Filmfare

THE WINNING TRAIL

THE DAY HE LANDED IN MUMBAI, a starry-eyed Kartik Aaryan, visited idol Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat at Band Stand in Bandra. He was one among the thousands waiting to catch a glimpse of the superstar. Just then the gates were thrown open and SRK drove out in his car, waving out at his teeming admirers. His eyes met young Kartik’s for a fleeting second. It was a defining, decisive moment for Kartik. The boy, who had left the by-lanes of Gwalior in search of the glamour alleys, had met his hero. A rank outsider, who went on to become Bollywood’s Badshah. The fire to follow suit had been kindled in Kartik.

“AFTER SONU KE TITU KI SWEETY THINGS CHANGED. THAT FRIDAY WAS MAGICAL. THAT NIGHT WAS THE RESULT OF SEVEN YEARS OF STRUGGLE. IT WAS THE TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE. SUDDENLY, THE SPOTLIGHT WAS ON ME. PEOPLE BEGAN SAYING WE ALWAYS KNEW YOU’D MAKE IT”
Robe & pants: Versace | Glasses: Police from Tinted Club

A series of humiliating auditions later, Pyaar Ka Punchnama happened in 2011. After four years of ennui came the superhit Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (2015). Yet Kartik continued to go unrecognised, uncelebrated, unsung… Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety last year and Luka Chuppi this year, drum-rolled the fact that he was no accident. The unassuming actor had arrived. And that he could pull in the crores. Top filmmakers like Imtiaz Ali and Karan Johar have placed their bets on him.

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