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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Street Dancer 3D is tagged as a dance movie that explores Indo-Pak relationship, yet in a recent interview from Mumbai, its lead actor Varun Dhawan seemed averse to take on any controversial questions. Ahead of our conversation with the star, we were informed that any questions pertaining to the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) issue, politics, and marriage were off the table.
Street Dancer 3D, directed by Remo D'Souza and produced by Bhushan Kumar, is set in London, and revolves around dancers Sahej (Varun) and Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor) who hail from India and Pakistan respectively. They belong to rival dance groups and battle it out, on the streets and underground cafes, until they eventually realise that they have the same roots and a common purpose, to represent their people from the Asian subcontinent. Everything culminates in a global dance competition which showcases how these underdogs stand strong against all odds.
Since his debut in 2012 with Student of The Year, Dhawan hasn't shied away from exploring different genres and roles and finding his footing in Bollywood. Movies like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Any Body Can Dance 2, Dilwale, Sui Dhaaga and our personal favourite October, all show his acting chops.
Last seen in Kalank, which didn't do too well at the box-office despite its star cast and epic proportions, Dhawan's Street Dancer 3D, which releases in the UAE on January 24, seems all set to create a buzz at the theatres.
Excerpts from our interview.
People seem to be a little confused as to whether Street Dancer 3D is a direct sequel to ABCD 2 or if it's a standalone in the series. Where exactly does Street Dancer 3D stand on the timeline?
Street Dance 3D follows the legacy of ABCD and ABCD2. It's bigger and better and a coming-of-age film. Moreover, it's not just based on dance, it's based on a very important topic - about how professional dancing is used and why they (the characters) eventually compete.
Street Dancer 3D has a patriotic tinge to it. How well do you think the audiences will react to that or accept it?
That's why we make such films. The songs are amazing but more than anything it's the most political film of the year. I think people want that. There's a lot of celebration, humour, fun and competition. There's a very important topic in the film that we haven't put out yet. We have put out small glimpses of it, but for me that's the heart of the film. The whole idea for me as an actor was to do that genre of fun and youth.
This is your second collaboration with Shraddha Kapoor after ABCD 2. What was it like reuniting with her on set?
It brought back a lot of good memories and formed a lot of new ones as well. One thing about Shraddha is that she's a complete team player; she was so kind and encouraging of everyone. She was not at all insecure which was amazing. And we have a lot of really good dancers as well who joined in from ABCD 2.
We were really excited to hear that you were coming to Bollywood Parks Dubai for a concert but that fell through. What was it like shooting there last year for Street Dancer 3D?
I think it (Bollywood Parks event) fell through because of other commitments that the production had in India, and unfortunately we as actors have to follow orders. We spent so much time in Bollywood Parks and had so much fun. It was amazing shooting over there and we made so many friends in Dubai during the production; everything was really so easy.
We imagine shooting for any movie is a tiring process, how taxing was it shooting for a dance film which obviously would have had many retakes as most of the shots had an ensemble cast involved?
I'm glad you pointed that out because in this film it's a team effort and we are part of a team. So, if any one person was out of line, we had to do a retake. It is very tiring; it requires a lot of vision, dedication and planning. We have to dance like we are one and follow the plan. Sometimes you dance at the back of the line, sometimes in the front. It is really difficult, I must say.
Were you always into dancing? Was there anyone in particular that inspired you growing up?
Definitely! I was always into the dancing scene. Growing up I was always watching Michael Jackson dance, watching Chris Brown, Usher and Govinda, these guys were my idols and I was very influenced by them.
Do you think there are people who are born dancers or do you feel if you put in the effort anyone can have that talent?
That's a very good question, it's something that I used to think about a lot. I think it's something that you can get better at. You need to have that beat in your body, you need to be able to enjoy it. It starts from there. And then practice is what makes you perfect.
Varun heads back to Dubai!
Following the release of Street Dancer 3D, Varun Dhwan will be seen in Coolie No. 1 on May 1. "Then there's Mr. Lele by Shashank Khaitan which will be releasing in January (2021). So right now I have my hands full with these," Varun said.
But the actor promises he will be back in Dubai soon but he isn't willing to reveal details. "There is something in the works for which I will probably be visiting Dubai later this year to perform. Maybe Bollywood Parks again..." Keep your eyes peeled!
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