Armaan Jain – “Ranbir would call me football and push me to lose weight”

Legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor’s filmi khandaan continues.The latest entrant to Bollywood is his grandson, Armaan Jain who will debut with the Illuminati Films-produced Lekar Hum Deewana Dil.

The son of Raj’s second daughter Reema and Manoj Jain, Armaan’s entry wasn’t a cakewalk. He lived under a sword of Damocles during the making of the film — he was afraid they would replace him with another actor. But the newcomer was fuelled by his conviction. He says, “I wanted to act. I like entertaining people. I wanted to join a circus and make people laugh.”

“At home we only speak about food, not about acting.”

Yet, Armaan wasn’t always sure he would end up in films. “At home we only speak about food, not about acting,” he laughs. “Dad (Manoj Jain) had a business background so I was clued into the stock market during my growing years. I did not watch too many films but mom would make me watch my nanaji’s films. I loved his film, Mera Naam Joker (1970) and the keeda of acting was installed thereafter.”

Unfortunately, though Armaan has never met his famous paternal grandfather who passed away before he was born … but he sure does have his genes. He says, “I loved my grandfather because I never saw him. Once I was 10, I started copying him. I tried to be a joker and indulge in fun stuff.”

“I wanted to join the circus and make people laugh.”

This led to Armaan becoming Karan Johar’s assistant director for three years, during My Name is Khan and Student of the Year. No, the expected didn’t happen and Karan didn’t launch him in one of his many productions but Armaan shrugs, “I didn’t go to Karan with the idea that he would launch me, I went to learn direction. I got very influenced by his direction and now I am fascinated with the art of film making. I was purely into acting earlier but when I started learning direction I got interested in it. I have made short films as well.”

For now, though, he is concentrating on acting. In Lekar …he plays Dino, an overconfident person who loves adventure, thrill, parties.” No parallels though,” he says, “I was probably like that when I was 17 years old.”

Armaan does have the Kapoor wit and confidence though. Ask him if he would follow most newcomers and aim for a six-pack physique and he grins, “I have a family pack, there is no six pack.”

The newcomer reveals, “I was 100 kilos, Ranbir would call me football and push me to lose weight.” But his cousins didn’t try to bully him. “They were probably afraid I would sit on them,” he says with the Kapoor belly laugh.

Things have of course changed now. The gym-trim newcomer says, “If my character demands it, I will work on my body. I am into sports — I workout daily for two hours besides playing football, cricket and tennis.”

- By Anita Britto, Bollywood News Service

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