You have delivered six successful films over the last four years. Do you expect Dishoom to continue the trend?
This is my only release in 2016 so I want it to be a good year. Plus, the fact that the earlier films have worked, adds pressure that this film should work as well. I believe we have made a good film with good intentions. It ticks all my boxes.
This is the first time that you have done major action sequences involving a helicopter et al. Did you find the experience daunting or exciting?
It was pretty crazy. Nothing can prepare you for a stunt like that because not too many people have done something like that. Our lives were in the hands of the pilot.
We heard you got injured while shooting for the film…
I got hurt while doing the action scenes but that’s part and parcel of filmmaking — it can happen while doing a song or any other scene too. We were shooting in the sun for a scene in which I had to jump over a moving car — I was a little dehydrated anyway and because John wasn’t there, they made me do around 16 takes! I kept doing it, but in one take, my finger got stuck in the bonnet of the car and got fully twisted … I passed out for a few seconds.
Is it easy to be directed by your elder brother Rohit Dhawan?
Rohit is still a little bit more emotional about brother-protectiveness, but as far as I am concerned, when I am on the film set, I am making a film. So when Rohit and I were on the set, it was clear that I was my character, Junaid Ansari, not Varun, not his brother. Rohit kept the atmosphere serious so that I could concentrate on my art.
What was working with John Abraham like?
We are very cool and chilled out. John is a very easy guy. He is way senior to me, much older, but he never made it feel that way. I felt very comfortable with him. We were on back-slapping terms, I could’ve pushed him, hit him… I had that equation with him, so acting with him became very easy. If they were still casting for Dostana 2, I think John and I would make a good pair as well.
What do you have to say about Akshaye Khanna?
He is outstanding in the film! He brings a lot to Dishoom and it was a pleasure to have him in the film.
Your next film Badrinath Ki Dulhania sounds similar to Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) considering it has the same cast and is also directed by Shashank Khaitan.
It’s a totally different world. Badrinath is a boy from Jhansi and it is about the issues he and his dulhania (bride) go through. I can’t talk too much about it but it’s different from Humpty… It is just the same cast, it’s a love story. One schedule of Badrinath… has been shot.