Unchanged by the trappings of fame, Kartik Aaryan has come a long since his days of struggle. From heading straight home to his parents and dog from sets to his manic love for cars and his fans and how he stays grounded, Aaryan candidly discusses every aspect of his life in this free-wheeling chat with HELLO!...
HELLO!: How similar (or not) are you from your character, Sattu (from Satyaprem Ki Katha)?
Kartik Aaryan: “Sattu is very unique. In fact, in the movie, his mother says, ‘Tu ek lauta piece hai (you’re one-of-a-kind),’ and that holds true to the character. He’s simple, honest and madly in love. His eyes speak a lot, and he’s one of the characters closest to my personality. Sattu is certainly someone people will relate to. When you watch the film, you’ll be able to draw those comparisons.”
H!: Given the number of ‘Best Actor’ titles you have received (even at our HELLO! Hall of Fame Awards), what do awards and accolades mean to you?
KA: “When your films do well both commercially and critically, it’s an incredible feeling. It means your work has resonated with the audience. Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 won at all the big award functions, which is a big deal for everyone associated with the film. Also, at times you’re nominated alongside iconic names like Amitabh Bachchan and Ajay Devgn; that in itself makes me feel proud. So yes, it’s a good feeling and a sign that I’m moving in the right direction.”
H!: You’ve shown great range in recent times, be it with Dhamaka, Freddy or Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. Tell us how you get into the skin of a character.
KA: “Taking on versatile roles was a conscious decision to improve my craft. I don’t have a formula, and take each role as it comes. From having detailed discussions with my director, to doing my own prep, working on the physicality of the role, rehearsing, etc. I’m also a director’s actor, and take cues from how they envision the character.”
H!: You continue to be a hot favourite with brands. Where do you think your USP lies?
KA: “The fans see me as a part of them; they feel like I’m one of them. This could be what makes me connect with my audience and also translates into my brand popularity. It’s my relatability that appeals to the masses. I’m grateful and fortunate to find fans across different demographics and age groups, and I think it’s because I’m a simple, no-frills, middle-class boy that somewhere helps me connect with my audience.”
H!: How do you evaluate your progress, both personally and professionally?
KA: “How you’re feeling in the moment and in that phase of your life or career determines how successful you are. I believe I’ve made progress if I feel happy, if I’m in a good, peaceful place personally, and if I’m happy and proud of the work I’ve done professionally. There are always going to be ups and downs, but if you can get up and move forward, that’s progress. If you have that mindset, you’re already on the right track.
H!: How do you like to unwind after a hard day at work?
KA: “Post pack- up, I head straight home to be with my parents and Katori, my dog. I love watching movies or series. I have a FIFA room at my place, where I enjoy a spot of gaming with my friends. Most importantly, I catch up on sleep, which I hardly manage to get with my hectic schedule.”
H!: What keeps you so grounded despite the fame and success?
KA: “My friends and family are my backbone. They keep me grounded and give me a reality check when needed. Despite the fame and success, I know where I come from. I remember the values with which I was brought up. I neither let success get to my head nor failure to my heart. This helps me keep a balanced perspective.
Photos: Rohan Shrestha; Creative Direction: Avantikka Kilachand Styling: Anushree Sardesai & Richa Mehta; Assisted By: Jhanvi Khatwani Hair: Milan Thapa; Makeup: Vicky Salvi; Production: Dandelion Pictures
This is an excerpt from an interview from HELLO! India’s May-June 2023 issue. To read the full interview, check out the latest issue right here.