Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar
There’s a child-like innocence which KartikAaryan has, and that can’t be missed. Of course, that was even more when he started out a few years ago, and now one sees a certain amount of maturity. What remains constant though, is his honesty and fun-loving nature. Still known for his monologues in the ‘Pyaar Ka Punchnama’ series, Aaryan definitely has a knack of comedies and that is again justified with his latest release, ‘Guest Iin London’. In a brief chat, Kartik Aaryan opens up about the film, working with Paresh Rawal and how he’s changed with time…
Did you see any similarities between ‘Guest Iin London’ and ‘Atithi Tum KabJaoge?’ when you came on board?
This is a new film all together, it has nothing to do with ‘Atithi Tum KabJaoge’, it’s the same director and also Pareshji is in the film. The director is repeating his own actor so it might look like that, but it’s a new film all together. A concept like this can be used anywhere. It’s nothing to do with ‘Atithi Tum KabJaoge’. I’m glad there’s a concept like this and I’m happy to be a part of this film.
How was it working with an actor like PareshRawal?
I loved the kind of set-up this was. It was amazing to work with Pareshji. The first thing which Ashwni sir told me was that it is your and Pareshji’s camaraderie should come out in the film. The film is just about our banter. I was already so friendly with Pareshji even before the shoot, so it just started off well. My concern was, I have to be comfortable working with a senior actor like him, otherwise he is legendary, he can do anything, so he was instantly into that zone. We got along before the shoot; one week before the shoot, we were spending time with each other, so that made me very comfortable with him. It was a nice moment and all these things culminated into our chemistry in the film. It was because we were spending so much time together. He is an amazing actor, just because of his presence, a scene goes notches higher, and it’s also written so well by AshwniDhirsir. Because of Pareshji’s support, our scenes together have worked very well.
Comedy is sometimes considered a notch below serious cinema, while many actors feel it’s the most difficult. You’re known for your comic timing now, how’s it for you?
I think it’s really difficult to make people laugh; people get bored easily. Most times, people are giving you a tough challenge by not laughing, finding a reason to not laugh. There’s a line between subtle comedy and loud comedy but I’ve had good directors and this time I had a co-star like Pareshji as well, so what came out was very subtle and natural. So, we’re just loving the fact that people are liking us in the film. It’s about your reaction and the way you say your dialogues. I just think about how the character would say the lines. I don’t think about making it funny purposely. It will automatically turn out to be funny since the director has written it that way. I just have to say it normally. I think I’ve been very lucky to get characters like Rajjo and Gogo. The one thing which happens when your character is a hit amongst the audience is that they start calling you with that name. They kept calling me Rajjo for 2 years. Then when ‘Punchnama 2’ came, they started calling me Gogo. You feel like a winner when people start calling you by your character’s name.
You must have also gotten better in that process…
Yes. These characters have improved me also as an actor because it’s a learning process. You always tend to be the same in every film, but I don’t want to repeat myself. The way he looks, dresses, reacts, all these things have to keep differing as per the character. These things have improved with time also. I was appreciated in my first film and since then, whatever work I’ve done, everyone has thankfully appreciated me. I must be doing something right then. So, which is why, I’m confident that I’ll keep getting work. It gives me further motivation to build a career upon my talent. I always keep thinking that what else can I do? I keep working on it. I’m just learning everyday.
How do you keep honing yourself in between films?
I watch a lot of movies, watching movies is very important. Then I keep doing workshops. A lot of times, when I’m doing a film, I do workshops with my directors before the film. Confidence is what you need for doing anything, so when you keep doing workshops or rehearsals, it helps. I keep rehearsing a lot, so it improves me.
While as an actor you’ve grown, one also sees a change in you as a person when compared to how it used to be during ‘PyaarKaPunchnama’?
Yes, I used to be a fun-loving guy, and just did a lot of masti that time. I didn’t make sense. But it happens with time and age. I was 20 when I started out, I was just fresh out of college. I had struggled before that for three years and I was very happy that finally I’ve done a film. I never used to think about anything else apart from acting. I never thought about other things like, how do I speak to people or what to wear. I was so raw for the industry when I started out. I didn’t really know anything else apart from acting. I had joined a school for acting, but apart from that, I was naïve, I was boyish. It worked for me at that point, I used to say anything that came into my head. Now I’m more controlled because I’ve landed into trouble also in my personal life (laughs). So, overall that’s why now I’m more calm.
“I want to be a commercial-commercial hero. Once I become a commercial hero, then I can do experimental cinema”
So, there’s been immense growth in personally?
I think the growth has been tremendous. A lot of people who’ve been around me have all told me that you’ve changed so much. I’ve groomed myself with time and it has worked for me. In a way it’s good that the grooming has happened. As an actor I’ve always been working on myself, but in terms of my overall personality and maturity – that has started coming now. If you see my earlier photos and now, there’s also a huge difference in that. Earlier, people called me a ‘chocolate boy’, now they call me ‘hot chocolate boy’ (laughs). So, I’m happy I’ve gotten better.
Does that also reflect in the kind of films you want to be a part of?
Before ‘PyaarKaPunchnama’ also I had got a few films which didn’t start so I was struggling. I was staying with ten guys, struggling to make money and before I was in Gwalior, where I stayed with my family. I’m from a very middle-class family so the reason for me to come here is that I used to tell my parents I’ve come to study. Then, I started looking for acting jobs and my parents didn’t know. So, after three years of struggle, I got to know about the auditions for ‘Punchnama’. Before that, I’d done 2-3 ad films. I got my first cheque for Rs. 2000 for an ad. Then post ‘Punchnama’ also there were offers but I stuck to ‘Akashvani’ because I loved the concept. I had a lot of money issues so sometimes I even thought let me do a film, but I waited. And then finally ‘Punchnama 2’ happened. My choices changed after ‘AkaashVani’ and ‘Kaanchi’ when they flopped. So, I stopped myself from picking up anything till I was sure. That was the time, ‘Punchnama 2’ started happening. Then I thought, let me just stick to this. It became a hit. After that, I got many offers thankfully but I didn’t pick any. People started calling me choosy and mad. But I just wanted relatable films and subjects so that I don’t go back by five years. So, then ‘Guest Iin London’ came and Luv Ranjan’s next is happening. These are commercially viable, content-driven films. I want to be a commercial-commercial hero. Once I become a commercial hero, then I can do experimental cinema. So, right now my aim is to do less work, but good work. So, that’s what is happening.
Tell us about your next with Luv Ranjan.
Luv Ranjan’s next is produced by T-series and Luv films. Few portions have been shot and it’s a comedy. It’s again a youth, family-oriented film and relatable again. It’s a laugh riot. That will be out in November.