Newcomer Kartik Tiwari has a lot to thank Mark Zuckerberg. If not for his ‘Facebook’ invention, he wouldn’t have realised the dream of seeing himself on the big screen, as is now been fulfilled with Pyaar ka Punchnama. An absolute outsider with no link whatsoever with the movers and shakers of Bollywood, Kartik was spotted in a casual attire by the makers of this young comedy who pronto decided to invite him for an audition.
“We wanted a newcomer for the lead protagonist in Pyaar Ka Punchnama and the requirement was for a good looking boy who seemed uncorrupted with the world around him, carried a sober look and came across as the perfect lover boy”, informs Abhishek Pathak, the film’s producer, “We were stuck for some time though because whoever came to our office carried that typical ‘filmy hero’ look to him while we wanted someone who was just the boy next door yet very presentable as a lead on the big screen.”
Hundreds of auditions later, Abhishek along with director Luv Ranjan started surfing Facebook to hunt for their lead and came across the profile of Kartik. It was a different matter though that he was in a total ‘masti’ and ‘mazaa’ mode while partying with his friends but instinctively Abhishek and Luv decided to give him a shot.
“We called him for the look test but even after 2-3 rounds, we were not too sure about him”, informs Luv, “Abhishek had totally given up on him and was ready to call for more boys. However I was somehow sure that he was the right choice. Without anyone’s knowledge, I did another round of audition and shoot with him and then showed the results to the team.”
This time around, the team was indeed impressed and even as Abhishek suspected that he had seen Kartik before, Luv broke the news to him that he was the same guy who had been rejected before.
“There was no reason for me not to say yes to Kartik; I was totally convinced though”, admits Abhishek, “I was all for Kartik and from this point on his grooming started. So off went all the partying as he was asked to cut himself off from the outside world for close to a year and suggested that he concentrate entirely on Pyaar Ka Punchnama. His daily routine was to learn the finer points of acting, be a regular at gym, eat some healthy food and dream and sleep the character of Rajat. Guess the results are there to show with his outburst dialogue (that begins the much in demand theatrical promo) a rage already.”
One wonders whether Kartik has already sent an invitation to Zuckerberg for the film’s premier on the eve of 20th May.