How special was shooting parts of Luka Chuppi in your hometown Gwalior?
I had no idea that I would be shooting at a place where my journey began, where I dreamed of becoming an actor. It’s surreal that I was shooting in my neighbourhood. I used to go every Sunday to Gwalior Fort with friends and think that ‘Kabhi actor banunga’. My message to anyone trying to make it into Bollywood is to work on your craft as that is what will eventually help you succeed. Secondly, don’t let rejection bring you down.
How is Luka Chuppi different from other roles you have done?
The biggest difference in this film is the character Guddu, who is a news reporter in Mathura. If you look at my character in Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018), he has some negativity about him. Guddu is a small-town boy, who does the right thing. Because of the kind of person he is, he gets stuck in situations that are hilarious.
Do you see yourself as an outsider in Bollywood?
I’m an outsider, I didn’t know anyone in the industry when I got my break. Even after Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011), I never tried to fit into the community but always got the respect of others. To achieve my first major break was the most difficult part. Until Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, I was known more by the characters I played. That film was like my relaunch.
In Luka Chuppi, you play a character in a live-in relationship. What’s your take on relationships?
I’m old school in that way. Whenever I get into a relationship, I believe I will eventually get married to the person. You want a partner with whom you can share everything in life.
You last film touched Rs 100-crore mark. What do box-office successes mean to you?
I want all my films to be profitable for the producers and distributors. The film should not lose money. After that, I don’t take pressure for the numbers. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety reached the Rs 100-crore mark.
How do you handle rejection?
I had to stay focused. For auditions, I have travelled the length and breadth of the city and waited in long lines for hours only to get rejected. They’d often just reject you by looking at your face. In spite of that I’m glad all the hard work paid off. I kept thinking that they were missing out on having me as an actor rather than me missing out on the role, and I kept trying.
Luka Chuppi releases on Friday
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