Since the release of Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ last week, Vijay Varma, who plays the brother-figure to Ranveer Singh, is overwhelmed by the positive response for his performance. Playing the character of Moeen, a mechanic and a thief, Vijay’s role was one that was well-received by the audience.
Amidst his busy schedule filled with press meets in Mumbai, Vijay had a candid chat with Metrolife’s Anila Kurian to talk about the preparation for his role.
Zoya’s film generally involves an ensemble cast. Did you feel like your character was overshadowed?
Moeen had a definite track. He starts the film, and we see why he does. I didn’t feel like I will be overshadowed because I trust Zoya as a filmmaker. She always has a huge ensemble, but every character is given their due credit, love and care.
To my surprise, Ranveer was the most generous and giving actor. The script demanded my character to shine in certain places and he did.
What was the brief given to you by Zoya?
She told me that Moeen is a survivor. He’s had the toughest life of them all, and he is the toughest among them too. He has a sense of bravado about his survival. Moeen thinks that he’s the king of his own land. During the process, I started to see why she wanted the character to be the way he is.
Your character was portrayed as a bad guy, but he’s also quite caring and supportive to his friends and orphans. Was it hard for you to understand the complexity of the character?
It definitely was. The whole business of understanding that took the longest time; execution was very smooth as we prepped before we went on the floor. Then again, even just to fathom what this beast of a character is, took me a little while. He has so many enterprises and each of them has a body language to it.
We hear that you had to learn to drive for the film. Is that true?
(Laughs) Yes. I have never owned a car, and I didn’t spend too much time driving. The last time I drove was for a scene in ‘Monsoon Shootout’, and I had to brush up my skills. After all, I am driving around a superstar and his safety was my responsibility (laughs). I didn’t want a situation where he doesn’t know how to drive and crash with the nation’s heartthrob!
When your initial movies took a while to release, did you feel like it was not worth it to stick on?
Honestly, I believed in ‘apna time aayega’. I was mentally prepared to get a role that I will be appreciated even if it was at the age of 50. There wasn’t anything else that I could do.
What’s next for you, Vijay?
I finished shooting for a project with Anurag Kashyap. I’m also working on a crime drama web series written and produced by Imtiaz Ali. Let’s see what else opens up next.