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Fashion Guru

Before starring opposite Priyanka Chopra as struggling model Manav Bhasin in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion,Arjan Bajwa had already made a mark with a small but crucial role as the scheming Arzaan Contractor in Mani Ratnam’s Guru.

Written by Shalini Rai |
April 22, 2009 1:00:31 am

Arjan Bajwa,who starred opposite Priyanka Chopra in Fashion,on his growing up years in Delhi and how he missed a prime role in Gulaal

Before starring opposite Priyanka Chopra as struggling model Manav Bhasin in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion,Arjan Bajwa had already made a mark with a small but crucial role as the scheming Arzaan Contractor in Mani Ratnam’s Guru. Though Bollywood may just be waking up to the screen presence of this model and actor hailing from Delhi,the Telugu film industry has long been his second home,with his debut film Sampangi releasing way back in 2001.

“The Telugu film industry has treated me very well. Just recently,I completed two films there,one of them opposite Nagarjuna,” informs Bajwa,who was in town recently for the launch of a specialty restaurant and is known down south by the screen name of Deepak.

However,it was his subtle,restrained portrayal of Manav’s character in the critically-acclaimed Fashion that has stayed on in audiences’ memory. “When Madhur Sir (Bhandarkar) approached me to play the lead role opposite Priyanka Chopra,there was no way I could have said no,” says Bajwa,son of the late S S Bajwa,ex-deputy mayor of Delhi. While he admits that being a model in real life helped him play one on screen,he feels,“For an actor,any role is a challenge. But yes,although I had done mostly print campaigns,my real life experience did help me to an extent.”

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So,how did he bag the role of the suave,conniving Arzaan Contractor in Guru? “Anurag Kashyap had a hand in that as he had already shortlisted me for the role of Ransa in Gulaal. But when that didn’t work out and the role went to Abhimanyu Singh,Anurag felt he had to somehow do something for me,” says this taekwondo black belt. That’s when Anurag “put in a word for me to Mani Sir (Ratnam) and that’s how I became a part of Guru,” he adds. “Anurag always wanted me to play a negative role but when Gulaal didn’t materialise,he helped me by pulling the right strings. In Guru,too,I was selected to play Madhavan’s role but somehow that again didn’t materialise. But I was happy with the way Arzaan Contractor’s character turned out and was appreciated by the audience,” says Bajwa.

The Delhi denizen,also an architecture graduate from the Vastukala Academy in the capital city,is now looking forward to starring in Apoorva Lakhia’s next and says,“I can’t disclose the name of the film at this juncture but I’m eagerly looking forward to it.” Desirous of working with Martin Scorcese one day and essaying the role of Al Pacino in The Godfather,this true-blue Punjabi says,“Al Pacino’s role in The Godfather is my dream role and I only wish I would get to play something like that in Bollywood soon.”

Well,going by his track record,this soft-spoken,good looking Delhiite surely seems set to go places in the coming days.

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