To call him anything less than the national crush would be an injustice to the chocolaty boy, Kartik Aaryan, whose hot looks and killer dance moves made even Deepika Padukone reach out to him ahead of Pati Patni Aur Woh‘s release. While fans are waiting on the edge for the Mudassir Aziz-directorial to hit the cinema screens already, Kartik recently spilled the beans on his journey from Gwalior to Navi Mumbai and the struggles of not even being able to afford a portfolio.

In an interview with the digital catalog, Official Humans of Bombay, Kartik shared how he was going to pursue engineering, after parents who belonged to the science stream and were in the medical field. He said, “I was going to do engineering. But in 9th grade, I saw Baazigar and I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the screen.”

Completing school from Gwalior, Kartik shifted to a college in Navi Mumbai with the aim to pursue acting. Facing rejections while putting up in a hostel, Kartik finally started landing with small projects which eventually helped him in renting an Andheri flat with twelve other boys. He was quoted saying, “I couldn’t even afford a portfolio—I’d crop my face out of group photos to send to agents! All the while I’d skip college to give auditions & my parents didn’t know about any of this. Once I saw an ad for a film audition & decided to go for it. They liked me & auditioned me many times. My final audition script was the monologue that then became my identity! Finally, when I got the role, I was at Andheri station & immediately called my mom! She couldn’t believe it! (sic).”

While the monologue in Pyaar Ka Punchnama garnered him enough spotlight, his mother insisted that he completes his studies. He shared, “At the time, my mom was adamant I finish my degree, so while shooting, I gave my exams—& people in the exam hall were clicking photos with me! But I understood that she wanted my future to be secure. After Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, it all changed! Life has come full circle now—recently when I was in Gwalior, I was invited to my school as chief guest & kids were chanting my name! It was surreal! (sic).”

 
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“I was born in the small town of Gwalior. My parents were in the medical field & I was going to do engineering. But in 9th grade, I saw Baazigar & I knew I wanted to be on the other side of the screen. I was unsure of my parents’ reaction—so I decided to study till 12th in Gwalior & then go to college in Mumbai. Luckily I got into a college in Navi Mumbai. I stayed in a hostel & searched for auditions. I had no contacts, so I’d type keywords like, ‘Actor Needed’ on Facebook. I’d travel for 6 hours 3-4 times a week for auditions. At times, I’d be rejected from outside the studio because I didn’t ‘look the part’. But I still had hope. Soon I got projects like a few seconds in an ad & they kept me going. Eventually I rented a flat in Andheri with 12 boys. I had limited finances. I couldn’t even afford a portfolio—I’d crop my face out of group photos to send to agents! All the while I’d skip college to give auditions & my parents didn’t know about any of this. Once I saw an ad for a film audition & decided to go for it. They liked me & auditioned me many times. My final audition script was the monologue that then became my identity! Finally, when I got the role, I was at Andheri station & immediately called my mom! She couldn’t believe it! After 2 & a half years of struggle, what I had imagined as a possibility, was now a reality. After Pyaar Ka Punchama, there still weren’t many opportunities. I stayed in the same flat with 12 boys till my third film! At the time, my mom was adamant I finish my degree, so while shooting, I gave my exams—& people in the exam hall were clicking photos with me! But I understood that she wanted my future to be secure. After Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, it all changed! Life has come full circle now—recently when I was in Gwalior, I was invited to my school as chief guest & kids were chanting my name! It was surreal! But what I have today, would’ve never come my way, if I hadn’t believed that I’d make it. I’m grateful for where I am & I know I have a long way to go. Sometimes all of it still feels unbelievable—from this point on, the possibilities just seem endless & my dreams, are just waiting to come true.”

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On the professional front, Kartik is gearing up for the release of his upcoming rom-com, Pati Patni Aur Woh. The film also features Ananya Panday and Bhumi Pednekar in the lead and is directed by Mudassar Aziz. A few days after Deepika Padukone revealed that she wanted to learn the hook step of the song Dheeme Dheeme from the upcoming film Pati Patni Aur Woh, actor Kartik Aaryan fulfilled her wish. The two actors were spotted at the Mumbai airport on Sunday morning where they practiced the Dheeme Dheeme step and entertained the crowd. It was a flash mom kind-of scene when Deepika stepped out of her car outside the airport, hugged Kartik and asked him to teach the dance steps.