Varun Tej: The audience will not complain about the runtime of Valmiki
The actor opens up on dabbling with different genres and trying something beyond love stories during this interaction ahead of the release of Valmiki
Varun Tej has dropped his boy-next-door image to play a dark character named Gaddalakonda Ganesh in this Friday's release Valmiki. The Fidaa actor is thrilled and treasuring the experience of donning a full-length mass character in the film. "I have never played a mass hero so far. Even though I did Loafer, the fact is that it had a limited range in terms of mass appeal. Except for the kohl line to my eyes, I have maintained an almost no-make-up look. I grew my beard, my hair and only combed it to the right. I completely enjoyed playing Gaddalakonda Ganesh, and I believe it will bring a fresh perspective to the audience," says Varun.
Asked if choosing the Telangana dialect for his character was a conscious decision, Varun replies, "The dialect I embraced in Valmiki and what I used in F2 are totally different. This one is more rustic and the character is without any restrictions. My choice of words and diction may sound harsh, but that’s how Gaddalakonda Ganesh behaves. Director Harish Shankar hails from Karimnagar, the heartland of Telangana, and he has good command over the dialect."
The Mukunda star says he had put in extra efforts to dub for the pre-interval sequence. "I took an entire day to dub for it. Like the original, Valmiki too has a run-time of around three hours. I don't think the audience will complain about the length though because we have made an entertaining film. They will get hooked to the narrative and fall in love with all the characters."
Varun adds he was completely bowled over by Bobby Simha's performance in the original. "Bobby Simha is someone who hails from Vijayawada. He won a National Award for his performance as Assault Sethu in Jigarthanda. I didn't try to emulate him. Rather, I tried to own the character and did in my own style."
Varun, who has been dabbling with different genres, says he doesn't want to be typecast. "I believe an actor should not be restricted to one kind of roles and I always wanted to experiment with my films. Love stories have a limited range of emotions and as an actor, I want to try something beyond them. When Harish narrated Dagudumuthalu script, I wanted to do a different film and it was then I watched Jigarthanda. Things fell into place slowly and I’m pleased with the response my look has got from the audience."
Asked if he has any plans of playing his paternal uncle, Chiranjeevi, if a biopic is ever made on the Megastar, Varun Tej reveals, "(Ram) Charan anna is an ideal choice to play Chiranjeevi garu on screen. If he is not keen to do it, I will grab that opportunity."