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I wouldn’t call myself a star, says Varun Dhawan

Varun Dhawan, whose fan following seems to have increased after his latest release Main Tera Hero, wants to avoid calling himself a “star”. He says that establishing a connect with the audience is of more importance to him.

“I wouldn’t call myself a star. Not now, not ever,” said Dhawan, who made his debut with Student Of The Year.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Main Tera Hero (MTH) is a success and you now seem to have fans in all age groups?

A. Very honestly, the hero in this film is my father David Dhawan. We promoted the film like crazy. Nowadays, the pressure on an actor on how to market a film is excruciating. There wasn’t so much pressure to promote my first film Student Of The Year. Dharma Productions was the hero of that film and Karan Johar was there with the three of us — Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and me to promote the film. Johar made sure everything went right. With MTH, the pressure was fully on me to sell the film to the audience.

Q. Couldn’t have been an easy place to be in?

A. There were times when I had to force my eyelids apart. But when I saw crowds at the promotional events waiting for a glimpse of the actors, I couldn’t go in front of them tired.

Q. What is the hallmark of a true star?

A. I wouldn’t call myself a star. Not now, not ever. I’m here because I love the movies. I am not here to make money. By God’s grace, I don’t have to worry about my next 4,000 meals. At the same time, I am not here to do charity either. But my relationship with the audience will always be more important than all other considerations. I’ve to make sure of that.

Q. You seem to have established the same kind of connect with the audience as Govinda did in your father’s films. Does that comparison annoy you?

A. Not at all. If anything, it is unfair for an actor of Govinda’s stature and durability. At the same time, I do realise that all newcomers are compared with established actors. And because MTH is a full-on David Dhawan film, the kind that my father did with Govinda, the comparisons are inevitable. MTH is very different from its source of origin

— the Telugu film Kandireega. The style of storytelling and packaging is full-on David Dhawan.