Vijay Varma says he told Reema Kagti after the ‘Dahaad’ offer, “Next time, give me a nice guy role.”
Before he agreed to play a murder suspect in Reema Kagti’s crime show “Dahaad”, actor Vijay Varma says he made the director promise that she would cast him in a “nice guy” role in a future project. Be it a street thug in “Gully Boy”, an abusive husband in “Darlings” or a gangster in “She”, the Hyderabad-born actor has made a career out of playing flawed men.
In “Dahaad”, he essays Anand, a school teacher suspected of a series of murders.
“I was drawn to the script and I couldn’t put it down. I read eight episodes in a day-and-a-half. It is a delicious part and I am a very greedy actor,” Varma told media source in an interview here.
The actor said he doesn’t know why filmmakers approach him for roles with grey shades.
“When these characters come to me, I am like, ‘Why don’t you go to someone else with these characters?’ When Reema gave me this character, I said, ‘I will do this, but next time give me a nice guy (role)’. She said, ‘First do this’,” he recalled.
“Dahaad”, co-created by Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, is set in a small, sleepy town in Rajasthan. The story revolves around Anjali Bhaati (Sonakshi Sinha), a sub-inspector, who along with her colleagues, tries to solve a gruesome murder case with an unsuspecting criminal on the loose. Kagti also directs the eight-episode series with Ruchika Oberoi.
Playing Anand was a “taxing” experience for Varma, who credited his co-stars for making him feel loved after wrapping the day.
“I was surrounded by people who absolutely loved me on the sets. When we finished our work, we would all find a common place, where we would sit, chat, sing, dance, play snooker, perform, and do all kinds of activities.
“I started to learn how to unwind when the days were slightly (hard)… We had a lockdown situation after one schedule, and then we resumed work. So, I had to keep some part of the story and character with me for an extended period of time. That was a bit taxing,” the 37-year-old actor added.
To prepare for the role, Varma said though he watched a lot of crime drama shows, he treated the script as his bible.
“It is one of the scripts, where barely anybody said anything outside of it. It was all there on paper. I just had to own the part and not be afraid to commit,” he added.
The actor said he relied on directors Kagti and Oberoi to determine whether or not he had successfully captured the nuances of his character.
“There is a disconnect, a complete lack of empathy, maybe zero conscience… the characteristic of a psychopath. So, when you try to play that, you have to disconnect with the feelings you have. As actors, we rely on feelings, here we had to disconnect. That took a bit of exercise,” Varma said.
Also featuring Gulshan Devaiah and Sohum Shah, “Dahaad” will start streaming on Prime Video starting Friday. The series is produced by Excel Media & Entertainment and Tiger Baby, with Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Kagti, and Zoya Akhtar as executive producers.