As Gaddalakonda Ganesh, Varun Tej is all set to entertain the audience with Valmiki, which is releasing on September 20. Directed by Harish Shankar, the film has Pooja Hegde, Atharva Murali and Mrinalini Ravi in lead roles besides Varun Tej. During a chit chat with the International Business Times, India, here is what the actor said about remaking the magic of Jigarthanda in Telugu.
Till now you did 'boy next door' and 'lover boy' kind of roles. Why this sudden transition into a fierce and violent man?
I felt like I was being stereotyped. Directors who used to come to me to narrate stories would come with love stories only. I have earned some fame only after Fida and Tholi Prema. So I thought this is the right time to bag some good scripts and make my own market. That's when F2 came to me and that was also a different role. I just wanted to try something new. I thought what's wrong in being a bad guy once in a while. So decided to be violent.
This rugged look, long hair and a complete makeover. Who is your inspiration for this vintage look?
My inspiration on and off screen is my uncle Chiranjeevi. We initially decided to go with a vintage look. So when decided, I just began growing hair and later, got it styled like the same look my uncle sported in Punadi Rallu. In fact my uncle himself sent a collage of my looks from Valmiki and his look from that film. Haven't done much makeup or makeover for this film. We wanted everything to look natural.
Expectations on this film are high because it's the remake of Jigarthanda. You will be compared to Bobby Simha's performance. Did you try imitating him?
Bobby Simha's performance is stellar. I am sure no one can perform like him. He did an amazing work as the gangster. Also, I did no try to imitate him or perform like he did. Because I wanted my performance to be natural. I wanted the audience to see Gaddalakonda Ganesh, and not Varun Tej. I know my performance going to be compared to his, but I hope audience will be happy.
Did Harish Shankar approach you for the remake project or did he have anything else in mind?
Harish Shankar approached me with a different script. In fact it was a love story. But like I said before, I wasn't ready to do a love story and in fact I wanted a break. I asked Harish why he came to me with a love story and his reply is that I have been doing back-to-back love stories. But I told him that I want to do a Harish Shankar film. Something like Gabbar Singh. So after an 8 hour long discussion, when zeroed in on remaking of Jigarthanda.