It’s been a crazy year for Kartik Aaryan. Post the success of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, he went from being the guy in the viral monologues about women to a successful actor. He’s been on the cover of magazines, signed many more movies, and recently, had the prime minister of the country tweet to him. Aaryan says it’s taken him 7 years to get here. But before that, another couple of years of brutal rejection at auditions. “I used to type actors required on the Google search box and go wherever (an actor) was required. When you reached there they would ask you if you were ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’. They would usually throw out the ‘indirect’ ones – which means those who haven’t come through a reference or haven’t been specifically called for the audition. The travel used to be 2 and a half hours from Belapur (where I was studying in an engineering college) to Andheri or Bandra… This happened for 3 years. I didn’t get anything. I finally got one ad which had 7-8 people -as well. I was paid Rs 2500 in cheque for it.”
A few weeks ago the actor posted on Instagram a photo that changed his luck and got him an audition for his debut film, Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Here he tells us the story behind the photo.
I was 19. This picture was for Pyaar Ka Punchnama. I gave this picture to a lot of producers. I’d get a call but would eventually get rejected. This I took at home, a friend of mine clicked it. I also liked it. I thought ‘ye sahi photo hai!‘ I didn’t have money to get a portfolio done and 5-6 years ago they were a big deal and really expensive. So I used what I already had. I had these 5-6 sets of photographs where I’m standing with friends and I’ve tried to crop myself out but you can still see someone’s hand on my shoulder or a bit of someone’s head. I’ve sent those for auditions! This is the first clean photo I took – button watton khol ke. When the Punchnama audition happened, I mailed them this photo. I also got a little arrogant and said ‘I think you’re looking for me’.