Alia Bhatt is on a great run, says Vijay Varma

The Gully Boy actor will be seen playing the role of Hamza, Badrunissa’s husband (played by Bhatt), in Darlings

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Vijay Varma with Darlings costars Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah
Vijay Varma with Darlings costars Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah

Somya Mehta

Published: Wed 3 Aug 2022, 6:34 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Mar 2023, 12:44 PM

On how the acting bug bit him…

I tried a little bit of modelling in Hyderabad and really enjoyed it so that’s when I thought I should try acting as well. But it was only when I went to a theatre school is when I figured out that this is not what I thought it was. It was a lot more intense than I imagined it to be. I just saw the glamour part of it initially and got awestruck by it. But theatre education transformed me. The plays I read taught me a lot more about the human condition than any of my academic books. I got educated through literature.

On dreaming big…

Becoming an actor in the movies didn’t seem like an unachievable dream. The idea was to just land up doing one film however possible. That was the goal. And now, here we are.

On landing a project like Darlings...

Just the possibility of collaborating with such powerful minds and creative forces was reason enough. But at the same time, I was reluctant to take up the part because the role of my character Hamza is so dark, that I was worried I wouldn’t be able to shake it off. The director, Jasmeet, helped me tremendously to understand the perspective of the film and how to use wit and humour correctly to make it a bearable ride.

On working with Alia…

She's been incredible. She's on a great run right now, everything she’s touching right now is turning gold, touchwood. In the film, we had a dynamic, convoluted relationship. Having worked with her in Gully Boy allowed us to enjoy a certain level of comfort with each other, which helped in this film. There is respect and regard for each other as people and as actors. So, even if we were doing atrocious things to each other in the film, we knew we were coming from a space of absolute comfort and love for each other.

On working with leading female directors like Zoya Akhtar, Mira Nair and now Jasmeet K. Reen…

I love working with female directors. They look at me differently and then offer me parts that I could never imagine myself in. In Suitable Boy with Mira Nair, it was a very small part but she was brimming with enthusiasm to create it. Working with Reema Kagti, Zoya, even Nandita Das for a small part in Manto and now with Jasmeet for Darlings... it has been a great experience. They've all played a pivotal role in my journey. This film had to be told by a woman. It couldn’t come out in any other way.

Advice he’d like to give aspiring actors…

I will just repeat what Naseer saab (veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah) said to us. If you’re aspiring to be an actor and have come to Mumbai with a plan B, switch to your plan B now itself.

If you want to become an actor, you shouldn’t give yourself any other plan because it will get tough. You will want to escape, and you will want to give up. So, you can’t give yourself a plan B. Only come to acting if that’s the only thing you’ll ever want.

Darlings premieres on Netflix on August 5

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