"Salman is a brother to me. I look at him in a very emotional way at both the professional and personal levels. Salman bhai is above and beyond a mentor for me," Arjun told IANS. "Normally I don't talk about how I feel about Salman bhai because it gets misconstrued... I love him and I feel I can make him proud. I can't thank him enough for keeping faith in me," he added.
Arjun is the son of Boney Kapoor and late Mona Kapoor. Getting a project was not an uphill task for Arjun, but losing weight was a big struggle for the newcomer. "I was very lucky that I didn't have to struggle much. But I never wanted to be an actor. I wanted to direct; so I was very happy as an assistant director. Then I met Salman bhai who made me pursue acting," the 26-year-old said.
"I was 140 kg. He said I have the potential. When somebody like him shows faith in you, you take it seriously. I took up this challenge... "I was fortunate that he took me along wherever he went and trained me. I travelled with him, worked out with him, lived with him, and ate what he told me to eat. He took me under his wings and it took me four years to lose weight - and losing 50 kg was my struggle," he added.
Being a producer's son and his experience as an assistant director have made Arjun practical. Said Arjun: "Newcomers can't start thinking that they are superstars. Even if my dad is going to make a film, he can't make a Rs.50 crore film with a newcomer. Eventually, it's all about business. Emotions are one side and business is on the other side."
Times have changed, says Arjun and adds gone are the days when "fathers used to launch their sons. Now it's the time to make good films." May be that is the reason why he is being launched by Yash Raj Films. Directed by Habib Faisal, "Ishaqzaade" also features Parineeti Chopra and is slated for a May 11 release.
"Who would say no to Yash Raj? I think it is the biggest achievement for me and for my father who is already a big name in the industry. If I make my own mark over here, he would definitely be more proud that I have done it on my own. Faisal's first film "Do Dooni Chaar" won a national award, but unfortunately it didn't hit the bull's eye at the box office. "Ishaqzaade" is his second directorial venture and Arjun is confident.
"Habib has not made a blockbuster film, he made a critically acclaimed film that people loved. But the credibility that Habib sir has within the fraternity is commendable," Arjun said. "I was happy that I got a good director. This is the most irregular launch that anybody had because a newcomer has never played this kind of a character. It's not safe at all," he added.