It’s been a decade for Kartik Aaryan in the movies and the actor believes it is important for those working in the film industry to have “an eye for honest people”.
The Gwalior-born actor, who is considered a rising star in Hindi cinema, made his debut with the buddy comedy Pyaar Ka Punchnama in 2011.
“I want to be around honest people who can call me out when I am wrong… people without any agenda. It is important to have an eye for honest people. I’m glad I have friends like that. But I would be wary of the ‘gadbad’ (shady) people in my life,” the 30-year-old actor said in an interview.
For someone who almost got stereotyped courtesy string of rom-coms like Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, Luka Chhupi and Pati, Patrick Aur Woh, the actor said he has made a “conscious decision” to choose diverse projects.
His latest film Dhamaka, a Netflix thriller directed by Ram Madhvani, is a step in that direction.
“It has been a conscious decision bring something new to the table. I want to work on those films about whom I’ll feel good working on when I go back to my house. I would think ‘I really worked hard today, and its result will be good and different from what I’ve done before’,” he said.
Be it a horror comedy like Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, an action-packed family musical Shehzada or romantic thriller Freddy, his other upcoming films are uniquely different from each other, Aaryan promised.
“I’m blessed that I have all these titles with great filmmakers, who are showing their belief in me. There’s so much excitement. I’m thrilled to go from one set to the other.”
Working with Madhvani was a dream come true moment for the actor who is a fan of the director, known for films like Neerja and web series Aarya.
The duo was trying to collaborate for a really long time and finally zeroed in on Dhamaka, the Hindi adaptation of the 2013 South Korean film “The Terror Live”.
“We had a lot of meetings and shared many ideas about the kind of film we’d want to work together on. Both of us liked the film (‘The Terror Live’) and one day I said let’s try this one out,” he said.
“I was a fan so I wanted to work with him and fortunately, he also wanted to work with me. It was a mutual thing and that’s how ‘Dhamaka’ happened,” he added.
In Dhamaka, Aaryan plays Arjun Pathak, a cynical ex-TV news anchor, who gets an alarming call on his radio show and sees it as a chance for a career comeback which may cost him his conscience.
To prepare for his role, the actor said he had a lot of conversations with news reporters and radio jockeys over Zoom calls because it was right in the middle of the pandemic.
“Being an actor, I get to interact with the media a lot but this time I was getting an insight into the field. Suddenly, I felt a lot of respect for the kind of job it is. It’s like a thankless job.
“To be able to carry this work with so much heart and responsibility is very difficult. I felt the responsibility of playing this role. I enjoyed doing my acting while I was shooting and meeting so many people through this film.”
Dhamaka, which follows the series of events that take place in a TV newsroom over a period of one day, at its heart is a journey of a character with questionable morals. The film, Aaryan said, could have been set in any field like a bank or stock market.
“Since it’s a fictional story, there are many things that get accentuated. But the basic premise remains the same where there’s an opportunistic guy whose moral compass moves a lot and his journey. The question here is: Is he a hero or an antihero?” he said.
Also starring Amruta Subhash, Vikas Kumar, Mrunal Thakur and Vishwajeet Pradhan, Dhamaka starts streaming on Netflix from Friday.