Varun Dhawan was born to Indian film director, David Dhawan and his wife, Karuna Dhawan. He is the younger brother of director, Rohit Dhawan, who made his directorial debut with the 2011 film, Desi Boyz. He has mentioned that he wanted to become a wrestler when he was a child. He has a degree in business management from Nottingham Trent University, UK.
In 2012, Dhawan made his debut in Karan Johar's Student of the Year along with Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt.His performance and dancing skills was appreciated with film critic Taran Adarsh from Bollywood Hungamastating, "Both Sidharth and Varun are excessively talented, supremely confident and hardly look like first-time actors. Photogenic, charming and self-assured, it's tough to say who's better, Sidharth or Varun? Both shine in their respective roles, both enact their parts with gusto. Sidharth gets some terrific moments, while Varun is a talent one can't help but marvel at. In fact, all three, Siddharth, Varun and Alia, are here to stay!" similarly CNN-IBN film critic Rajeev Masand wrote, "It’s Varun Dhawan who stands out with a confident, charming turn, able to tackle both comical and vulnerable scenes with ease". film critic Komal Nahta commented, "Varun Dhawan does very well as the spoilt brat but there are a few places where he needs to buck up. Varun is the best dancer among all three". Raedita Tandan from Filmfare wrote, "Among the performances, Sidharth, Varun and Alia do their best not to seem like newcomers and they emerge triumphant. Varun is charming his brilliant dancing skills deserve a special mention. The three make confident debuts". film critic Anupama Chopra from Hindustan Times commented, "Critically, the leading men, Varun and Sidharth, work. They don't instantly set the screen on fire like Hrithik Roshan or Ranbir Kapoor did in their first films. But they grow on you. Karan puts a heavy burden on them. They are the backbone of this film, but they pull it off. If you have patience and a taste for the overblown, check them out". 'Student Of The Year' is doing fantastic at box office within first three days of its release with collections in the vicinity of 32 crores. The film was released on 19 October 2012 in over 1400 screens across the country and garnered positive to mixed reviews from critics and good box office collections. Varun Dhawan next film is Main Tera Hero. The film is a remake of a telugu blockbuster, Kandireega and will be produced by Ekta Kapoor's production house, Balaji Motion Pictures. Varun Dhawan won award for Lions Favourite Debut : Male – Varun Dhawan for Student Of The Year in 19th Lion's Gold Awards 2013.