Though he has been around since his first film Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011) struck an arrow that pierced right through the hearts of a million jilted Indian boys eight years ago, Kartik Aaryan has long moved beyond his iconic women-bashing monologues. Currently he is the Bollywood heartthrob that women of iconic lineage want to date, making sure they profess their desire on national television, lest it be missed.
Hindi film industry’s newest star, the 28-year-old talks about his upcoming film Luka Chuppi, his life post Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, his parents getting used to his stardom and what he finds bizarre about this great jungle that is Bollywood.
How does it feel to be called Bollywood’s next big thing?
I am loving the attention. These are big words. I really wish to live up to them. I hope people continue to love my films. I don’t want to be one of those jo aate hain aur chale jaate hain. But thankfully, it’s not just one film that has worked for me. Despite the ups and downs, people have been positive towards me, so I am really glad. However, I have a long way to go. I feel big comparisons are being made too soon. Let’s wait a while, let a few of my films work.
You were loved in the Punchnama films but things just exploded after Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Despite giving popular performances, what took this so long?
The Punchnama films were a lot more than just me. Of course, people remember me from those films, my characters, the monologues, but it didn’t click the way Sonu did. The heroism that Sonu had and the void that everyone has of a Sonu in their lives, I think my character tapped into that space. We all want a friend like him who means well and can go to any extent for us. I think that feeling connected with people. Then our music album was the album of the year.
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Guddu toh next week aapke beech ayega Par aaj Sonu ka Bday hai !!! Cant believe its been a year #SonuKeTituKiSweety is still fresh in our minds The character and the film that changed my life ❤️❤️ Thank you to the entire team and audience Tera yaar hoon main !!! (All time fav ) ❤️❤️
How was it working with Kriti Sanon and Aparshakti Khurana in Luka Chuppi?
There is also Pankaj ji (Triapthi), Vinay Pathak ji and a lot of other actors. It was great working with Kriti. We didn’t need any ice-breaking, we gelled really well. She is a very receptive actor.
Pankaj ji, again, is amazing. I got to learn so much from him. I have a lot of scenes with him and we got to work very closely while filming Luka Chuppi. Aparshakti is also a fabulous actor. His comic timing is amazing. It feels good to be working with good actors, who make a scene go beyond what’s written in the script. With all of them in one frame, I had a gala time. I was working with so many actors in individual scenes for the first time and we were feeding off each other. It was unreal. Everyone was so invested in their roles that at times it felt like we weren’t acting at all. It was a very satisfying experience for me.
Most of Luka Chuppi's songs are recreated versions of popular songs. Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety also had a couple of rejigged versions. What do you feel about such songs?
It totally depends on the film and the makers. Like if you talk about Sonu, it had situations that needed those songs. They all had a reference point to it. If you don’t make a blunder out of it, then it’s no harm, I feel. People do enjoy these songs.
There are speculations that you have this entire year blocked. How many films do you have currently?
Itni bhi filme sign nahi ki hai. And I do have a few dates. Kuch aur achhe content ko fit karne ka definitely scope hai.
How do your parents react to your dating rumours?
They are used to it now. They don’t take it seriously. They just read the news, discuss it among themselves, sometimes discuss it with me but since I don’t react, they usually don’t ask these questions. They are happy that I am concentrating on my work. I still don’t know how to react to these rumours.
When you came to Mumbai, you hid it from your parents that you wanted to be an actor. Now that you’ve become a star, is there a sense of validation?
Of course. You feel that people have started believing in you. My last film had a respectable box-office number, the kind of response viewers and industry people gave and the kind of offers that I am finally getting, it gives you the sense that kuch toh sahi kar raha hu.
Do your parents feel the same way?
They are still scared, especially my mom. She will always be. She is right also because it is a gamble. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You may think your next project has the best script, is the best film in the world but it might not work and vice-versa. Hence, her reservation. But somewhere, she is happy that I am getting to do what I had set out to.
So far, you have largely starred in romantic comedies but you have said that you are on the look-out for darker, more diverse roles. Which are the directors you want to work with?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali Sir. He is my favourite director. There is long list but Sriram Raghavan Sir. I have been a fan of his work. Anurag Basu Sir. They create such strong characters, the kind I’d love to explore.
Between Sonu and Luka Chuppi, what’s the one thing that has changed in you?
I have become quick with a lot of things, like in making decisions. I was never this quick because I didn’t care about time as I had lots of it back then. Now, I have to make decisions within seconds.
I am also doing a lot more work now. I previously had this notion that I’d work in only one film every year. This has changed now.
As an outsider, what is the one thing that you find most bizarre about Bollywood?
Jhooti tareef karna with both the sides fully aware that they are being fake. I find it very amusing, more so when you watch two people exchanging fake pleasantries as a third person, knowing fully well that they both know they mean none of it.
Have you ever done it yourself?
No, I don’t do it. I’ll give a compliment only when I mean it.
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