Varun Dhawan – Bollywood star who gave 11 hits in a row, right from debut

Varun Dhawan, son of filmmaker David Dhawan is an established and extremely popular Bollywood actor of present times. Though he is not counted among the most talented actors of today, he has taken the best start ever by an actor in the history of Indian cinema. None of the filmmakers have lost their bet money in last 7 years till Kalank happened in 2019.

He had a 100 per cent track record at the box office since 2012. Those 11 hit films are Student of the Year, Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, ABCD 2, Dilwale, Dishoom, Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Judwaa 2, October and Sui Dhaaga. The actor is known for his perfect comedy timing, dancing talents and sweet smiles. Yet Varun has proved himself as serious actor through his stellar performances in Badlapur and October.

Varun Dhawan hails from a family with strong filmy background

He was born in Mumbai in 1987 into a filmy family. His father David Dhawan is a famous director of several comedy blockbusters, while his uncle Anil Dhawan is a well-known actor. Following his uncle’s footsteps, he joined acting. In fact his father also wanted to become an actor, but landed as a film editor and director in Bollywood. His younger brother Rohit Dhawan directed hit films, Desi Boyz and Dishoom, while his aunt (Anil Dhawan’s wife) and cousin Sidharth Dhawan (Anil Dhawan’s son) had a brief career in Bollywood. He is married to fashion designer Natasha Dalal since 2021.

He owns an array of box office hits credited in his name

Varun Dhawan started his film journey as an assistant director of Karan Johar through the movie – My Name Is Khan in 2010. Later Karan launched him along with Alia Bhat, Siddharth Malhotra and Sana Saeed through 2012 campus film, Student of the Year. It was Karan’s first film without SRK playing the male lead, though the actor played producer’s role in it. After film’s success he went to sign films one after another, and all of them turned box office hits. Thus he became a cashable actor of Bollywood, a status earlier enjoyed by super stars like Rajesh Khanna and Hrithik Roshan who had a less struggling period in Bollywood right from debut.

In 2019 just a couple of days before the release of much anticipated film Kalank, his name was included in an international list of 5 world records of cinema. His name found place in the list as none of his released movies till then became a flop. Right from his debut movie, he tasted success of 11 hits in a row. He was the only Indian actor to be featured in the list. Ironically his most expensive project Kalank released very soon failed to make an impact on audiences and did not recover its costs. It fell flat and was declared a flop. After 11 hits in a row, right from debut, he got two flops back-to-back – Kalank in 2019 and Street Dancer in 2020. 

After the pandemic his movie, Coolie No: 1 was released in OTT platform. The movie was trolled for some hilarious and illogical scenes. He returned in a bang with the success of Jugjugg Jiyo in 2022, sharing screen space with Anil Kapoor. His next release, Bhediya opened to favourable reviews from critics though it was an average fare at box office. He was nominated in Filmfare Best actor (Critics) category for Bhediya, while he bagged ‘Performer of the year award’ at Zee Cine Awards for Jugjugg Jiyo.

Varun Dhawan – Some interesting and less-known facts

1. Varun Dhawan is perhaps the only Indian actor (or an actor across the globe) to deliver 10+ hits in a row since debut, and it happened in a span of 7 years when he never tasted failure.

2. If Kalank had become a hit as expected, it would have been a history with 12 hit films in a row. Though the film received negative reviews most, because of its star cast it turned to be an average grosser – just a few steps away from recovering its budget and marketing cost. Though it almost covered budget, it failed to cover other expenses and was declared a flop.

3. He is the second cousin of director Punit Malhotra. David Dhawan and Punit’s father are first cousins.

4. His mother is designer Manish Malhotra’s cousin sister. Thus Varun is his nephew.

5. During his film debut, many believed that his co-star Siddharth Malhotra is related to Manish Malhotra. It was surprising to many when the designer revealed that in fact Varun is his nephew.

6. Among all co-actors, his pairing with Alia Bhat is admired most. Many people even compare them to the iconic pair of SRK and Kajol. They together delivered blockbusters such as The Student of the Year, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, and Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, and also multi-starrer Kalang.  

7. Bobby Deol – Twinkle Khanna, Abhishek Bachchan – Kareena Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor – Sonam Kapoor, Varun Dhawan – Alia Bhat, Ishaan Khatter – Jhanvi Kapoor – The list is so long where the star kids were launched to Bollywood as lead pairs in the recent past, and in most these cases these actors went on to establish their careers in Bollywood. Among all such star kids, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhat who were casted together in The Student of the Year makes a rare pair who never struggled in Bollywood career till now.

8. During his school days he was excellent in sports.

9. He completed MBA from Nottingham Trent University, UK before joining film industry as an assistant director.

10. He worked with his father in two films in the recent past – Judwaa 2 and Main Tera Hero, and Judwaa 2 turned to be the biggest hit of David Dhawan’s career. Currently the director is planning to remake three of his movies belonging to ‘No: 1 Series’ with his son playing the lead role – Coolie No: 1, Shaadi No: 1 and Biwi No: 1.

11. Varun also starred in the second movie of his brother – Dishoom.

12. Though the actor has received many film awards, he is yet to receive his first Filmfare award. But he has earned 4 nominations including two in the best actor category and one is best actor (critics’ choice) category.

13. He shares his birthday with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. Kannada Matinee Idol Rajkumar too was born on 24th April.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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