Vardhan Puri has the mighty Amrish Puri as his grandfather, and that’s one helluva a responsibility to carry with you.
Luckily Vardhan takes responsibility in the right spirit.
Speaking about his illustrious grandfather Vardhan says, “I was lucky to have Daadu with me for 15 years of my life. We used to stay together and I was in the room next to his. Not a night passed when I didn’t up to sleep between my Dadu and Dadi.”
Curiously Vardhan’s father never showed any interest in acting.
Says Vardhan, “My dad wanted to travel all the over the world. That was his ambition. So he joined the navy. I was an actor from my childhood.”
Since his Daadu played the arch-villain, Vardhan grew up cheering the bad guy. “I’d watch Daadu being mean and I’d feel happy. When he got killed in the films I’d get very angry.”
Now in his debut film Yeh Saali Ashiqui which opens on 22 November, Vardhan plays a grey character.
“It’s always exciting to explore the grey area even when you are playing the leading man. I was trained under the great theatre guru the late Satyadev Dubey who always told me not to use theatre as a stepping-stone to cinema. I promised him I won’t, that I’d treat both the mediums as individual mutually exclusive platforms for acting. Even for my screen debut, I chose a subject entirely out of the box,” says Vardhan who spent some time being trained for acting in London also.
“In London, I kept asking my teachers how to deepen my voice. Perhaps it was the fact that my grandfather was reputed to have the deepest baritone possible. But I was told to work on the traits that I have, to sharpen the skills that I was born with and not to crave for what I don’t have,” recalls Vardhan.
Isn’t he a little embarrassed by the title of his film Yeh Saali Aashiqui? How would he explain the ‘S’ word to his children one day?
Vardhan is not the least apologetic about the title. “The film’s title Yeh Saali Aashiqui reflects an attitude. It is not a reflection of my personality. I hope my children will be proud of their father’s first film whenever they are born.”