Was shocked and shaken by 'Darlings' script: Vijay Varma
Mumbai: Actor Vijay Varma says he was blown away by the "fresh and fascinating" script of his upcoming film "Darlings", a movie that treads a fine line between darkness and humour.
Headlined by Alia Bhatt and Shefali Shah, who play mother-daughter duo, the film marks the directorial debut of writer Jasmeet K Reen.
Varma said he was a mixed bag of emotions when he first read the script, co-written by Reen and Parveez Sheikh.
"I was quite shocked and shaken by the script. At the same time, it intrigued me a lot. It walks a fine line between darkness and humour. I wanted to get more of an idea of what the director was thinking.
"So, we got on a call and I understood where she was coming from. The perspective she was trying to bring in made it so much more interesting for me," Varma told PTI.
On paper, "Darlings" explores the lives of a mother-daughter duo fighting against all odds to seek courage and love, but the "Gully Boy" star said he felt Reen had more to say.
Varma plays Hamza, a railway ticket collector and an abusive husband to Bhatt's on-screen character Badrunissa in the Mumbai-set film.
"Darlings" offered an irresistible challenge that he had to take up, he said.
"When you just read it on a paper, you get a sense of the story. But what is the director's take on it? When I got to know that, I found it fascinating. It was deeply challenging and I had to take that challenge up.
"When you have a script that is so fresh and fascinating, an opportunity to work with Shefali Shah, Alia Bhatt, you don't really have much to think about," the actor added.
"Darlings" is produced by Bhatt through her banner Eternal Sunshine Productions, in collaboration with superstar Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment.
To get into the skin of his character Hamza, a man who lives in south Mumbai's Byculla area, Varma underwent a series of workshops.
The 36-year-old actor said he followed the brief by Reen, who wanted the character to be played in a "slightly heightened" pitch.
"I worked a great deal with Jasmeet before I started filming. Alia, Shefali and I had read our parts and I figured quite early on that the more realistically I play the part, the more overbearing it can be. So we tried to bring a little bit of 'mazaa' in it, amp it up a bit, and bring more flavour and juice."
Byculla, a bustling middle class south Mumbai neighbourhood known for its distinct lingo, has a certain kind of flavour which, Varma said, he tried to imbibe.
"There are certain habits of the character which you will see in the film," he added.
"Darlings" is set to release on Netflix on August 5.