‘October’ Director Shoojit Sircar Shares How He Found Varun Dhawan as Dan!

Shoojit Sircar
Author : Sayli Borkar

Varun Dhawan has been receiving much appreciation and love for his character Dan in Shoojit Sircar’s October. In an interview with a leading publication, Shoojit Sircar spilt the beans on how Varun was cast for the movie, debutant Banita Sandhu and thought behind the story.


Shoojit mentioned how Varun was trying to approach him since a year on text messages before their first meeting that was finally set up back in November 2016. He said,


“That day I was rushing to wrap up things before flying off to Kolkata when Varun called asking if we could meet. Since he lived in Juhu, I wondered if he could come over immediately. He’d just woken up and told me he was not dressed. I told him not to bother, we’re pretty casual around here.”


When Varun met Shoojit, the actor was being his clumsy self in his ripped denim, a crumpled shirt and dishevelled hair. The director observed him closely and that’s when he discovered ‘Dan’ in his eyes. He said,


“For a year we had been auditioning newcomers for the leading man’s role in October and suddenly there he was in front of me. Varun looked 20-21 and his eyes reflected honesty”.


As the meeting came to an end Shoojit clicked a picture of Varun and immediately sent it to his writer Juhi Chaturvedi and producer Ronnie Lahiri saying that he has discovered Dan. After receiving a thumbs up from them, the next day Varun was invited back to the director’s office and offered the leading role in ‘October. He said,


“He was so happy that we’d be finally working together, that he accepted immediately. Varun is now my ‘Dil ka Tukda’.”


Talking about debutant Banita Sandhu, he said,

“She doesn’t just speak, she speaks sense and is the kind of girl you could easily fall in love with”.


In the trailer, we get a glimpse of Dan and Shiuli working in the hospitality section of the hotel industry. Sharing his personal experience, the director said,


“I worked in a hotel in Delhi for a year-and-a-half in the accounts department. I gave out salaries and I saw staff members lurch home like zombies after a 10-12-hour shift, tumble into bed, wake up and return to work. They have no life, they live to make guests comfortable during their stay”.


Shoojit has always been known to bring an essence of Delhi in all his movies.


“Juhi and I both are from Delhi and try to think of ways of portraying the city differently. In Piku, we portrayed it with humour, in Pink it was dark, in October you’ll see a poetic Delhi,” he promised.


The trailer has definitely managed to peak the curiosity of the audience, “The trailer was designed to confuse, pique curiosity. It’s just a simple story of a boy and a girl, which has grown from personal experiences and not any film, brought to life by the beauty and fluidity of Juhi’s writing,” he said.


Shoojit adds that the idea of ‘October’ has grown out of experiences of his life and the writer, Juhi‘s life. They were discussing an idea of a love story even before finishing Madras Cafe and the scripting of ‘Piku’ without any intention of turning it into a film.


The director and his writing partner, Juhi wanted to change the perception of love by delving deeper into the poetic space comparing its beauty to that of the Shiuli flower. He remembers,


“When Juhi suggested we name the girl after the flower, it triggered off more thoughts on love and what it means.”


He signed off saying,

“For me, love is an everyday affair and more about what you can do without expecting anything in return, like what a mother does for her child. It cannot be explained, it has to be experienced which is why we want the audience to ‘feel’ October”.


Produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, October stars Varun Dhawan and Banita Sandhu. A Rising Sun Films Production, directed by Shoojit Sircar the film is set to release on 13th April 2018.

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