There are calls to make gender parity a reality in the entertainment industry and Varun Dhawan feels men have an important role to play in this discourse. The actor says men should stop feeling threatened and work towards creating a better work environment for all.
"Men can be a big part of the dialogue and they should be a part of the change. I think men need to stop being threatened by this change. They should be more accepting about it," Varun told IANS in an interview.
"I think it is only going to be beneficial if there is equality, because, first and foremost, more talent will shine through... Let people come through (on the basis of) talent. Let us not discriminate just because of gender. Talent should be the one that speaks the loudest and we have immense talent in our industry," added the actor, who stood up for his October co-star Banita Sandhu during the promotion of the movie.
Varun, son of director David Dhawan, entered Bollywood as an actor with Student of the Year in 2012. He worked as an assistant director to Karan Johar on the 2010 drama My Name Is Khan.
He might have walked into Bollywood as a student, but Varun has graduated after showcasing his calibre with each of his projects.
From playing the role of a small town boy from Jhansi in Badrinath Ki Dulhania, to getting the act right in dance film ABCD 2 to the dark and gritty Badlapur to the subtle October to fun films likes Dilwale, Dishoom, Main Tera Hero and Judwaa 2 -- he has aced his performance in each of the projects.
He is back on the big screen -- this time as tailor named Mauji in Sui Dhaaga - Made in India.
The Yash Raj Films production highlights the untapped potential of India's talented craftsmen and skilled workers at the grass-root level and the challenges and issues faced by them. Helmed by Sharat Katariya, the film, also starring Anushka Sharma, will open on Friday.
"It is a film I am damn proud about. It is a film I am very excited about. Now... a lot of people have seen it. Our family members have seen it. In fact, some enemies have seen the film."
And by enemies, he means his sibling.
"Our siblings are our biggest critics. If the sibling likes the film, it is a very big deal," said Varun, who has a brother.
Since he has worked behind the camera, Varun says knowing the technicalities of filmmaking is always helpful.
"But knowing technicalities in a film like 'Sui Dhaaga - Made in India' was not that helpful. Because this is almost about being free and being very raw. You kind of unlearn a lot of things. It is a raw and fun film.
"We were pretty much doing the things we wanted to do. As actors, we were given a lot of freedom," added Varun, who has been signed on to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, and got associated with Indian textile major and fabric manufacturers Raymond along with Anushka.
The actor says the fear of failure is attached to every project, but he is confident about his latest movie.
"I want a lot of people to go and watch my film and then I want to go grocery shopping with them," he said.