres on 30th August.

Taking some time out from his super busy schedule, Varun Sharma recently caught up with STARBIZ correspondent Mohnish Singh. In a candid conversation with STARBIZ, Varun Sharma opened up about his inclination towards comedy, his upcoming film Khandaani Shafakhana, fears of being typecast as a comic actor and much more.

Varun Sharma also reveals why he started crying when someone called him up for a story narration right after the release of Fukrey.

You are back with yet another comic-caper, Khandaani Shafakhana. How do you feel?

I am happy that the result of my hard work that I put in over the last one and a half year will be out in the next 1-2 months. The audience has certain expectations from me when it comes to the comedy genre. Also, expectations have increased after certain films of mine, certain characters of mine in that space clicked with the audience in the past. I am only concerned about living up to those expectations. I try and make efforts to exceed them every time. The audience expects from me to bring happiness on their faces. I am happy that good roles are coming my way. Today, if you switch your TV on, some or other film of mine is there on the screen. It feels great.

We all know that you are pretty good at comedy. But how difficult is the genre for you?

It is very difficult. I genuinely say so. I feel that making people laugh is the most challenging job these days. One can make you angry easily, but making somebody laugh is difficult. I feel that the patience level of people has gone down drastically. Amidst all such pressures and tension, if you make somebody smile or laugh, that is great.

When it comes to comedy in films, I strongly feel that one person cannot pull it off all alone. You have to have a perfect team. No matter how much efforts I put into a particular comedy scene, if I do not get the right reaction from my co-actor, the whole scene will get flat. The ambience also needs to be good.

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Image source: Instagram

Does being typecast concern Varun Sharma?

I am happy with it. I feel blessed and thank God everybody for whatever I have achieved in life. I am being cast in good films on a regular basis. For me, the most important thing is to get cast on a regular basis. Getting typecast and all of that is secondary. There is nothing like that I don’t enjoy what I do. I love making people laugh. I love to see people smile. Comedy does not bore me. I also think that if I am not getting bored with what I am doing, then maybe the audience is also not getting bored with it. This is what I personally feel. I may be wrong though.

Having said that, I do make constant efforts to try something new. I do try to mix new things with comedy and come up with something fresh. Currently, I am working on a horror-comedy titled Roohi-Afza. That is also in the comedy space, but another genre is clubbed with it – horror. So, there I am not only making people laugh but also scaring them. I am trying to explore various branches of comedy. I will keep on trying new things. I will also explore other genres when the time is right. But, yes, I won’t try new genres for the heck of it. I won’t do anything if I am not convinced about it. If I am not convinced, then I won’t be able to pull it off. It will go haywire.

Tell us something about your character in Khandaani Shafakhana.

In this film, Sonakshi and I are playing siblings, while Nadira Babbar ji is playing our mother. It is set in a small town of Punjab. The film deals with certain taboos. In our society, if a male is a geochronologist, then nobody has an issue with it. However, people raise their eyebrows if a female is a sexologist. So, Sonakshi has to run a sex-clinic in the town, but the whole world seems to be against her just because she is a girl. Her brother is a good-for-nothing fellow. He has all the time in the world. Since he does not do anything in life, he supports her sister. He will always fight for her no matter what.

In the trailer, we see you screaming at the top of your voice and asking your mother to arrange your marriage. What is the scene in real life?

In real life, I keep telling my mother that I don’t want to get married now. See, marriage is a very sacrosanct institution. You have to spend your entire life with someone until your last breath. So, you have to be mentally prepared for it. I need some time to get mentally prepared for it because, as I said I, will have to spend the whole life with her. At this moment, there is no plan for marriage, not even in the near future.

When did you realize that you can make people laugh?

I am telling you this very honestly. I used to do theatre. I did theatre for 5 years in Chandigarh. You will be surprised to know that before Fukrey I did not attempt anything remotely related to the genre of comedy. I used to play Ashwatthama in plays. I had never attempted comedy before Fukrey. I attempted comedy for the first time when I auditioned for Fukrey. Before I saw the film, I would think that how could I make people laugh? Why people would laugh looking at me? However, when I watched Fukrey and saw people’s reaction, it stuck to me that I could make people laugh. After Fukrey, my life took such a turn that I am still doing comedy. I had never thought I could do comedy.

In how many attempts did you clear the audition for Fukrey?

After many attempts. Director Mrighdeep Lamba took my audition, who is now making his debut as a producer with Khandaani Shafakhana. I cleared the audition for Fukrey in 20-25 rounds. It was a long process of 8-9 months. Life took a beautiful turn because, after the release of Fukrey, things changed from audition to directly narration. First I could not understand what happened. I cried when somebody called me for narration because I was used to giving auditions. The narration happened at JW Marriot Hotel in Juhu. I started crying. The person asked me, “What happened, sir?” I said, “I cannot believe that you are asking me whether or not I will do your film because all these years, I have been requesting people to cast me.” Though that project did not materialize for some reasons, I never forget that day when I was called for my first narration.

Khandaani Shafakhana is different from the kind of films that you have done in the past.

This film is special for me because it marks the debut of Mrighdeep Lamba as a producer. It was he who gave me a break in the industry. I have seen this film taking shape at the scripting level. Then it was pitched to different, different production houses and then the casting process began. So, I have seen the entire journey of this film.

Just like all the films that I have done before, Khandaani Shafakhana is also a family film. The entire family can sit together and watch it. Of course, it revolves around a sex-clinic, which is the core issue of the film. We have also tried to give a short message while ensuring that you get your full dose of entertainment. If that message stays with you and brings about some changes in your life, that will be great. You will be thoroughly entertained while watching the film. It is not a preachy film. We are not trying to hammer any message into your head.

Are you inclined towards the web-space?

I have recently done a non-fiction show for a digital platform. Now I want to do a non-fiction show. But I have back-to-back films coming up. After Khandaani Shafakhana, there is Arjun Patiala, Chhichhore and Roohi-Afza. Web requires a lot of time. A single web-show runs for 60 minutes. So if it has 10 episodes, you need edited footage of almost 600 minutes. It takes months to get that. I am unable to give out this much of time in a chunk.

>>> Check his movie! “Khandaani Shafakhana” Review: Too Generic For A Genuine Recommendation


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