Kartik Aaryan, hottest actor of the year!
The Kartik Aaryan fever is raging high!
He is the quintessential ‘outsider’ who hit jackpot in 2018. His charming smile and messy hair has had the girls drooling. It’s been a while since we have had a poster boy of cute charm and Kartik Aaryan fills in the blanks nicely. His fun film and the surprise 100-crore hit Sonu Ke Titu ki Sweety, have opened up new horizons for the actor. Things have been going fabulously well for the young man from Gwalior who is clearly enjoying the well-deserved attention and all the accolades. In conversation with the hottest star of 2018. How would you describe 2018 in one word? Blockbuster (smiles) Life has changed completely, hasn’t it? Indeed! I have been craving for this kind of year for the longest time. There have been a lot of ups and downs but after all that, to see this reaction is great. People asking selfies and autographs…all this happened in this year. It makes you feel accepted by the audience and the industry too. I wish this continues and I keep doing good work. Your breakthrough role (in Sonu Ke Titu ki Sweety) might also lead you to be stereotyped as this urban guy with relationship problems. Will you break the mould with your next, Luka Chuppi? I can’t reveal too much about Luka Chuppi but overall it’s a desi rom-com where I play a reporter. It’s a new space for me as an actor; a far cry from the urban roles I have played in Pyaar ka Punchnama and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. It’s a desi film set in a small town, shot between Mathura and Gwalior. Gwalior happens to be my hometown as well so it was a full circle for me while shooting for the film. I had always dreamt of being an actor and Gwalior was where it all began so it was bit surreal. Films set in mofussil towns have become a genre of their own. How do you see it? I think it’s because stories from small towns are more exciting. We have explored enough stories set in big towns and lavish locations. That’s probably why the industry is shifting its focus to small towns because there are a lot of interesting characters to explore there. What’s more, most of our population also comes from these areas. So how was it going back to your hometown, Gwalior? I got a warm welcome over there, it was amazing! The city had my hoardings, people came with bouquets and garlands to wish me luck. It made me feel proud. They brought gifts, there were scores of people outside my vanity van. It was very emotional to have had the opportunity to shoot in your own hometown. How do your friends react to this sudden change and fame? My friends and I have always been together. They have seen what’s been happening in my life, my ups and downs and my days as a struggler to where I am now. All these things (the fame) have not happened suddenly. Of course, they keep saying things like ‘Kaha se kaha tak aagaya’ and ‘actor dost hai humara (laughs). It’s nice to hear them say that! One film and you are suddenly the heartthrob… How do you process the female attention? The kind of female adulation I got after Sonu Ke Titu ki Sweety was unreal! It’s the kind of following I have actually dreamed off. I have always wanted the admiration and people to talk about my work but after this film, people were talking about my looks as well which I didn’t expect. I did feel the film would be a hit but never thought my life to change so drastically. I have received appreciation for my work too; I have gone a level up in my career and I am really happy with it. People are also giving me taglines and names like “Monologue King “and “Heartthrob of the Year” etc. I love my fans and I have always wanted to take selfies and pictures. All that’s happening now so I am in a very good space. While on the topic of sudden fame, I am always reminded of the film Luck By Chance, where Shah Rukh Khan, in a cameo, explains the transience of stardom beautifully. Does it find resonance with you? Hey that’s one of my all-time favourite scenes from a film! There is this dialogue where he says, “Unhe mat bhulo jo tumhe tab jante the, jab tum kuch nahi the kyunki bas wahi hai jho tumhe hamesha sach kahenge”.
It’s so true. For everyone, not just for me, the more you climb the ladder of success, the more you get surrounded with people who may be sycophantic. I have always kept my inner circle and friends intact – they know me inside out and they are the same friends I had back in school and college. I believe in going out and having a good time but there should always be a balance. My family keeps me rooted, my mom has taught me things no one else can and she keeps me grounded. You have got the image of a heartthrob now. Do you feel the pressure to conform to an image? Or is it possible to be yourself? Bollywood stars seem to be so different on social media and in real life. I have always been myself. I don’t know about the future but I think it won’t change. I have been this person who had nothing when I first came to Mumbai so honestly I have nothing to lose. In my head I’m always thinking, “Arey! Yeh flop na ho jaaye!” (laughs). But I have never been scared of losing everything. The only thing that scares me is if someone says I don’t know how to act! The PR and the jazz is an added thing – it’s an aspect of your career but somewhere down the line, you have to balance it out. You can’t just have work, work, work and no PR or vice versa. The balance matters at the end of the day.
Kartik won the ‘Best actor’ trophy for Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. Presented by Hridesh Methwani, Marketing Head at Pan Emirates Home Furnishings