Salman has been instrumental in bringing Arjun in the film industry and the young actor is thankful to him. “A lot of things stem in me because of the way he conducts himself, the way he talks or approaches his work, and how he is not affected by success and failure. That is the biggest quality of Salman bhai that I appreciate. He has not changed for anybody – if he gives ten flops or hits he is still the same,” Arjun told PTI.
The actor says the most important thing that he has learnt from his mentor is that regardless of what happens in his professional life, he would not like to change himself as a person for wrong reasons.
“I don’t want success to affect me to that extent that I change or failure to that extent that I get sad, bitter and negative. Salman bhai has maintained that and has retained his core qualities nicely. I would like to learn that and imbibe that in personal life,” he said.
Arjun has moved on from the failure of his last film ‘Aurangzeb’. “We made a different film and showed the people that I could do something different… I am still very proud of the film. I have not sat and thought what went wrong as there is no point in dwelling about it,” he said.
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Arjun will be seen next in ‘Gunday’, which seems to be in into the space of masala entertainers. “Gunday is not a mindless commercial film. I think we as (young) actors cannot do such (masala films) kind of cinema.
We have not created an audience for ourselves, they just go to see our films and not us. Audience has accepted us but they are still discovering us. The idea of ‘Gunday’ is not to cater to single screen audience alone,” he said.
Arjun is happy that people are liking the on-screen equation between him and co-star Ranveer Singh in the film. “Till now we are getting good response for our pairing. We hope they want to see more of us together. It is the media that decides we are like them (Jai-Veeru or Karan-Arjun)… We believe it’s our chemistry and we did not try to replicate anyone,” he said.
“The unfortunate part is in the last few years there was no film made on intense friendship. So the first reference of Jai-Veeru or Karan-Arjun is made as these are the iconic characters that remind people of friendship and brotherhood. Hopefully, we will be able to create an identity for Bikram and Bala of ‘Gunday’,” he said.
Arjun feels comparisons are inevitable and one has to be prepared for that. “‘Gunday’ reminds people of certain heroes and films of 70s-80s. It is a compliment as our film is compared to films of those times. I think our film will create its own identity.
With ‘Gunday’, I hope Ranveer and I would also be able to create a different sort of an identity for ourselves.” Arjun is thankful to producer Aditya Chopra for having faith in him for the movie.
“Aditya Chopra had faith in us that we were capable of pulling a film bigger than us. It is a very big film. We knew we had to be responsible and do a good job,” he said.
Usually, two contemporaries do not come together for a film as they feel it will eat into each other’s work, but Arjun doesn’t think that way.
“I don’t look at Ranveer as competition and even he doesn’t think of me that way. I can’t speak for other actors. I love ensemble and multi-starrer films. I don’t consider
anyone as competition as there is enough work for everyone. We both are not insecure about each other. It is a myopic way of looking at industry,” he said.
Arjun thinks if he and Ranveer are able to pull a two-hero film like ‘Gunday’, may be it will give confidence to other actors to shed their concern of not doing films with other contemporaries.