Vijay Varma says ‘extremely violent’ Darlings character left him exhausted: ‘Roz yahi karte karte…’

The OTT boom has significantly contributed to Indian cinema, especially by introducing numerous talented actors and technicians with no prior industry connections. Among them, who have now become highly cherished, Vijay Varma stands out for his exceptional performances and thoughtful choices.

In 2023 alone, Vijay featured in two films — Lust Stories 2 and Jaane Jaan — as well as two web series — Dahaad and Kaalkoot — garnering praise from all quarters for his outstanding performances.

During a recent session at Sahitya Aaj Tak OTT 2023, Vijay openly discussed his career, highlighting the challenges of portraying a ruthless villain in Jasmeet K Reen’s Darlings and how it left him exhausted after a certain point.

Discussing his portrayal of antagonist roles in Darlings and Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar’s Dahaad, both of which garnered the actor significant acclaim, Vijay shared that embodying these characters presented substantial and unique challenges. He explained, “The character in Darlings was actively violent. It was challenging as I constantly sought to understand why he behaved that way, raising his hands on people and speaking in a certain manner. In real life, I am nothing like that. Playing the violent character every day eventually took a toll on me. I got tired after a while. Then there was a point during shooting a specific sequence when my hands were tied to a chair for 10-15 days. Initially, I was the one inflicting harm, but later, others turned the tables, and I found myself on the receiving end.”

“In Dahaad, on the other hand, the character I portrayed didn’t involve much on-screen violence; whatever actions he took were executed silently,” he noted.

Festive offer

When enquired about his approach to portraying such intense villainous characters, Vijay expressed his readiness to embrace any role that satisfies his hunger. He also drew parallels between his life story and that of the turtle from the tale of “The Tortoise and the Hare”.

Regarding his skill in acing close-up shots through eye and facial expressions, Vijay observed that the eyes convey the most when we see or interact with a person. “So, I believe that whatever is going through your mind, even if you attempt to conceal it, your eyes won’t be able to lie.”

Discussing the differences in working across theatre, film and OTT platforms, Vijay expressed, “I was born in the theatre realm, worked in films, and currently working a lot in streaming platforms. I haven’t perceived significant differences among them. An actor’s responsibility is to understand the script and their character, learn the dialogues and work hand-in-hand with those involved in the production. While their pitching and metres may vary, each medium mutually benefits actors.”

Vijay also highlighted his longing for involvement in big projects suitable for the theatres, expressing anticipation for those he is already part of. Sharing insights into his most admired figures in Bollywood, Vijay remarked, “I am currently working on a project with Naseeruddin Shah, and he is someone I aspire to learn a great deal from. Irrfan Khan is a person I hold deep affection for. In my perception, he continues to live on. Who isn’t a fan of Shah Rukh Khan, including me? Tabu is also among my preferred performers.”

He also noted a shift in his approach to roles, revealing that he stopped taking on roles solely for money after being fired from a film where he portrayed a small reporter’s role at a time when he had a mere Rs 18 in his bank account.

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