MUMBAI—In a different era, he would be described as a “chocolate hero.” Kartik Aaryan has made his debut with the successful “Pyaar Ka PunchNama,” in which he shone among the six new faces. Next came two flops, “Aakash Vani” and “Kaanchi.” The decisive hit “Pyaar Ka PunchNama 2” followed, and then came another washout “Guest Iin London.”
Last year, he was the protagonist Sonu in “Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety,” which touched 100 crore and beyond, and now he is cast in “Luka Chhupi,” with his first big-league GenY heroine, Kriti Sanon. Aaryan says tongue-in-cheek, “All my successful films have shown me going against love. So in “Luka Chhupi” (which means Hide and Seek), even though I want a live-in relationship with my girl, it becomes a live-in along with my family!”
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: So, jokes apart, what’s your take on “Luka Chhupi?”
A: I am excited more than nervous. And though the trailer and songs have all got a very positive response, the film’s best portions have not been shown in them, and they are hilarious!
Q: You play a star reporter of a newspaper called “Mathura Live” from the town of that name.
A: Yes, and this is my first full-fledged small-town character. “Mathura Live” was actually the older title of the film. In my last film, I was urban, street-smart, very metro. But a lot of things my character did were actually questionable despite his good intentions.
This time, Guddu Shukla is honest and vulnerable and does all the right things. Though I am a small-town guy myself – from Gwalior – there is a difference. In Gwalior, we speak proper Hindi, while Mathura has a dialect of Hindi on which I had to work. And instead of a plain “Hello,” he says, “Radhe Radhe.”
Q: The film shows living-in relationship in a small town. Will the people accept it?
A: Actually, our trailer has been loved more in the small towns. Do you know that it has got more views than even some of the big films, especially there? That has been beyond expectations. The story is relatable too – it is the first time that a relationship like this has been shown with the couple living in with the boy’s entire family, as I said! The film is not preachy, and there’s a lot for family audiences as, before this, live-in relationships have been explored only on a serious level in our films.
Q: Would you go in for a live-in yourself?
A: My parents, who are thrilled with my success, especially my father, have come to live with me in Mumbai just four months ago, and I would have to run away and live in another house for that! (Grins)
Q: So your mother’s views on your success are different.
A: Yes, because she is a shade insecure that such stardom may not last too long, and I might have trouble coping with that!
Q: And how do you see yourself today?
A: The responsibilities are higher after “Sonu…” and I am being very selective. I want to do films that are a mix of commercial appeal, which is what I have always been crazy about, and content. My forthcoming releases will soon show that I will be doing films other than comedies, and I would love to do a thriller.
Yes, I do want this stardom to last and grow. Today, I am considered an option when films are being planned – after seven years of struggle! I want to reach higher, where scripts are written for me. Yes, I am already paying a price – I am not able to give my parents and other loved ones enough time, and that is why I am even scared of getting into a relationship.
Q: Are there any weird examples of fans you have experienced?
A: There was this crazy girl who came and tousled my hair and then wanted to eat a part of it!!
Q: You are doing “Pati Patni Aur Woh,” another comedy, for the same banner that produced the 1978 original.
A: Yes, but that is a modern take on the same story.
Q: Since when did you want to be an actor?
A: I would watch lots of movies, and I have had this yen since I was in Standard Nine. But I was more attracted by the glamour then.
Q: And how easy was getting in for someone who was a complete outsider?
A: When I came here, I was staying in Belapur (almost a satellite town of Mumbai) and never knew anyone or anything about auditions. For two to three years I would travel, about two hours of train travel one way, and would come back – I did not even have a portfolio. If I bumped into a filmmaker whose face I knew, I would ask him for a role!
On the day I went for “Pyaar Ka PunchNama” auditions, I did not even know which film it was and who was making it. They called me again after a while and gave me a seven-minute monologue script that I was told to prepare for a one-shot audition the following day. And when I managed that, I was told that I was in. And I phoned my mother from a booth at Andheri station to tell her that I had finally got a chance.