Happy birthday Kartik Aaryan: Here’s how the king of sequels has finally found his footing in the industry

Kartik Aaryan has come a long way from juggling engineering with working on his small budget but successful films such as Pyaar Ka Punchnama to delivering a Rs 100 crore film, riding solely on his shoulders. Kartik turns 30 this year and has much to celebrate as he also completes 10 years in films. And looking at his platter loaded with some big banner projects, there is only more name and fame in sight for this Gwalior boy from a non-film family.

It didn’t come easy for Kartik who worked hard to fulfil his dream of becoming an actor. Coming from a family of doctors, Kartik enrolled himself in an engineering course at a Navi Mumbai college. “I’d crop my face out of group photos to send to agents! All the while I’d skip college to give auditions & my parents didn’t know about any of this,” he said in his post for Humans of Bombay.

Kartik Aaryan in a still from Pyaar Ka Punchnama.

Kartik told his mom about his acting dreams only after he bagged the role in his debut film Pyaar Ka Punchnama in 2011. The actor, who claims to have never thought of an option other than acting, managed to steal attention with his debut performance, courtesy his witty monologue that later became his identity. Some did object to his seemingly misogynistic films, but the actor paid no heed and registered his another hit in the form of its sequel four years later. After his unimpressive films Akaash Vani and Kaanchi: The Unbreakable, he went on to repeat the success formula with even longer ‘girlfriend-peedit’ monologue of over seven minutes in Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2.

Kartik didn’t become a star soon after his successful debut and struggled for a few more years before finishing his studies and featuring in PKP 2 in 2015. “I stayed in the same flat with 12 boys till my third film! At the time, my mom was adamant I finish my degree, so while shooting, I gave my exams—& people in the exam hall were clicking photos with me! But I understood that she wanted my future to be secure,” he said in the Humans of Bombay post.

Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh and Nushrratt Bharuccha in a still from Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.

Despite delivering an average film Guest Inn London in 2017, Kartik feels it was 2018 film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety which turned the tables for him in the industry. Despite sexist undertones which saw Nushrratt Bharuccha’s character as a gold-digger, the film turned out to be Kartik’s first Rs 100 crore film.

Kartik finally stepped out of the Luv Ranjan club to deliver his second consecutive hit, Luka Chuppi. The film featured Kriti Sanon as the female lead and was a little shy of Rs 100 crore at the box office. The two played a young couple dealing with the struggles of a live-in relationship under the watch of nosey family members. It also turned out to be a surreal experience for him to shoot like a star in his hometown Gwalior.

Kartik went on to register a hat-trick of hit films with Pati Patni Aur Wosh but backtracked from his yet another monologue which allegedly trivialised marital rape. The film collected over Rs 86 crore and allowed him to romance not one but two Bollywood actors–Bhumi Pednekar and Ananya Panday–by playing the character of a married man having an extramarital affair.

Bhumi Pednekar, Kartik Aaryan and Ananya Panday in a still from Pati Patni Aur Woh.

Kartik’s last film Love Aaj Kal 2, however, couldn’t fall on the expectations. The Imtiaz Ali film showed him in two different looks in two timezones, romancing Sara Ali Khan in one and Arushi Sharma in another.

Intentionally or not, Kartik seems to have emerged as the master of sequels and has two sequels of hit films in his kitty. He will be seen stepping into Akshay Kumar’s shoes in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and will star alongside Janhvi Kapoor in his first Dharma film, Dostana 2.

Kartik has been dreaming big and doing all that it takes to fulfil them. He had told Rajeev Masand in an interview, “I’ve always had a dream of buying a sea-facing house in Bandstand and I’m definitely going to fulfil it. Apart from that, my five-year plans keep getting changed. But on the professional front, I think I’m already living my dream by working with the directors I always wanted to work with.”

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