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Kartik Aaryan: “I am a Lone Warrior.”

Kartik Aaryan: “I am a Lone Warrior.”

Kartik Aaryan: “I am a Lone Warrior.”

Kartik Aaryan’s latest film, ‘Chandu Champion,’ where he stars as Paralympic sportsman Murlikant Petkar, has garnered critical acclaim despite its lack of commercial success. Directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, this Hindi-language biographical sports drama showcases Aaryan as India’s first Paralympic gold medalist. Lipika Varma captures Kartik Aaryan’s thoughts and insights in this exclusive conversation.

Exclusive Interview With Kartik Aaryan

Following the massive success of ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,’ in which Kartik reprised his role as Rooh Baba, he’s now considered one of the most bankable stars in Bollywood. The much-anticipated ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 3′ is already generating buzz among fans eager to see more of Kartik Aaryan’s captivating performances.

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Despite his rising stardom, Kartik still views himself as an outsider in the industry, referring to himself as a ‘Lone Warrior.’ In a candid interview, Kartik shared his experience of bringing the real-life hero Murlikant Petkar to life on screen in ‘Chandu Champion.’ He reflects on his unique journey in Bollywood.

Excerpts-

On Do’s and Don’ts’s for the character- I had a lot of Dos to follow. Kabir sir [Khan] has changed my lifestyle—he hand-picked trainers for me and decided on a special nutrition diet. As a boxer trainer, he essentially chose one that fits my skill set. A proper physio trainer was selected, and the best swimmers with professionally skilled know-how were trained to train me. My regime pattern changed drastically. I had insomnia. To proceed with the ‘Chandu Champion’ journey, I was asked to take 8 hours of sleep training in Dangal, athletics, boxing, and swimming to learn and bring perfection. I was told to start and continue with the film, and I needed to do all this rightfully.

Chandu Champion started his journey by losing weight and gaining muscularity- My journey with Chandu Champion began with losing weight and gaining muscle. I was at 30% body fat, which was too much. I worked like a machine for two and a half hours daily, then came down to 7% body fat. For almost two and a half years, I just followed my regime, and my outside life had come to a standstill. I needed an athletic look, which should look like a sportsperson.

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On a changed lifestyle after playing this real character on reel– I cannot go back now; I love burning calories. I keep calculating how many calories I need and how much needs to be burnt. Following this lifestyle while preparing for the role in the film, I understood what was good for good health. I was eating cauliflower rice and am still used to the same eating habits. Usually, we like to have a heavy dinner, but now my mind has changed. I think anyone can follow this healthy lifestyle with the right mindset.

Chandu Champion is a turning point in his career– This film is a turning point in my career. I’m sure audiences will love the movie. I have already received a reward, as my thinking and lifestyle have changed, bringing about an actual ‘U’ turn in myself. My style of approaching my own life has changed. I have experienced ‘Me Time,’ so I now introspect and reflect on life.

Kartik is in love with his craft—I think I love my craft more than myself. After doing this film, I always think about making changes to improve my craft. I am known for rom-com films. This time, I opted for a real movie like Chandu Champion. This choice of mine may be shocking for my fans.

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Choosing genres or good scripts- I never wanted to do only rom-com films just because such films worked for me. I don’t look for any genre. However, I hear the narrations, and after hearing the narration, if I like the script, I can choose a film in any genre. After the narration by Kabir sir [Khan], I was very impressed by the intriguing storyline and thus decided to take it up.

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Learning gymming and swimming with perfection– I have been an athlete but have never been into gymming and nutrition. Earlier, I would perform push-ups halfway through and feel happy. While you perform any exercises, you have to perform them entirely and systematically. I am very comfortable in sports. I am a sports freak and enjoy playing any sport. I have always played Cricket and Football. But I wasn’t into swimming and Dangal sports. While swimming, I learned only how to reach the corner; I wasn’t a professional swimmer. I would fear swimming into deep water. But after training in swimming for one and half years, we shot in the Olympic swimming pool, which is 15 feet deep.

On B.O. pressure- There is a little pressure owing to my previous success as expectations increase. The numbers do well sometimes, but you may wonder why the film does not have a good opening. But now I understand every film has its journey, as every film has its set audience, so we should not have expectations as the opening will differ. We should not have genre-specific calculations in mind. I haven’t done the Chandu Champion kind of genre before. It is a serious film and an underdog story. If this film makes a profit, then the film is a hit. After the trailer release, everyone has huge expectations. Murlikant Petkar is an unsung hero, and such stories must be told.

Lastly, when Kartik is asked about his existence in B’Town and whether he feels like an insider, he replies, “No, I don’t feel I am an insider. I feel I am a ‘lone warrior.’”

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