Varun Dhawan to romance Banita Sandhu in ‘October'


Not Deepika Padukone or Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan will be seen romancing a newbie in Soojit Sircar’s next venture, ‘October’. The girl is named Banita Sandhu.

Varun shared a picture of his and Banita dressed completely in black and wrote, “#October. Here’s the October girl @shoojitsircar #ronnielahari #juhichatruvedi. Thank you for picture @avigowariker.”

Earlier in the day, Varun also shared a fuzzy image of the actor and captioned# “She is the #October girl I was looking for. @ShoojitSircar @ronnielahiri,”wrote Varun Dhawan on Twitter.”

Director Soojit Sircar talked about casting Banita Sandhu, the ‘Pku’ director says, “Everybody loved Banita in a chewing gum commercial that I had directed. It had almost 40 million hits. While I was shooting the ad film, Juhi (Chaturvedi; writer) and I were also working on the script [for this film]. So, one day, I clicked a picture of Banita and sent it to Juhi saying, ‘She has the potential to fit into the character that we are looking at’.”

Until everthing is finalized, Soojit didn't informed Banita that she has been selected for the role. He says, “I didn’t pursue it further at that point, as we were still working on the script. Then, we locked the script and Varun was finalised. We did look at other actors [for Banita’s part], but then one day, I called her and told her that I may be casting her in the film, and that she should start doing workshops,” he says.

 “But slowly, Juhi, Ronnie (Lahiri; producer) and I zeroed in on her and were sure that, ‘She is the girl we should go for’. My casting director also felt that she was the right person for this character.” The film-maker adds that the project will go on the floors within a few weeks. “We are still working on finer details, but most probably, we should start in October,” he added.

Minissha Lamba in ‘Yahaan’ (2005) or Yami Gautam in ‘Vicky Donor’ (2012), Shoojit Sircar has a skill for finding newer faces. “Please don’t say that; I don’t have any such knack (laughs),” he says, adding that what he always hunts for is the ‘feel’ and ‘vibe’ in an actor.

“I always look for people who are ready to jump into my story and the kind of commitment I am making. So, it’s like, ‘is that person as excited or gung-ho about the film and the story that I am going to tell? In that case, even if the person doesn’t fit in 100% or isn’t a great technician or a great actor, but is ready to go along with my idea, story and vision, I’ll definitely work with him or her. At least, there is a commitment or interest,” he says.

Shoojit admits that names of “established actors” were also considered but he and his team felt Banita is perfect for the role. “But Juhi, Ronnie and I thought that Banita is perfect for the character. In the past, if I have worked with Minissha, Yami, Nargis Fakhri in Madras Café (2013), Deepika (Padukone) in Piku (2015), or the three girls in Pink (2016); they worked as characters and not just because they were established or non-established stars,” he says.