A brand new look

After quietly sneaking into Bollywood and getting his “big break” four years later in box office hit Fashion, the unassuming Arjan Bajwa promises that his forthcoming film will show him in a different light

By Davina Raisinghani (davina@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Mon 31 Aug 2009, 11:14 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:15 PM

Actor arjan bajwa has the good sense to not be miffed when he’s slated as ‘the guy who played Priyanka Chopra’s boyfriend in Fashion’. He does, however, wish that it were the other way round; that he was famous enough for people to refer to Chopra as the one who played his girlfriend in the movie.

Unfortunately, for the model-turned-actor, he was privy to one of the quietest debuts Bollywood has ever seen — his 2004 flick Woh Tera Naam Tha faded into oblivion without a trace. And although his second Hindi film was director Mani Ratnam’s award-winning Guru, his role of scheming businessman Arzaan Contractor went mostly unnoticed.

But when realistic-film-specialist Madhur Bhandarkar called Bajwa up early last year to do his next, the actor immediately knew that he had just found his very own pot of gold.

“It was a big film for me with a famous leading lady and a National Award-winning director. I was very excited to work with them and Priyanka and Madhur Bhandarkar really put me at ease,” recalls Bawja. “And I got a lot of appreciation for my work afterwards.”

The actor’s next release is Apoorva Lakia’s suspense thriller Hide and Seek, which will see him teaming up with former Miss India Amruta Patki, Purab Kohli, Sameer Kochar and Ayaaz Khan.

The feature tells the tale of four former friends whose mysterious past finally catches up with them — a bit of formulaic plot, but Bajwa promises us that he wouldn’t touch the role unless he thought it and the film intriguing enough.

“I play this really aggressive and brash guy who comes from a Maharashtrian police background. He’s got a few shades of grey, which is a big plus. There is just more energy involved in portraying such characters and people look forward to watching something different and more exciting with them. Also you get to play with your look and getup more,” he enthuses.

Like the majority of his previous flicks, Hide and Seek is a multi-starrer rather than a solo-lead-centric script. And while most newcomers would shy away from sharing screen space with three other actors, Bajwa appears relatively unconcerned.

“It’s always nice to have a movie based completely on you. But then it has to be something completely different from the norm to catch one’s eye. It cannot just be a regular romantic film. Even in a film with an ensemble cast, the character you play is important. Al Pacino started his career with a multi-starrer,” asserts Bajwa.

The actor also has an action film and a typical romance film in his kitty. But sans the go ahead from his directors he cannot dish out any more on either.

Fitness secret:

“I eat a lot and then work out a lot. I’m also really into martial arts — I’m a black belt in Taekwondo. And I run about 4-5 kilometres every day, do an hour of weight training and then follow it up with cardio in the evening.”

A closet movie buff, Arjan Bajwa lists out some of his favourites:

Hollywood actors:

Al Pacino and Benicio Del Toro. I wish I could look a bit like either of them. I would give my arms and legs to be even a per cent like these guys.

Bollywood actors:

Aamir Khan is the only actor that tries to look like a different person for each of his roles. He never looks like himself. That’s very inspiring.

Hollywood actresses:

Charlize Theron and the French actress Marion Cotilard.

Bollywood actresses:

My all time favourite is Kajol and from the new lot it’s Sonam Kapoor


I wish Mahesh Bhatt directed films. And definitely Ram Gopal Verma — his kind of filmmaking is so quirky.

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