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Darlings actor Vijay Verma was told ‘tu Shah Rukh Khan nahi hai’ during struggle: ‘Today SRK has employed me for his film’

Vijay Verma- Darlings

Actor Vijay Verma says he is a classic underdog story, where he went from a boy with big eyes and dreams who ran away from his home and went to Mumbai to eventually become an actor.

In this interview with indianexpress.com, Vijay shares how he went through a phase where he wasn’t offered much work. He said he was a beggar then who couldn’t choose, but he made sure to change it for himself by choosing the right projects and learning along the way.

On having a great filmography with films like Pink, The Suitable Boy, Gully Boy and Darlings, the actor said: “These projects come to me, but I had to choose. I’ve been on a bit of a journey. I was in a position where I didn’t have enough to choose from so I had to take everything I could in desperate times.I soon realized that even beggars can be voters.So early, in terms of auditions and all, I refused to audition for parts which I did not like.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmx5KDPopqeg

“I had decided that I had to take matters into my own hands and choose what I wanted to do with my career. I didn’t want to play roles that I couldn’t do justice to. I had to start from scratch. And luckily for me, I’m now in a place where I can put together the kind of movies I want to make and the roles I want to play. Now that I have a small body of work, I can’t afford to repeat what I’ve done before. So that becomes one of the criteria when choosing the script. The other is understanding what I’m doing in the film and the third, and the most important, is what the film does, what it says and how well it says it,” he adds.

Vijay also explained how his and Alia Bhatt’s characters in Darlings are different from what they did in Gully Boy. He says: “I had to make a conscious choice because I and Alia were both in Gully Boy. So we wanted to make sure we were creating completely new identities. The script was rich enough to give us so much to feed on. I went to Byculla, hung out with the people, I heard their stories, I heard how they celebrate, how they spend their evenings, how they are obsessed with reels, how they like their social media and what music they listen to. I studied them and realized that there is more Urdu in their ‘Bambaiya’ which I love because I am from Hyderabad. In this way I have collected little bits to become Hamza, a very respectable man with a job in the government.”

Vijay has been an actor for ten years and calls it a journey of many lessons. “The underdog who came here ten years ago feels seen now. I took several leaps, risks, and opportunities at the expense of nearly tearing my entire family apart. I ran away from home. So they all feel a lot of peace now, they were afraid that I would make it, it’s not easy to go to Mumbai and become someone. I was told ‘tu Shah Rukh Khan nahi hai’, but now Shah Rukh Khan has hired me for his film,” Vijay said.

Some of the best films in Vijay’s recent filmography have been made by female filmmakers. Darlings, a film about domestic violence, is also directed by Jasmeet Keer, a debutante female filmmaker. On the female perspective in stories, and whether it makes a difference in the way a story is told, Vijay says: “There is no difference per se, but I like it when a female director directs me, especially if I’m playing a very bad character. I like it the way a female director sees it. There’s a certain kind of look that a female filmmaker has, even for bad men, and that’s very compassionate.”

“They want to say what a monster this person is, but somehow it evokes some kind of empathy. But there is an equally great degree of vulnerability that, say Shoojit Sircar or Imtiaz Ali or Zoya Akhtar, bring into their films. They are equally nuanced and compassionate people. So practically there’s no gender difference when it comes to working with filmmakers, but with Darlings I feel like only a woman can tell the story,” concludes Vijay.