Kartik Aaryan had nervous thoughts about devoting two years to Chandu Champion: 'I won’t be seen anywhere' | Exclusive

Kartik Aaryan talks exclusively to DNA about transforming into Murlikant Petkar for Chandu Champion

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Kartik Aaryan had nervous thoughts about devoting two years to Chandu Champion: 'I won’t be seen anywhere' | Exclusive
Kartik Aaryan on a poster of Chandu Champion


Kartik Aaryan is Chandu Champion and he looks the part. The biopic of war hero-turned-Paralympic champion Murlikant Petkar stars Kartik in the lead role, and the actor has transformed both physically and mentally for the challenging part. But the process wasn’t easy. Apart from the physical rigours, Kartik also paused his career for almost two years and that too, at a time when things are working for him quite well. In an exclusive conversation with DNA, Kartik addresses that ‘difficult’ decision, breaking his on-screen image, and more.

Kartik has seen a resurgence of his career after the pandemic with Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2. Immediately after that, he locked two years of his career for one film, Chandu Champion. Talking about if he had doubts about that decision, Kartik says, “I had met Kabir sir and I had heard the entire story, it became easy for me in terms of thinking in that zone. But let me tell you frankly, that a month later, we started having discussions with my team and that thought started to come to me. ‘For two years, we will just do this’. ‘Till then, I won’t be seen anywhere else’.”

Kartik had Satyaprem Ki Katha lined up for release but he knew that for a year after that, he would have no release if he gave all his time to Chandu Champion. But the actor says that he never doubted the decision even if those fleeting thoughts did come to him. “That was a big decision. After I had already said yes and these discussions were happenings, the thoughts came to me. But I never felt that I should not do it because of this. I knew that somewhere it required a certain amount of prep and time. These thoughts came and went away just as quickly,” says the actor.

Kartik admits that he has a certain image on screen, and to break that for Chandu Champion was his toughest challenge. “The audiences know me. I had to break that image also,” he says, while talking about how he approached playing Murlikant Petkar. “That was a kind of discussion we had because Kabir sir had met Murli sir and he said I don’t want you to imbibe anything from what he is right now. And that is because right now, he is 80 years old. He is different from what he was when he was young,” adds Kartik.

The lack of any footage of Petkar or many images from his youth meant that Kartik had to rely on director Kabir Khan’s character sketch of the man. He explains, “We don’t have any images or videos that I can follow. Whatever imagery that he painted based on the time he spent with Murli sir, as per that we came to a path that I followed. But that person was not Kartik Aaryan. He would be totally Murlikant Petkar. The toughest thing was to break my image and whatever the audience is used to watching me on screen.”

Chandu Champion also stars Bhuvan Arora, Yashpal Sharma, Vijay Raaz, Rajpal Yadav, and Palak Lalwani. The Kabir Khan directorial releases in theatres on June 14.

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