Actor Arjun Mathur, who has received rave reviews for his latest movie “Fireflies”, rues how the “big roles in the big films” only go to those from within the film fraternity.
“I’ve been around for seven years. I’ve done a variety of roles that have been well received by critics. But I am still to get the big roles in the big films that spin the kind of money that make and break stars,” Arjun said.
Ironically, Arjun was discovered by Farhan Akhtar.
“He was very kind. He gave me a role instantly in his short film. I was then cast in his sister Zoya’s film ‘Luck By Chance’. They were not leads. And why should they be? Farhan’s home productions would rightfully star him only.”
Arjun feels the entire milieu in Mumbai is extremely camp-oriented.
“Every new actor in Mumbai is affiliated to one or the other camp. I can’t spend my time sitting on stars’ sets or hotshot producers’ offices. By now they know what I am capable of. I can only go this far to push myself. The rest is up to the industry.”
“But it’s true that the best roles go to actors from within film families. It’s a reality that all us outsiders have to live with,” he said.
Arjun’s promising film career was braked in 2011 when his three-year-old marriage fell apart.
“The split devastated me. For three years I did nothing except try to salvage the relationship, and save the marriage. I fell off the Bollywood map, packed my bags and went home to Delhi. As far as I was concerned, my life and career were over,” he said.
It was at this point that “Fireflies” happened to Arjun.
“The director, Sabal Singh Shekhawat insisted I play the role. I refused because I was in no frame of mind to face the camera. Also, the role of a guy who is in a desperate relationship that isn’t going anywhere, was too close to home for comfort.”
Sabal insisted. It was the best thing to have happened to Arjun’s shattered life.
“Playing the part of a man hurtling towards a dead-end relationship proved therapeutic. I feel I’ve been saved from self-destruction. If this film had not happened, I’d have remained in Delhi drinking, getting fat and feeling sorry for myself. This film ended the spell of stupor for me,” he said.