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Varun Dhawan: 'Student of the Year' is now Father of the Year As the Bollywood superstar Varun Dhawan became the father of a baby girl this week, we look at the transformative journey of the actor - from being a 23-year-oldboy on the set of My Name Is Khan as an assistant director to now - a superstar, a father of a baby girl and waiting for his film to be released named – Baby John.

By Arundhuti Banerjee

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Actor Varun Dhawan

As the Bollywood superstar Varun Dhawan became the father of a baby girl this week, we look at the transformative journey of the actor - from being a 23-year-oldboy on the set of My Name Is Khan as an assistant director to now - a superstar, a father of a baby girl and waiting for his film to be released named – Baby John.

Coming from a film family, as his father is one of the most successful commercial filmmakers, David Dhawan, it was too predictable for Varun Dhawan aka VD to join the business as an actor, and making his debut with one of his father's film. But this 37-year-old Bollywood superstar broke every rule and curved his niche.

Now that the actor has become a father of a baby girl on Monday with his wife Natasha Dalal, and all his friends and actors, including Arjun Kapoor, Karan Johar, Maniesh Paul celebrating and congratulating Varun for becoming the 'father of the year', we take a look at six interesting turns in his acting career that transform him from a young boy to a superstar, who impressed the mass audience and critics alike with his acting, dance and bold choices of projects!

VD, the AD: Before making his debut as an actor, he worked as one of the assistant directors for the film My Name Is Khan (MNIK) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. It was a directorial project by Karan Johar who eventually offered him his acting project with SOTY. During one of his earlier interviews, Varunshared how working on the film set as an AD humbled him and gave him a better understanding of the hard work it requires to make a film. Though he visited many film sets as a child because of his father, David Dhawan, working on MNIK gave him a reality check.

Debut and big success: Usually any newcomer looks for an opportunity for a solo debut project as a protagonist to flaunt their talent. But, Varun's first film Student of the Year, released in 2012, was also the launching film of Alia Bhatt and SidharthMalhotra. The film was made under the budget of Rs 59 crore, and it went on to earn around Rs 109 crore at the box office. Varun's performance as Rohan Nanda and his chemistry with Alia was highly appreciated. Since then, there has been no looking back for Varun, who delivered back-to-back super-hit films like - Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badlapur, ABCD 2, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and more.

VD, a brand for the masses: With the mass appeal and strong bond he shares with his audience from every walks of life Varunhas been promoting multiple brands from various industries, spanning over lifestyle, health, cars and also the face of entertainment with Amazon Prime Video. The actor is face of brands like - Reebok, Parle Agro Frooti, Layer'r Shot, MarutiSuzuki Arena, Resiquick, Lux Cozy, Fossil Watches, Tasty Treat, Brylcreem, FBB, Buffalo clothing, SkyBags, Adictiondeodorant, Campus shoes, Philips, Dhawan & Only, We Chat, Nestle Fruit Vitals,Mazaa, Iconic Clothing, Panasonic, Gatsby hair gel, Idee, Pond's Men, Colgate, Bournvita - and more. Recently Varun also became the brand amboosdor of the fragrance brand Envy. With 11 consecutive hits, with a whopping 1,245.62 crore rupees in box office revenue, it's not surprising that he is one of the favorite superstar for every brand!

VD the dancing star: No Bollywood film is complete without a song of the mind-blowing song-dance sequence, and it is a prerequisite for any budding Bollywood star to be able to dance well. Since his debut film, Varun has proved his dancing skills with – Illegal Weapon, Saturday Saturday, Tamma TammaAgain, Badri Ki Dulhania – and more. He went on proving his dancing skills with two of his super successful dance movies – ABCD2 and Street Dancer 3D.

VD and versatility: It could have been an easy way out for any young actor with the dream of becoming a Bollywoodcommercial hero, to sign up for formula, big budget films maintaining the template of love story, action and drama, especially when one tastes success. But VD has a different story. While initially he acted in some of the commercial potboilers, working with filmmakers like Sriram Raghavan and SoojitSircar in films like Badlapur and October positioned Varun as one of the most versatile actors of his time. With such films, he started to get noticed by the critics as well, along with the mass audience.

Striking a balance between OTT and 70 mm screens: It was almost unheard of for any super successful superstar of Bollywood with a track record of delivering box office business of more than Rs200 crore in many films – shouldering a TV Series for an OTT platform. VD broke the rule book here again. This year, the actor is gearing up for his OTT debut with the much awaited action-adventure TV series Citadel: Honey Bunny, a spin-off of the American series Citadel. The Indian series is directed by Raj and DK and it features Samantha Ruth Prabhu. But no, that does not mean that he is taking any break from the 70mm screen. Rather, he is gearing up for a film titled Baby John, produced and written by the Jawaan-famed filmmaker Atlee. Currently, the actor is also working on a film titled Sunny Sanskari Ki Tulsi Kumari with Janhvi Kapoor. It will be interesting to see how the actor finds the balance between two screens and its diverse audience in the coming future.

Arundhuti Banerjee

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