Mumbai, Jul 3 (PTI) Actor Varun Dhawan believes there has been a decline in the number of big-scale Hindi commercial films as Bollywood is largely "influenced" by western cinema.
Dhawan, who has starred in mainstream entertainers such as "Main Tera Hero", "Dishoom" and "Judwaa 2", said the film industry is in a transition phase during the pandemic where everyone is unsure about the kind of films that will work at the box office.
"We have stopped making big-scale, masala family entertainers because we are too influenced by the West... To begin with, no one knows what type of films will work. From the biggest producers to trade people, no one does and still every week we will come out and give gyaan (knowledge) that this works, that works," Dhawan told PTI.
The actor returned to the big screen with Dharma Productions' "Jugjugg Jeeyo", two years after his last theatrical outing "Street Dancer 3D".
The Raj Mehta-directed comedy, backed by Karan Johar, has raised more than Rs 60 crore at the domestic box office and Rs 100 crore worldwide since its release on June 24.
Dhawan said the production house and his "Jugjugg Jeeyo" co-stars Anil Kapoor and Kiara Advani have been always associated with family entertainers as they too believe in the genre.
Advani's other theatrical release, horror comedy "Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2" has emerged as one of the biggest Bollywood hits of the year.
"The world has changed, nobody knew COVID-19 was coming. It hit us, everything went for a toss. So you have to do what your conviction says.
"Dharma believes in family entertainers, Karan Johar believes in this genre, he has always done it. I believe in this genre, I have always done these films... My career is based on it. Anil Kapoor and Kiara also believe in it. It is not like we are doing it for (the sake of it)".
Post "Jugjugg Jeeyo", the 35-year-old actor has two films lined up -- filmmaker Amar Kaushik's monster comedy "Bhediya" and Nitesh Tiwari's love story "Bawaal".
While "Bawaal" is still under production, "Bhediya" is gearing up for a November release. The film marks his reunion with producer Dinesh Vijan after their acclaimed 2015 thriller "Badlapur"
"From 'Bhediya', one should expect the unexpected. Amar is back after 'Stree' and 'Bala', and I am back with Dinesh after 'Badlapur'. He is someone who only wants to work with me on the wackiest, darkest ideas. It is our passion project and we have gone all out with that film," Dhawan said.
Without divulging details about "Bawaal", the actor said he feels blessed to have got the opportunity to collaborate with Tiwari.
"Then there is 'Bawaal', with one of my favourite directors, Nitesh Tiwari. I was too keen to work with him but didn't know how I would get that opportunity. I feel so blessed that it has happened. I had an amazing time on set, everyday, because he is such a good human being and an extremely funny person," he added.
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