For a Delhi guy who stepped into the city of Mumbai five years ago to turn into one of the hottest newcomers in the town, it seems like one tremendous journey, isn't it?
Of course yes (smiles). I mean actors look for a big launch but when someone like Karan Johar, who has never launched a newcomer actor before, is behind the film, the confidence level goes further up. In a way the scare factor too goes up since all eyes are on you to perform. It is particularly difficult when you are a complete outsider. I had come to Mumbai 4-5 years ago and before that I was just doing some part time modelling. I was young, excited and was happy making some money. However, 'Student of the Year' has indeed changed it all.
In a way, it was a big risk that you took after moving from modelling to the world of films and that too as an Assistant Director. Though being in close proximity of Karan Johar helped and you learnt your craft watching Shahrukh Khan perform in 'My N
(Says after a pause) See, I know that it is basically filmy kids who starter their career as an Assistant Director. In that perspective it was a risk. However it was calculated. In any case it wasn't as if I started off with that step as a part of my career move. I was in fact auditioning and had been selected for a film has well which never went on floors (smiles). I had no family in Mumbai and no place to stay. It all went downhill for me and things were really bad. I had to be stay with friends and somehow make ends meet. Today things are different; at least I live in a better place.
If not for Karan, to reach this position would have sounded impossible, isn't it?
Well, nobody puts their money and faith into you unless there is some promise that you show. Having said that, I was showing that promise to other filmmakers as well! It was Karan who had the guts to put his money on me. He has an option of taking anyone but still he took Varun, Alia and me. His vision is very different. By roping me in, he wasn't looking at a temporary measure of making one film and moving back to his comfort zone. Moreover, he doesn't think small. I remember that for a scene when a Louis Vuitton bag was required, he made sure to get an original instead of something fake. That when it was being used just as a prop!
Well, he has been able to launch three original newcomers now.?
(Laughs) Yeah, he wanted to launch us in a big way. Today when I look back, it was one big dream that each of us lived. Imagine shooting for 100 plus days and then indulging in two month long promotion. Karan took every step to present us as a star till the release of the film. He wanted us to have a long career. He was thinking long term.
So while the star in you has emerged, how about the acting quotient? Though there has been decent to good response coming your way, if you had to look back at your own performance, how would you rate yourself in the scale of 1-10?
I would say that I am yet to understand the A of being an actor. Yes, this has been the biggest launch and the start has been fabulous. However it would still take many more films for me before I start giving ratings to myself (smiles).