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If there’s an actor who epitomises the new face of Bollywood, it has to be Varun Dhawan. The son of director and producer David Dhawan is warm and is inherently charming without seeming to carry the baggage of being a Bollywood A-lister.
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Varun Dhawan with Manjusha Radhakrishnan (left). We have met multiple times in person when he flew down to the UAE for work. But the most memorable meeting was when he was in Abu Dhabi filming for his action caper Dishoom in March 2016. What struck me was his self-effacing humour and his ability to laugh at himself. In Dishoom, he played a bumbling cop who was on call to do a series of gravity-defying stunts. “Some of the sequences were seriously scary … I wondered how can you have a normal expression on your face when you are hanging upside down with blood rushing to your face. You are in an abnormal position dude,” said Dhawan during a sit-down interview then.
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Varun Dhawan and John Abraham (right). In comparison, his co-star of Dishoom — the hunky, but sometimes wooden actor John Abraham, was grim and serious as he explained the intricacies of a well-executed action scene. Abraham was the more experienced of the two and he never let us forget it. Between the two, it was Dhawan who won me over with his innate ease and his ability to laugh at himself. He’s one of the rare stars who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
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Another time we met was during the promotions of Shah Rukh Khan-Kajol film Dilwale. Dhawan and Kriti Sanon were a part of that romantic drama. I went straight for the jugular when I asked him about playing second fiddle to Khan. It’s no secret that Shah Rukh Khan’s films are all about him and him alone, there’s very little scope any other actors to perform or shine. But credit has to be given to Dhawan, who was discovered by ace producer-director Karan Johar, for answering my question with grace. Although I don’t remember his exact words, I will never forget that he wasn’t offended by my question and gamely answered the question as sincerely as he could. Pictured above: Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan at the trailer launch for "Dilwale" in Mumbai on November 9, 2015.
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He’s also one of the few actors who seem to genuinely care if we like his work or not. His child-like insistence about telling him directly what we thought of his movies like his spectacularly engaging Badlapur or the soul-destroying boring October indicates that he is an actor who’s willing and open to criticism. Pictured above: Varun Dhawan in the movie 'Badlapur'.
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Dhawan is currently working on the reboot of Coolie No 1 and if you want to be acquainted with his body of work then be sure to watch Badlapur, a thriller where he plays a troubled husband wanting to exact revenge on those who killed his family. And if you are in the mood for a romance, then try the problematic romance Badrinath Ki Dulhania starring Alia Bhatt in which he plays a stubborn lover who isn’t great at facing rejection. If that doesn’t rock your boat, try watching the romantic comedy Sui Dhaaga. He’s adorable as a simpleton. Above: A still from the film 'Badrinath Ki Dulhania'.
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This actor — who made his debut with the glossy Student Of The Year — seems to have graduated the art of winning over journalists and his fans with flying colours. Above: A still from the film 'Student Of The Year'.
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