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How Varun Dhawan bagged Shoojit Sircar's October

Interestingly, Dhawan was the one who was keen on working with the director and had been messaging him for a year.

Suparna Thombare

The trailer of Shoojit Sircar's October has further raised curiousity around the film, which is a love story between Dan, played by Varun Dhawan, and Shiuli, played by newcomer Banita Sandhu.

Sircar recently revealed the story of how Dhawan came on board as the lead. Interestingly, Dhawan was the one who was keen on working with the director.

The actor had been sending text messages to Sircar for almost a year, asking him to meet. Finally, the two met in November 2016, when Sircar was in the process of casting for October. At that time the team of the film had already auditioned many newcomers.

In an interview with a leading publication, Sircar revealed how and why finally Dhawan was cast, and described their first meeting.

“That day I was rushing to wrap up things before flying off to Kolkata when Varun called asking if we could meet. Since he lived in Juhu, I wondered if he could come over immediately. He’d just woken up and told me he was not dressed. I told him not to bother, we’re pretty casual around here,” said Sircar.

Sircar also spoke about how Dhawan was being his clumsy self in his ripped denims, a crumpled shirt and disheveled hair. The director observed him closely and that’s when he saw Dan, the protagonist of October, in his eyes.

“For a year we had been auditioning newcomers for the leading man’s role in October and suddenly there he was in front of me. Varun looked 20-21 and his eyes reflected honesty," he said.

At the end of the meeting Sircar clicked a picture of Dhawan and sent it to his writer Juhi Chaturvedi and producer Ronnie Lahiri, saying that he has discovered Dan. After receiving a thumbs up from them, Dhawan was invited back to the director’s office the next day and offered the role.

“He was so happy that we'd be finally working together, that he accepted the offer immediately. Varun is now my dil ka tukda [loved one],” Sircar said.

Produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar, October is set to be released on 13 April.