‘I Have Never Received So Much Love’


‘Playing
Murlikant
Petkar
changed
my
life.’

IMAGE:
Kartik
Aaryan
in

Chandu
Champion
.

Kartik
Aaryan
considers

Chandu
Champion

the
most
important
film
of
his
career
so
far.

“Playing
Murlikant
Petkar
changed
my
life,”
he
tells

Subhash
K
Jha
.

“I’ve
done
so
many
films,
in
so
many
genres,
but
never
a
biopic.
The
experience
is
completely
different.
I
had
to
transform
myself,
both
physically
and
mentally,
and
the
prep
began
from
the
day
I
signed
the
film.

“A
thrilling
opportunity.
The
lessons
I
learnt
on
this
film
are
going
to
remain
close
to
my
heart
forever.
I’ve
also
gotten
a
window
to
connect
with
a
newer,
wider
audience,
specifically
every
person
striving
to
achieve
their
dreams
by
going
against
odds.
Not
many
actors
get
this
opportunity,
to
touch
the
hearts
of
the
audience,
and
this
character
gave
me
that.”

Kartik
speaks
on
the
rigorous
regiment
he
underwent
to
look
convincing
through
various
stages
of
Mr
Petkar’s
life.

“The
training
regimen
brought
more
discipline
into
my
life.
I
had
never
looked
at
fitness
the
way
I
did
during
the
process
of
becoming
Murlikant.
Once
I
got
started,
something
changed
in
my
wiring.

“Now
I
am
more
particular
about
what
I
eat,
how
I
eat,
and
when
I
eat.
It’s
a
completely
new
lifestyle.
Everything
now
has
to
fit
within
my
health
plan.
I
learnt
on
this
film
is
that
health
needs
to
be
taken
care
of
first.
So
it
is
important
to
have
the
right
health
coach
to
take
you
through
a
transformation
and
do
it
the
right
way
without
any
shortcuts.”

IMAGE:
Kartik
Aaryan
in

Chandu
Champion
.

The
transition
from

Bhool
Bhulaiyaa

to

Chandu
Champion

wasn’t
easy
for
Kartik.

“In
my
earlier
work,
the
characters
I
played
had
a
bit
of
‘Kartik’
in
them.
I
would
find
a
personality
trait
of
mine
and
highlight
it.

“But
getting
into
the
shell
of
a
real
person,
with
a
life
as
illustrious
as
Murlikant
Petkar,
was
important
to
me.
It
needed
focus,
a
lot
of
unlearning
and
new
learnings.
I
had
to
set
‘Kartik’
aside
and
become
a
different
performer.”

Kartik
reveals
that
the
real
Murlikant
was
very
much
a
part
of
the
project.

“Kabir
sir
(Khan,
Director
)
spent
the
most
time
with
him,
and
I
was
tasked
with
following
his
cinematic
envisioning
of
the
character.
I
met
Murlikant
Petkar
for
the
first
time
after
our
first
schedule.
I
was
shooting
in
Pune
and
he
had
come
on
the
set.
He
saw
me
giving
a
swimming
shot
and
he
said,
tune
ekdum
mere
jaise
kiya
.’
That
was
a
huge
compliment
for
me.

“Then
we
had
our
first
movie
screening
in
Delhi
with
Murlikant
sir
being
the
main
guest.
It
was
heartwarming
to
watch
the
film
with
him
in
the
theatre,
smiling
throughout
the
film,
with
some
occasional
tears.
Post
the
viewing,
he
was
very
emotional.
His
smile
and
him
holding
my
hand
was
all
the
validation
I
needed.
I
feel
like
I’ve
already
received
the
biggest
award
for
this
film.”

IMAGE:
Director
Kabir
Khan
and
wife
Mini
Mathur
with
Murlikant
Petkar
at
the
screening
of
the
film
in
Mumbai.

Photograph:
Pradeep
Bandekar

Among
the
directors
he
has
worked
with,
Kartik
rates
Kabir
Khan
very
high.

“Kabir
sir
is
a
very
disciplined
film-maker.
He
is
so
well
prepared
that
it
makes
you
push
your
boundaries
further.
He
gives
a
lot
of
space
for
an
actor
to
perform.

“Murlikant
Petkar
was
a
very
difficult
character
for
me
to
get
into,
and
I
would
give
the
entire
credit
to
Kabir
sir
and
team
because
they
helped
me
understand
the
character
and
bring
out
my
best
on
screen.”

Kartik
is
overwhelmed
by
the
response
to

Chandu
Champion

so
far.

“I
have
been
getting
overwhelming
response.
Of
course,
getting
appreciation
from
veterans
like
Shabana
Azmi
ma’am
and
Javed
Akhtarsaab
is
a
huge
deal.
Shabana
ma’am
came
out
of
the
screening
and
gave
me
a
tight
hug.

Javedsaab
said
that
tumne
hansaya
bahut
tha,
lekin
itna
rulaya
pehli
baar
hai
.’
These
words
are
no
less
than
a
medal
or
an
award
for
me.
A
senior
person
messaged
me
after
watching
the
film
saying,
please
let
me
know
wherever
you
are,
I
will
come
and
want
to
give
you
a

jhappi
.

“My
mom
got
so
emotional
after
watching
the
film.
I
have
never
received
so
much
love
and
appreciation
for
any
of
my
film.”