January 30, 2023


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India’s Varun Tej talks about Sony’s Air Force Epic, a London-set action film

4 min read

Indian actor Varun Tej has already made an impact in a short 11-film career and is set to rise with his next two projects.

Backed by Sony Pictures International Productions and Renaissance Pictures, the cast of an as-yet-untitled project set in the world of the Indian Air Force is titled Tej, which will go on floors in two months. Seasoned commercial filmmaker and cinematographer Shakti Pratap Singh makes his directorial debut with the film Hada, which will be Tej’s 13th.

“It is based on some true incidents that happened between Pakistan and India. And although there have been a lot of war movies, this is a story that I wanted to tell the audience and just try to show what it takes to be on a fighter flight. We are really looking forward to it,” said Tej diversity. “We’re talking to some Air Force pilots, trying to understand their mindset.”

The film, currently titled “VT13”, marks the star’s 13th film, will be his first bilingual in Hindi and Telugu, and he is learning Hindi for the part. One of the defining trends of 2022 is Hindi-dubbed versions of films made in South Indian languages ​​that have proven to be box office hits across India, including “RRR,” “KGF: Chapter 2” and “Kantara.”

“I personally feel that the content should be quite universal. I was surprised by the success of ‘Kantara’, which was really meant to be original, and I was surprised how well it was received everywhere,” said Tej. “Then I was thinking that it depends on how emotions are handled in a film. It doesn’t matter who the actor is. It doesn’t matter what the background is or anything else. It just needs to resonate with people. Same goes for ‘Pushpa’ or ‘Kantra’ or ‘RRR’. I feel that ‘VT13’ has good universal content and a good passion to connect people across the country.”

Tej also leads the cast of “VT12” directed by Praveen Sattaru (“PSV Garuda Vega”). The film was shot extensively in London in the fall of 2022 and will return in two to three weeks to complete some action sequences.

“I played the role of a diplomat’s bodyguard in the film. The whole point of the film is that we are trying to show how third world countries are having dumping yards all over the world and how they are suffering because of it. And it’s about a guy trying to make it to the public, to the media, and how another guy helps him succeed,” said Tej. “It’s a full action film, it’s like ‘Olympus Has Fallen’. I play a savior in the film, trying to get things from A to B.”

In his short career so far, Tej has already worked in several genres, from love stories to science fiction to comedy. He made his debut as the lead in the 2014 drama “Mukunda” and his breakthrough role was the 2015 WWII-set war epic “Kanche”. The 2017 romcom “Feeda” was a huge hit, the 2018 scifi “Antriksham 9000 KMPH” pushed the boundaries and he is also a part of the successful Fun & Frustration comedy franchise.

Tej is the son of the famous Allu-Konidela family of the Telugu language film industry. His father is actor-producer Nagendra Babu and his maternal uncles are actors Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan. His sister Niharika is an actor and cousin to “RRR” star Ram Charan, “Pushp: The Rise” lead Allu Arjun, and Allu Sirish, Sai Tej and Panja Vaishnav Tej.

“There’s a bit of a sense of pressure not to mess with the name that the family built, the empire that they built. But personally, when it comes to movies, they never push or rub on us, they always ask us to find our own journey,” said Tej.

“When it comes to movies, there is zero pressure on the work front. I mean, I had a little bit of pressure, because I wanted to make them happy, I wanted to make them proud. It would probably stress any child. And to be honest, they never let that pressure get to us,” added Tej. “There was a bit of pressure on me to dance in my first few films, which I wasn’t very comfortable with – because all my family are really good dancers.”

Asked to comment on the dismal 2022 for Hindi-language films at the box office, Tej chose instead to focus on his own previous release, the Telugu-language sports drama “Ghani”, in which he played a boxer, which failed at the box office. .

“I was trying to figure out what went wrong with my previous film, which I was very confident about in my head. Our audience, people from all over India, are open to world cinema. And that’s what I figured out. We need to step up our game now. We can’t just give mediocre content and expect people to watch it because we’re not just competing with our states in our country, but we’re now competing with world cinema – you suddenly see a Spanish show doing very well in remote Andhra Pradesh. , village in Telangana. We have to tighten up and write good content, we can’t just take the audience for granted,” said Tej.

“I am talking about all this from my previous film experience, which was really kaput,” says Tej, adding that the team decided to simplify parts of the film to make it easier for the audience to understand.

“People are smart, they’re not dumb. You don’t have to spoon-feed them, but just excite them and make sure they come to the theater and see it and give them a larger-than-life experience,” added Tej.

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