Breathing Life To Comedy: Varun Sharma

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The Indian film industry embraces actors who are equipped with good looks, six-pack abs and extraordinary dancing skills. Being cast in a different mould, only makes it all the more difficult to make a place in this cut-throat industry. With few ingredients of a typical actor, Varun Sharma has carved a one of a kind success story of his own. With an abundance of talent and hard work, his journey in Bollywood has been as smooth as a hot knife gliding through butter. A contagious smile, quirky energy and an endearing personality, Varun Sharma is an inspiration to millions of aspiring actors in the country.

Hailing from the city of Jalandhar, Sharma spent major part of his life there. He did his schooling from The Lawrence School, Sanawar and thereafter from Apeejay School in Jalandhar. After the completion of his schooling, he attended ITFT in Chandigarh from where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Media, Entertainment and Film Technology. As soon as he completed his studies, he made his way to Mumbai. He worked with eminent casting director Nandini Shrikent. In fact, he even assisted Shrikent on popular films like ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ and ‘Talaash: The Answer Lies Within’.

Varun Sharma had been bitten by the acting bug when he was as young as seven. Sharma first dreamt of becoming an actor when he saw the film ‘Baazigar’. He recalls the time when the film was released. He was a young lad of seven and during that time he used to stammer. When he watched the film, he was so awed by it that he could not help but sing the hit song from the film in “Ye Tali Tali Aankhien…Ye Dore Dore Daal”. The young Varun Sharma found himself totally charmed by Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol’s performances on screen. He went back home and told his mother that he wanted to be an actor. Then, he bagged the opportunity of being featured in various television commercials such as Virgin Mobile, Airtel, eBay, Nissan Micra and some others.

Sharma made his debut on the silver screen in the year 2013 with the comedy film ‘Fukrey’. Directed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, the film gained massive popularity and was well-received by the audience, especially the youth. The film offered more than countable things to be appreciated. Its refreshing depiction of youth, its relatable characters and its powerful narrative, the film could easily resonate with the youngsters and it came as no surprise when the film proved to be a box office hit. Amidst the excellent actors like Richa Chadda, Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Vishakha Singh, yet there was one actor who nimbly managed to steal the attention. It was the zany character of Choocha played by Varun Sharma. There have been only a few actors who have been able to prove their mettle in the debut film itself, Sharma surely is a breed apart from most of his contemporaries. The eccentric character of Choocha was immensely appreciated by the audience and critics alike so much so that Sharma was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut in 2014. He was much lauded for the role and people started recognising him more by the name of his iconic comic character than by his own name. Sharma has been extremely grateful for this role ever since. He said while interacting with the media, “I think it is a blessing to be known by the name of your character. How many characters can we count on our fingertips? Not many… To be one of them is a big achievement. Choocha (the character he played in his debut film, ‘Fukrey’) gave me that in my very first film, I think I am just lucky!”

After his successful debut, he became quite a frequent face in numerous comedy films. Next year, in 2014 he was seen in a Punjabi film ‘Yaaran Da Katchup’. He also did a few films which neither had a popular star cast nor were associated with the bigwigs in Bollywood. In 2015, he shared screen space alongside Sonam Kapoor, Pulkit Samrat and Rajkummar Rao in ‘Dolly Ki Doli’. Although the film performed  poorly at the box office, for Sharma things only got better from there. Sharma’s journey kept ascending at a rate of knots after ‘Dolly Ki Doli’. He was seen in well-famed films like ‘Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon’, ‘Dilwale’, ‘Raabta’, ‘Fukrey Returns’, ‘Arjun Patiala’, ‘Khandaani Shafakhana’ and ‘Chhichhore’. His upcoming film is a horror comedy, ‘Roohi Afza’ directed by Hardik Mehta. In the film, he will be seen alongside Rajkummar Rao and Janhvi Kapoor. Talking of the horror-comedy genre, Varun Sharma said that previously, he wasn’t much inclined towards watching horror films. It was only later when he watched ‘Stree’ starring Shraddha Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao that he developed a liking for the genre. Talking of the horror-comedy genre he said during an interview, “What is better, once you are laughing and you get the chills and once you get the chills, then you are laughing! I think it is a beautiful combo and it’s so beautifully explored with ‘Stree’… Roohi Afza is of the same genre.”

Sharma shares an amicable bond with critically-acclaimed actor Rajkummar Rao. Being in the Bollywood industry for almost a decade now, Sharma has also made some enviable friendships. Sharma is very good friends with Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon’s sister, Nupur Sanon and Pulkit Samrat. He even shared some light-hearted moments with Varun Dhawan on his Instagram page.

Although Sharma has proved his knack in comedy, he is someone who wishes to play different kinds of roles and characters. He said that as an actor one innately craves to do different genres of films and hence Sharma too is open to trying out characters of multifarious shades. He also believes that the comedy genre shall hold a special place in his heart because it got him the acceptance and love from the audience. He said during an interview that he shall never place comedy on a back burner. Instead, he wishes to balance out pursuing the comedy films and other genres.

Sharma is full of life. His quirks and charms has earned him massive followers. With every new film, Sharma brings a novel character to the silver screen. Each of the characters that he plays have a distinctive identity. His style reflects his carefree as well as untrammelled personality. Sharma even supports a campaign initiated by The Art of Living which stands to make India drug free. In order to promote the cause, Sharma shared a few posts to raise awareness for the cause. Moreover, when it comes to real life, the confident and camera-friendly Sharma is actually very shy. The different shades of his personality continues to surprise and inspire everyone remarkably. Sharma has proved that talent and hard work ultimately finds its way to success.

QUICK BITES:

Favourite Actor: Shah Rukh Khan

Favourite Actress: Shraddha Kapoor

Favourite Comedian: Zakir Khan

Hobby: Painting

Favourite Cricketer: Virat Kohli

Favourite Film: Baazigar

Favourite Shows: Survivor

Favourite Destination: Budapest

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