After being featured in hoards of ads including a Pepsi commercial with Bollywood beauties like Priyanka and Kareena, this Kashmiri pandit who is also the winner of Gladrags Mr India has finally made his breakthrough in Bollywood. Karan Hukku, the good looking actor will be seen in the upcoming film Kya Love Story Hai along with Ayesha Takia and Tushar Kapoor. He also is in talks for a movie with Amitabh Bachchan. We get into a conversation with Karan about modelling, films and more.
You hail from Kashmir, what brought you to Bombay?
Yes I am from Kashmir; well I wasn't so keen on modelling before, but when I won Grasim Mr India I started getting a lot of modelling offers and so I had to come to Mumbai.
After winning the Grasim Mr. India Contest in 2005, did you plan to become an actor?
I always wanted to be an actor. The day I started modelling I knew that I wanted to be an actor. I was one of the few models who came into the field of modelling to become an actor. That was my main aim.
Your parents were never too keen on your choice of career. What inspired you to go ahead anyway?
Well I hail from a family which has nothing to do with fashion or movies. The only way I could really be an actor was to be a model so that I could get a chance to be seen. Only if you know somebody you will want to see him. I think this is the best route to be an actor.
Tell us about the ad films you have done
Well my first ad film was for Mufti; you must have seen these hoardings with a guy in blue shirt. It was all over India in Delhi, Jaipur etc. Then I did this ad for Live In jeans which was a TV commercial. I also did an ad for Red Tape shoes. One of my best ads was the Pepsi commercial with Priyanka and Kareena which got me a lot of recognition, after which I did an ad with Preity which was an ad for TVS Scooty.
You have done ads with Priyanka Chopra, Kareena, Preity Zinta and Rani. How was it like, sharing screen space with Bollywood babes?
It was fun. I was tensed in the beginning because both of them were top actresses, but it wasn't a problem. Farah Khan was the director, she was very helpful and the way she conducted everything it just seemed like a cake walk.
How did your venture into Bollywood happen?
What happened was there is this guy called Amarjeet, he called me one day and said that Karan I have seen your ads and you look very promising, what do you think of acting? I told him that I would be more than glad to be a part of a movie. Then he got a few people who wanted to make a film with me. But I took my time and finally I got this offer for Kya Love Story Hai. The director of the film Lovely Singh looked very promising, he had a good vision. The film looked very nice and had a catchy love story.
Tell us about your character Ranvir in KLSH
Ranvir is a guy who is very focused and hardworking. He lost his father at a very young age and so he has seen the hard part of life. He always thinks about his work. He doesn't know how to party or have fun. But yes he is a very nice guy.
Ranvir is independent and workaholic. Are you also like that in real life?
Yes I am like that. I have to work the whole day. I have to go to the gym. And until and unless I don't meet people, go for a few meetings I don't think my day will be fulfilled. I am not a party person. I can see myself in the role of Ranvir and that's why I took up the role.
Did you feel intimidated or nervous working with Ayesha Takia or Tusshar Kapoor?
Initially yes. I won't lie, I was nervous for the first few days's because it's a big deal from being a model to becoming the main lead opposite Ayesha and Tusshar. But then later on it was fine and we all chilled out. The work environment was great. Everyone was very friendly. Tusshar and Ayesha were very helpful. In fact being with good actors helps to improve your acting skills. Tusshar and Ayesha are great actors and very spontaneous.
Did you take any prior training in acting before doing this film?
It just happened. I didn't train much. I just got one months time. There had been so many offers and meeting so there was no time. But yes I did work on my dance and voice.
Director Lovely Singh also makes his debut with you
Yes Lovely is debuting with this film, but he has been assisting for a very long time now. Lovely is very calm. After doing modelling and TV ads I have noticed that directors tend to get very hyper after a while, but Lovely is so chilled out and knows how to get his work done.
Lovely Singh says Kya Love Story Hai is just another love triangle. What about you?
No its not, it's very different in the sense of its music which is very young and peppy. The story is not a typical love story. The way the story has been portrayed makes a difference.
Do you portray a negative character in the film?
No, I don't play a negative character. Ayesha falls in love with me in this film because I am an ideal guy for her who is very hard working. It's not really a negative character but someone who is much focused and his main agenda is to make his mother happy.
The film has entirely been shot in South Africa. How was the experience?
South Africa is beautiful. The wide beaches, the villas it's amazing. I don't know where Lovely would find the locations. We would travel for hours in jungles and we found beautiful locations to be shot at, my personal experience when I reached the location was that I could see a painting there with beautiful mountains and lakes, it is too beautiful to express in words.
Tell us your future projects
I am working on something with Amitabhji, the talks are on, and I just had a meeting with few people. Apart from that there are a few other projects in the pipeline.
Will you be doing any ramp shows or ad films in the future?
I am just keeping it low at the moment. I did do the India fashion week in Mumbai, but apart from that I am keeping it low.
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