Article Hindi

Am already living my dream, says Kartik Aaryan at the Jagran Film Festival

The young actor was in conversation with film journalist and critic Rajeev Masand about his recent stardom and his upcoming big projects.

Sonal Pandya

The past few years, there has been a lot of talk about nepotism in the film industry, as star kids have been in the spotlight and been launched in big-ticket projects. But the rise of actors like Ayushmann Khurrana and Kartik Aaryan shows that maybe, just maybe, you don’t need insider connections and that hard work and talent can get you far.

At the 10th edition of the Jagran Film Festival, Aaryan was in conversation with film journalist and critic Rajeev Masand when he spoke about his early struggling days, his rise to the top, and his upcoming projects with Imtiaz Ali and Karan Johar.

If you are talented, you will get a chance: Kartik Aaryan

In the beginning when he moved to Mumbai, sharing a flat with 12 other roommates, he never had an idea of when these auditions would take place. “I used to search for auditions on Facebook or Google, or directly go there. I had found out the addresses of all casting directors, where the auditions took place. I used to just go over there for the heck of it,” he said.

Many times, he was rejected even before auditioning. “But the only thing that kept me going was my own faith in myself,” he said. “Also, I didn’t have a plan B. It kept me going, that something or the other will happen.”

Aaryan made his debut on the big screen with Luv Ranjan’s Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011). He sent over his portfolio pictures via Facebook to casting director Vicky Sidana. Incredibly, he was rejected after the first audition, but the tide eventually turned his way.

After Pyaar Ka Punchnama, no one knew him by name, though he was known for that famous long monologue that went viral.

“I had no reason to back out from this industry. All said and done, whatever I have struggled, I have gained that much too, maybe more. I’m really grateful to whatever has been happening,” he noted about his rise to stardom.

“That struggle is never going to end. It’s a different kind of struggle each time. And it’s in every industry,” Aaryan continued.

His parents, who were also in attendance at the event, were supportive of each step of his journey, the actor said, though he found it difficult initially to tell them he wanted to become an actor.

His recent run of success has taken seven long years; last year’s Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety became the turning point of his career.

“It was a film that actually changed my life,” he noted. “The character Sonu was an author-backed role. Sonu is the kind of friend you need in your life, that void [needs] to be filled. The character is closest to my heart.”

Aaryan assured Masand and the audience that public adulation “will never go to my head, which a lot of people thought after Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety”. Aaryan backed up that film with Luka Chuppi (2019) which also did well. For that film, he returned to his hometown, Gwalior, for shooting.

He claimed that he never felt more like a star during the film’s shoot. “It felt that I wasn’t in a film, I was in politics. It was another feeling,” he said of the star treatment he received in his hometown.

His upcoming slate of films is quite exciting. Up first is the remake of Pati Patni Aur Woh (1978) with Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Panday; he has also been named as the new face of the Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) and Dostana (2009) sequels, and finished a film with Imtiaz Ali earlier this year.

With Sara Ali Khan and Imtiaz Ali

“It was life-changing,” Aaryan said of his time with Imtiaz Ali. “I haven’t yet seen what work I’ve done on the film. His whole way of working is really different, and it has changed my approach towards acting as well as life. He has a certain process, you don’t know how it changes you.”

While he hasn’t thought much of the future, he knows a future house, sea-facing, on Bandstand in Bandra, Mumbai, is on the wishlist. His five-year plans keep changing, he said.

“In terms of the filmmakers I want to work with, that has started happening and I’m already living my dream,” Aaryan stated.

The ever-smiling actor finally obliged his fans and ended the event with his Punchnama monologue, by special request from the crowd.

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Jagran Film Festival