Actor and comedian Varun Sharma has been a staple in many entertaining movies in Bollywood, since his debut in Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s 2013 film Fukrey. After appearing in successful movies like Chhichhore, Dilwale and Roohi, Varun is gearing up to entertain fans in a very different avatar. The actor is a part of the new venture titled Hotstar Dosts, a live commentary feed during the Indian Premiere League (IPL) matches. The actor will be doing live commentary, as well as also chatting with seasoned cricket players including Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan and Parthiv Patel.
In a chat with News18, Varun talked about his new venture as a cricket commentator. “Cricket is something we have all grown up watching. I have also done so and I love the sport. Vivo IPL is the event that all of us wait for every year and to be associated with IPL and Disney+ Hotstar as a commentator is a very fascinating opportunity. I feel like the blend of cricket, entertainment and comedy in terms of commentary is a very new thing that has come up. It is called Hotstar Dost, which signifies we watch cricket at home with our friends. It is about the conversations we have, the nostalgia that we relive and the gully cricket references that we use while watching the matches. It is just friends across the country are watching the matches together."
The actor talked about the challenges of doing cricket commentary for the first time. “It is very exciting and it is something which is very new to me as well. It is also very challenging because there are no retakes, it is a live thing. It is a very interesting process and I am really enjoying it."
Varun said that the whole team of Hotstar Dost had to take 10-day workshops as it was important for them to learn the technicalities of doing cricket commentary. However, the actor added, that their venture is a more fun and informal take on cricket commentary. They also got help from cricket legends themselves. “We had Irrfan Pathan bhai come and talk to us and had some crazy fun with him. He gave a lot of insight while chatting with us and it was very nostalgic to have him. Once he was on the field, he also became a part of our team. He was actually very friendly. It was not a formal way of conversation. Parthiv Patel also came and shared his experiences. It was a lot of fun," Varun shared.
Varun also revealed his favourite IPL team. “I am a huge Dhoni fan, so I like Chennai Super Kings as he used to be there. And then I like Mumbai Indians. These two are my favourite. Chennai is special because of Dhoni sir and Mumbai is another team that I would love to see in the finals,” the actor shared.
While Hotstar Dost, in Varun’s words, is all about nostalgia, the actor himself had a chance to experience it first hand when he met West Indies cricket legend Brian Lara. Recounting his experience, Varun said, “He is a legend. We all have grown up watching him and literally enjoyed his cricket so much. And on top of it, there was a game that we used to play called Brian Lara Cricket. I have literally spent my childhood playing that game on the PlayStation. I stayed in the same hotel as him and I kept meeting him during dinner or lunch. He is one of the sweetest, most humble and kind people I have come across. We got into a conversation about cricket, I told him how I used to play Brian Lara cricket as a child. It was beautiful. Situations like these, when you see someone right from your childhood and get inspired by them. And then once you grow up, you get a chance to work with them or meet them, it is the most beautiful feeling. The nostalgia attached to it cannot be expressed in words.”
Apart from Hotstar Dosts, Varun will be next seen in Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus, which stars Ranveer Singh. The project, shot amid the pandemic, has been kept mostly under wraps. “I can’t talk much about it because I will get scolded (laughs), but all I can say is that my entire experience working on Cirkus has been magical. I feel really honoured and blessed to get a chance to be directed by Rohit Shetty sir. The entire crew and the entire process has been so beautiful. We were a part of one big family. I think what fans can expect is a lot of fun and a lot of entertainment. Rohit sir’s films are always so entertaining. This is another one which is going to be very entertaining. People are really going to love it," he signed off.
Varun also has Fukrey 3 with Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Pulkit Samrat and Manjot Singh in the pipeline.