Bollywood Godfather Salman Khan is all set to give another fresh face a launch in the industry. This time however this is a well-known face. It is his brother-in-law Aayush Sharma, married to his darling sister Arpita Khan. Aayush will make his debut with Loveyatri which is produced by Salman Khan Films.
Deccan Chronicle got an opportunity to speak to the budding star and he spoke about his movie, idolizing his brother-in-law Salman while growing up, competition in Bollywood and his future projects.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
You’re living quite the life. Do you actually feel it yet?
No, I’m still getting used to it. I still find it funny when people come and click a picture with me. Chogada has got that kind of love. Suddenly when you get that kind of reception, you wonder ‘are they talking about me?’ It’s a beautiful journey. I’m still sinking in.
But didn’t you have fandom from the start?
Nothing speaks larger than work. Earlier, because I’m related to him (Salman Khan), people would still say that he is the brother-in-law. I’ve seen this hysteria around him. That time I was representing the family. Now after watching glimpses from my movie, when somebody comes and sings a song, that’s more special because they like what I’ve done.
The movie has been in buzz since a year now. Do you feel the pressure of movie performance yet?
I try to keep myself away from the commercials as much as possible. I don’t want to bog myself. I remember Salman bhai telling me I can make it biggest hit of the year or biggest disaster of the year. I feel that’s a very good attitude because you see the subtext of what is. We’re trying to deliver the best product we can, but fate isn’t in our hands. For a debutant, I would rather not care about the commercial of the film but have people come and watch it. If the kind of work and effort we put into the film translates to people, I’m happy. Whatever the commercials is, that’s for the producer to decide.
You once said that you rejected many movies to take up Loveyatri. So what’s the special reason?
There’s something very pure about the film. During the film narration, I had an innocent smile on my face, which isn’t what usually happened. It’s such a sweet film and reminded me of the first time I liked a girl. I didn’t want to be the action hero in my debut film. I wanted to do an honest film, which involves a boy-next-door.
Did you go back in time and feel pain to cry in one scene which is part of the trailer?
Yeah. For me, I don’t believe in the idea of listening because you can’t connect. It’s the emotion which translates, not just me crying. So I went back to my past experiences and drew motivation from there. I wanted to keep it as natural as possible.
With so many newer faces coming up, are you little scared of getting lost among all?
No, not really. How I’m seeing it, this year there’s only Ishaan and me. I also believe there’s a lot of work and space in the industry. It just feels that there are more actors so our demands will go down which is not true. What I do best, is what I do best. I started my career with a folk dance - garba. Nobody else did that. There’s a different standing for everybody and I don’t think anybody’s getting lost. If one actor is doing one kind of cinema, the other is doing another. So there’s a good versatility happening. If you see in history, there’s always been a time when all actors come in and then there’s this phase of lull. This I think is the time when everybody’s coming in the industry. There’s certain kind of hunger and drive to work hard. That complacency is not there anymore – this is do or die situation. When you see somebody do good work, you go like ‘wow I want to do this better!’
Do you think people are taking inspiration rather than being themselves anymore?
In acting, yeah. Everybody wants to live in a world which talks about acting, especially young actors who preach acting. I feel I’m a student of acting who is finding what is acting for me. If I have a hit career of 20-25 years, then one day I shall sit down and say what acting is for me. In one film, I can’t really judge. After Chogada, people said they liked my dance moves, but I don’t consider myself a dancer. You can never tell what people like and don’t. There were certain times in the film when I thought another step would become popular but something else becomes popular.
What kind of an actor do you want to be?
I used to watch films which were entertaining. In my opinion, audience gives a lot of respect to an actor. They travel to theatres, buy popcorn, coke etc and invest 2 hours or more in a film. So I want to entertain those people. I want to do more masala and entertainment-driven films which easily connect to maximum number of people. I don’t feel I’m qualified to pick up a subject which is difficult where I’m trying to give a message, because that’s what you should do when you’re an established star. I would love to do a film like Swades which has a message but also entertainment.
Do you want to do arty cinema?
I don’t know, because I don’t watch such films. When somebody says do a film to prove your acting mettle, I don’t think it’s required. I want to stand proud of my films. I come from the generation of actors where we used to put posters. I’m talking about posters which take out the paint of your walls. You need to love the guy to put a poster. Right now we’re in a generation where you put your favourite actor’s wallpaper, which changes every Friday. Such films would target Tier-1 audience which is very fickle and might not come. But there are certain fan clubs who watch a movie on Friday only because it has a certain actor. I want to achieve that stage in my life.
Does Loveratri have elements of comedy in them?
Yeah. Loveratri is a rom-com. It’s an easy, light-hearted space which has serious moments.
Do you want to do a film with a message once you receive the stage where people are loyal towards you?
I would love to, depending on the script. Never say never, because what if tomorrow there’s a film which really touches my chord? So that one film, irrespective of whatever the financials are, and even if the film bombs at the box office, I still want this message to go out, if that feeling comes inside me, then why not? For me Swades left a big impact on me, because I wanted to go at America during that time, but the movie changed my perspective. Films do have an impact on people. After Bajangi, everybody was talking about love.
I thought you’ll say Jai Ho…
I still think Jai Ho had the commercial elements in place. Salman bhai’s stardom is so big that expectations from that were humongous. The Box Office records are for the seniors. I’m just happy people are loving our songs. In fact my father called me up and said he loves Tera Hua.
After Loveyatri, do you have more projects in kitty?
Some ideas have come to me but I’m contemplating what to do. For my second film, I’d be very certain about what I want to do. So I’m waiting for the response to Loveyatri to know what worked and what didn’t. I don’t just want to do romance. I want to do action and get into different kind of space. I want to show my calibre to everybody. I want to dance, do action and then leave it for the audiences.
So you’ve trained in which action forms?
Gymnastics, backflip, action punches, kicks etc. Not specialized in martial arts, but other things.
You should have gone for Bharat then…
But Salman bhai is there in the film.
But wouldn’t you want to do a film with him?
I would love to, but I need to be worthy of it! Nepotism has become outdated now! It would be a dream-come-true to share screen with him....