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‘I’m in safe hands’- Cinema express

I’m in safe hands: Vijay Varma

The Hyderabadi lad is making his Telugu debut with Nani-starrer MCA, after having made a name for himself in Bollywood

Published: 19th December 2017

Coming from Hyderabad, actor Vijay Varma is the first person in his family to try his luck in the showbiz. “I didn’t really make up my mind to be an actor until I joined Sutradhar theatre group. Then, I went to FTTI (Film and Television Institute of India) in Pune and decided acting was my life’s passion and took it seriously. I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai.” 

He rose to fame in Bollywood with films like Rangrezz, Shoojit Sirkar’s Pink, Monsoon Shootout and is now making his Telugu debut as the villain with MCA (Middle Class Abbayi). He says his performance as Ankit Malhotra in Pink earned him this film. “I play Shiva, a Warangal-based businessman who has an obsession with winning at everything, no matter what. It will be an interesting role which has a constant presence in the film.” 

Although he cannot speak Telugu fluently, Vijay has dubbed for himself in MCA. “I asked director Venu Sriram to give my scene papers two or three days before the shoot and wrote it all in English and Hindi. I wanted my diction to be in sync with my body language and didn’t want to risk not getting it right.”

Ask him about his experience of working in the Telugu industry, and Vijay is all praise for the team. “It’s been a beautiful journey. Venu is confident about his script and is happy with my work. Despite being such a big star, Nani remains grounded and accommodating. He always thrives on improvisations and wants to bring some magic to each shot. Incidentally, both Nani and our producer Dil Raju are on a roll with successive hits. In that way, I’m in safe hands (smiles).”

Vijay explains that after MCA, he has decided to make his presence felt in multiple languages. “ I want to diversify to all Indian languages and connect with all kinds of audience. Being an actor, we should spread our wings and if you don’t, then, what’s the point? I will carefully choose whatever that comes my way.”

Contrary to his onscreen persona, Vijay talks gently and has a soft voice. He is in no hurry to transition from doing villainous roles to hero characters. “I want to play all kinds of roles that come my way. After Pink, I turned down several films as they didn’t appeal to me. I don’t categorise a role. I only look at how much response it draws from the audience. In Pink, I played a small role, but the impact it created was huge. Many people used to come to me and tell, ‘I wanted to slap you.’ I did it with a sense of commitment and I can understand that it is genuinely disturbing (laughs).” 

Besides MCA, Vijay also worked on a web series called Cheers, and an independent film titled Mara. The lanky lad also teamed up with Reema Sengupta for a short-film titled Counterfeit Kunkoo which has made it into the Sundance Film Festival, scheduled to take place from January 18 to January 28, 2018. “I’m looking forward to it as it’s a big platform and I get to meet many people there,” he signs off.

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