For those wondering who is that scummy creature in Aniruddh Roychoudhuri’s “Pink”, the answer is he is Vijay Varma, whose chilling portrayal of misogyny and male brutality is bound to give women nightmares for many weeks and months. Other women may find the actor’s obnoxious attitude attractive.

“I’m yet to meet the junta. I’ve been busy since the release of ‘Pink’. Yeah, women like bad boys. But this one that I play is really messed-up bad. So far the reaction I’ve got has mostly been, ‘You’re so good at being this bad. Don’t come near me. But you’re good!'”

“I got some very strong reactions from women after the screening. I don’t know if any woman would want to date me or not after this role. Jokes aside, I think in these modern times people really can segregate actor from character,” said Varma.

The actor admits when he was offered the part he didn’t expect such an impact. “When I read the script, I knew my character Ankit has some seriously strong scenes. My only worry was to get it right while shooting. And also to discover more behind the text. So yes, it was written with the intention to create terror and menace and I plunged into it wholeheartedly,” he said.

Varma admits he was apprehensive of playing such a sinister scumbag, but was “equally lured” and “equally challenged” to do it.

“I took a day to mull over it and decided to take it up because I loved the script. And I deeply admire Shoojit (producer Shoojit Sircar) and Aniruddh Roychoudhury. So I had faith that it won’t be like the villain of 1980s and 90s which titillates male audiences,” he said.

Coming from conservative family, Varma had to seek reference points for his characters predatory and crass behaviour towards women.

“I saw a lot of ‘Roadies’ Delhi auditions and ‘Splitsvilla’ to get the passive aggressiveness from people on these shows. Their behaviour and mindsets, I tried to ape. I am from Hyderabad and have lived in a very protected family, almost like a girl child. But the male dominance and chauvinism were very readily available everywhere around us,” he said.

Varma is not afraid of being typecast. “I have a variety of work coming up next. Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Yaara’, where I play a flamboyant womaniser. And ‘Raag Desh’, where I play a noble and ethical journalist in the 1940s,” he said.

By Subhash K. Jha