Varun Tej wishes to challenge himself with upcoming projects

Actor Varun Tej

Actor Varun Tej, who recently played a dreaded gangster in the film Gaddalakonda Ganesh, will next be seen essaying a boxer in a yet-untitled project.

He says he wishes to challenge himself with his upcoming films. After hit films such as Tholiprema, Fidaa and F2 to his credit, Varun feels he has successfully broken the stereotypical hero’s image with Gaddalakonda Ganesh, in which he plays a negative character.

“For a long time, I was looking to do something different, something that’d break the stereotypical hero image I’ve maintained so far. I had no inhibition playing a negative character. In fact, I was on the lookout for something so exciting, and this project couldn’t have come at a better time. It gave me the opportunity to experiment and challenge myself,” Varun said.

Gaddalakonda Ganesh, directed by Harish Shankar, saw Varun play a much older character. He wondered if audiences will accept him as a 40-plus man on-screen.

“I didn’t want them to see me as a young guy playing an older character. I wanted them to be convinced that I could pull off an older character and I was overwhelmed by the response. Most of my films so far have been well received, but Gaddalakonda Ganesh is the first film that was truly celebrated, and I mean literally. It worked with the masses in a big way,” he said.

Apart from the look of his character, Varun was particularly praised for his Telangana dialect in the film. He said he worked extra hard while dubbing for his character.

“It was hard to sound like an older person. Usually, I finish dubbing for my character in a few hours but just for the interval sequence in Gaddalakonda Ganesh, I dubbed for close to eight hours. I didn’t want even a single word to sound off because the Telangana dialect had to be authentic,” Varun explained.

His next project casts him as a boxer, Varun will shed a lot of weight.

“The training process will begin soon. I will work closely with a trainer from Mumbai to shed weight. My boxing trainer will be flown in from Los Angeles and the training process will begin soon. It’s going to be a very exciting project and we plan to mount it on a large scale,” he said.

Varun also confirmed he will reunite with his Antariksham producer Rajeev Reddy for a new Telugu project.

“Rajeev and I are coming together for something really interesting. Antariksham didn’t yield the kind of reception we had anticipated, but we knew the mistakes we made with that film. The failure hasn’t affected our relationship. We are still great friends and we can’t wait to work together again,” he added.