He’s turned into this new superstar on the block, last year, despite being here for a while – all thanks to ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’. Kartik Aaryan is here to stay we believe and we catch up with the young actor just as his latest film ‘Lukka Chuppi’ sees a release. Excerpts from the chat:

What was the most attractive factor about ‘Lukka Chuppi’ for you?
This is a wholesome entertaining film. The concept of it is only funny and even as a one-liner the film is interesting. The situation and quirk of the film is only hilarious – that how can a live-in relationship be with family? And again, after ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ I had a film which was content-driven yet commercial, and the territory is different of the character. Guddu Shukla is a guy from Mathura and for the first time, there’s a dialect in the film. I had a tutor and we prepped for a while for it. That’s always interesting for an actor. For the first time, he’s not street smart, he is straight-forward. He is the reporter of Mathura live channel, but he keeps falling into a mess, because of his straight-forwardness. That was a great change for me, away from monologues. I was more in a re-active mode here.

Out of the roles you’ve played, which one do you relate to, the most?
I’m a mixture of all. I can’t really pick, but I can analyse the similarities between Guddu from ‘Lukka Chuppi’ and myself. He is from small town, so I am, hence I could relate to him. But I’m not as straight-forward as him. I’m not as righteous as him. I can be a bit like Sonu that way.

You had to struggle for a while before achieving the stardom that you have today. How do you reflect at those years?
I’m someone who’s always very positive and I’ve always taken things positively. I’m always smiling. Even when I was struggling, I used to be happy with my friends still. I used to stay with 11 other boys in one apartment and all of us used to struggle to become actors – even today, I’m equally fun-loving. I believe in law of attraction that when you really want something desperately, you definitely attract yourself to it. I always had that attitude. Secondly, I never stop working on myself, my flaws. I take criticism very constructively as well. You will always see changes in me – be it my acting, or how I talk in my interviews or the way I dress. But it’s not been easy. There have been moments when I thought, ‘am I on the right track? Because things are not falling into place, so should I go back?’ I didn’t have a launchpad as such. When I did my first film – ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ was not ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ that time. It did well is a different story. It was such a small budget film with all newcomers, we didn’t even know if we would get a release. After that also, I didn’t get recognition. For the longest time, for seven years in the industry, I had just craved for people to say my name. I would wonder if people know my name or no? So, that was my struggle and then of course, getting the right kind of films was a struggle as well. Earlier obviously, I didn’t have a choice. I just had to do my best in what I got.

So how have things changed on that front – in terms of the choices you’re getting to make now?
It’s exciting yet more difficult now because it all depends on my choices. In a lot of ways, me and my choices are being judged now, so it’s another level of struggle now. But I’m also enjoying it. I choose on the basis of the fact that I’m also a film-watching audience so will I watch the film or no? So, I will judge it accordingly. Of course, now I can do much more. For example, I love thrillers and would love to do that going ahead. Earlier, I was never in that list of actors who were considered for a role. Now atleast, I’m that list so I’ll be considered. Now my aim is, and the next level should be that when people write the script, they think of me.

“For the longest time, for seven years in the industry, I had just craved for people to say my name”

Do you think, ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ has solely been responsible for the change in perception towards you, despite being appreciated earlier as well? And how has your approach changed post that?
With both the installments of ‘Punchnama’ being hits, there was not that kind of recognition to me, which the film or my monologue got. A lot of people even loved ‘Akash Vani’ and it was drastically apart from these two, but it didn’t work box-office wise. But for the first time, with Sonu, I was playing a quintessential hero type character. He is dancing also – and this time, the songs were also so popular. ‘Bam digi digi’ or ‘Tera Yaar Hoon Main’ were anthems of last year. For the first time, I got that viability as a protagonist. The film was from Sonu’s point of view and which worked for me. I think, there are some characters which are life-changing – for me that’s Sonu. And Sonu gave birth to Kartik Aryan. Of course, my approach has gone into various directions after that because so many things happened to me that I had to increase my horizon. Thankfully, that’s happening. This is the first time I’m experiencing that 24 hours are less and earlier I had only heard about that. What’s remain unchanged is that my approach has always been to be real – the relatibility factor is very important for me. I always want the relatability to be there in my films.

How do you see yourself within a serious or dark genre?
I feel that would come easy to me. Serious, dark, edgy characters might come easily to me I think. Comedy is difficult. I have kept doing it because that’s just what I kept doing since my first film. But emotional scenes, dark characters are more comfortable for me to pull off. I am a big fan of things like ‘Breaking Bad’. I would love to get into that shade. In a lot of ways, even Sonu had grey shades, and yet he was lovable. He is doing negative things yet you are rooting for him. It intrigues me to have a great shade. I would love to do what SRK did in ‘Darr’ and ‘Baazigar’. So, hopefully in the near future, you will see me exploring that side. But I will never leave comedy because I enjoy that equally. I’m greedy.

How are you dealing with the fame now?
I’m still the same, the only problem is that, I’m not able to give as much as time to my loved ones. And now after the success, the time is limited for me and I’m working all the time. So, I’m now trying to find a balance between my work and personal life. Trade Magazine