Gully Boy’s Vijay Varma on Baaghi 3, Hurdang and A Suitable Boy
The actor talks action movies, working with Tiger Shroff and his varied line-up for 2020
Moeen Bhai in Syria? Not a bad idea. After a standout performance in Gully Boy, where he played a cunning yet empathetic street hustler, actor Vijay Varma has been airdropped into the battle zones of Baaghi 3. The actor — who stars alongside Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh — has a special role in Ahmed Khan’s action epic. A life-long action fan, Vijay is set to explore his commercial side with Baaghi 3, after a string of hard-hitting roles in Pink, Monsoon Shootout and the recent Ghost Stories.
“I'm a big fan of John Wick as well as Jackie Chan and Jean-Claude van Damme's films,” Vijay shares, “Growing up, Hindi blockbuster movies like Ajooba were my favourite. This film was a great way to return to a space that was so close to me.” Baaghi 3 is adapted from the 2012 Tamil hit, Vettai. The story follows Ronnie (Tiger) on a one-man rescue mission to Syria, where his elder brother is held hostage by terrorists. Vijay essays Akhtar Lahori, a mystery man in a beanie who claims to be from Pakistan.
“My character is a lot of fun,” Vijay shares, “He’s an ambiguous man who walks a dubious path. It’s hard to say which side he is on. He’s an interesting mix of flamboyance and humour.” Vijay praises Tiger’s commitment to the action genre. “While shooting in sub-zero temperatures, when everyone else was falling down shivering, Tiger was up doing flying-kicks. Just the training of mind and body he has is incredible.”
After Baaghi 3, Vijay will be seen in Hurdang, co-starring Sunny Kaushal and Nushrat Bharucha. Directed by Nikhil Bhat, the film is set during the Mandal commission agitations of the 1990s. Vijay plays Loha Singh, a mentor to a student caught up in the protests. “The film is a strong account of the times,” the actors says, “Instead of taking sides, it shows how each character is affected by the events, and what happens to them because of it.”
He also has Mira Nair’s upcoming adaptation of A Suitable Boy. An ensemble drama, the show is set to air on BBC One in June this year. The six-part series will feature Vijay in the role of Rasheed, an Urdu scholar afflicted by the partition. “I took several Urdu lessons to get the language right. I also had to familiarize myself with the power dynamics of the period. Mira is a task-master and it was a challenge to keep on the top of our game,” says Vijay, who is presently shooting for a sci-fi comedy produced by Anand Gandhi.