Actor Varun Sharma, who was last seen in Chhichhore (2019) is back on the big screen, this time in a completely new genre, horror-comedy. The actor who had earlier starred in commercially successful films including Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon (2015), Dilwale (2015), and Fukrey Returns (2017) will be sharing screen space with Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor in Roohi. The movie is set for a theatrical release on March 11. In an interview with the Cinema Journal, Varun talks about the movie, working with Rajkummar, Janhvi, and his personal life. Excerpts from the interview:
Tell us about Roohi. Do you watch horror movies?
Roohi is almost like the crazy sister of Stree (2018)! It is quirky yet unique. Its story is something that has never been seen before. The film revolves around a boy who falls in love with a female ghost (Chudail). The genre being horror-comedy, the screenplay is driven with ample turns and twists. I would avoid watching horror films earlier but after watching Stree, I feel watching them brings in loads of laughter and fun.
Do you think that Roohi’s distributors will benefit because the theatres have re-opened?
It is a blessing that the theatres have finally reopened. Many had held their films back and waited to release them in theatres, Roohi being one of them. Roohi will be the first proper release since the government’s announcement of 100% seat occupancy at the theatres. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the entertainment industry faced a major setback. However, people have accepted this conundrum and learned to live with it. They have resumed normalcy, to an extent, by attending cricket matches and gradually stepping into theatres. Similarly, I feel, that people have regained their entertainment spirit and will definitely flock to the theatres to watch Roohi, benefitting the distributors.
How was your experience working with Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor?
The experience was absolutely amazing! This was my second outing with Rajkummar Rao, the first being Dolly Ki Doli (2015). We always bounced of splendid chemistry, both off and on camera. If we lacked have chemistry off-screen, it would have surely reflected on-screen! Working with Janhvi Kapoor was fabulous! I did not know her personally, apart from meeting her at events, occasionally. We had properly met at the narration/reading of the film. Honestly, it isn’t easy to play two characters simultaneously, (being Roohi & Afzana ), which she has performed with ace and exuberance.
What is your message to new talents who are trying to make a mark in the industry?
My request to everyone reading this would be to allow people to pursue their future. I am a living example of someone who has made it in this industry through rigorous auditions. Finally, I paved my way up to banners who has films Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and Rock On!! (2008) to their credit, one must do their bit and try to be a part of this industry, which is very welcoming and loving!
Any director on your bucket list?
I want to work in different genres of films and not stick to a specific kind. Thrillers are something I would really love to do. Talking about directors on my bucket list, I want to work with Zoya Akhtar and Rajkumar Hirani.
When will we see you doing an out-and-out romantic genre film?
I am keen on doing romantic films and I hope to get one soon.
Are you single? What kind of a partner are you looking for?
I admire someone who is cute and family-oriented. However, I’m not seeing anyone currently. My mother always advises, ‘Abhi toh girlfriend bana le’, (Get a girlfriend, now) (laughs)!
Do you intend to take up direction in the future?
I feel that direction is a very tough job. It requires multiple skill-sets. I am unsure of my capacity as a director. That being said, I would definitely like to learn the art of direction and direct a fun film someday.