Khaleej Times - City Times

‘A new story in the same World’

Kartik Aaryan gets candid about his upcoming horror-comedy flick Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, that stars him alongside Kiara Advani and Tabu

- Husain Rizvi husain@khaleejtim­es.com

It is 2015. All those in relationsh­ips are sulking over an epic monologue that hilariousl­y defines their relationsh­ip status. The others, meanwhile are celebratin­g not being at the recieving end of the relationsh­ip problems pointed out by Kartik Aaryan’s character Rajat in

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 1 (2011).

While the release of

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2015) played a role in the resurfacin­g of the infamous monologue, the credit still goes to the Bollywood actor who made everyone relate to his character’s sob stories. And that continues to be the case, such was the benchmark created by the dialogue delivery at the time.

Fast-forward to 2022. Kartik has delivered several hits and is among the most popular and loved actors, especially for his picture perfect hairstyle and disarming smile that make him a Bollywood heartthrob. His latest is Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, a horror-comedy in which he stars alongside Kiara

Advani and Tabu among other actors such as Rajpal Yadav, who returns from the first instalment to instil the feeling of nostalgia among viewers.

When we speak to Kartik during his recent visit to Dubai for the promotions of the Anees Bazmee directoria­l, we find out about his decad long journey in the industry “It has been enriching,” he says. “Looking back, I feel very lucky to have die-hard fans who have so much love for me.”

“There’s still lots to learn and a long way to go, but I

have been enjoying these moments and there are no regrets.”

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is Kartik’s first project with Kiara Advani, who was last seen in the muchloved Shershaah. “I really enjoyed working with her and want to work with her again,” he said. “We have been working together for

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 since before the pandemic and thankfully the film is now ready to be released.”

It is also the first time fans will see Kartik sharing screen space with veteran actor Tabu, who has been in the industry since the 90s and is famous for films like Drishyam, Andhadhun, and several other hits. “It has been a great journey shooting with Tabu ma’am,” he says. “She is one of the most talented actors, and getting a chance to work with her is a big thing for me.”

After shooting began in 2019, the film was originally scheduled to hit cinemas in July 2020, but, like many other films at the time, it was delayed due to the pandemic. And that was the hardest part for the actor. “The waiting game,” he says, “we had so many actors involved in the film, we could not plan schedules.”

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is pegged as a standalone sequel to the super-hit

Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007) that starred Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan. While some of its famous elements are carried over to the sequel, the plot is entirely different. From the trailer, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 definitely looks spookier than its prequel which was more of a psychologi­cal thriller than a horror film.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 is set in a sprawling haveli where Kartik plays Rooh Baba who is called upon to deal with the ghost of Manjulika that goes on to possess Kiara Advani’s character. “It is a new and different story,” he says, “you will experience a lot of new things like my character, but in the same world (of Bhool Bhulaiyaa).”

And with Rajpal Yadav returning as Chhota Pandit, the film promises many, as Kartik says, nostalgic moments.

The modern audience spares no one. And no matter how big a star Kartik has become, he will still draw comparison­s to Akshay Kumar, who led the cast of the first film. “It is not right to compare me to a superstar like Akshay sir; those are very big shoes to fill,” he says, “I am just trying to do my part.”

Seeing it as an entirely new film and character, and working towards it is Kartik’s approach. “I have presented a new character,” he said, admitting that he was, and is, a fan of Akshay, which is also partly the reason why he agreed for the film.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2

is coming to the UAE cinemas on May 19. Kartik’s last film Dhamaka

was, however, an OTT release. The film’s success gave Kartik more confidence to explore content-driven projects. So where does he stand on the trending and engaging OTT versus cinematic release debate? “Lot of people think it is theatrical or OTT, but I think it is theatrical and OTT,” he says. “I feel both platforms work. But one should know which film is for which platform and which can go to a range of audiences in theatres.”

Kartik, 31, has many films lined-up following Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. “After this, I will go into a schedule for Shehzada and complete that film,” he informs. It will be followed by a Sameer Vidwan directoria­l. The untitled Sajid Nadiadwala-backed project is, as Kartik says, a romantic film. The Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety actor will also be seen in Freddy,

directed by Shashanka Ghosh, after which he will appear in Hansal Mehta’s Captain India.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani do the ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ hand gesture
Kartik Aaryan and Kiara Advani do the ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa’ hand gesture
 ?? ?? At a press conference in Dubai ahead of a charity football game
At a press conference in Dubai ahead of a charity football game
 ?? ?? Kartik was in Dubai to promote the film recently
Kartik was in Dubai to promote the film recently

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