Boney Kapoor’s son Arjun is all set to make his Bollywood debut with YRF’s action-packed love story Ishaqzaade that opens on May 11. A significant portion of the film has been shot in Hardoi in Uttar Pradesh and Arjun’s character was part modelled on a local lad called Avneesh Yadav.
The film’s writer-director Habib Faisal admits that while penning the story and conceiving Arjun’s character, he had no idea a Parma existed in real life. But during a recce, he bumped into Avneesh and was amazed by the similarities between his reel-life hero and this real-life one.
“Avneesh drove us around Lucknow, he knew the city and its people like the back of his hand,” reminisces Habib. “And after spending 10 hot and fun days with him during which he introduced me to the best chhola batura and gajjar ka halwa at an eatery close to Hazratganj, I realised he was the Parma of Lucknow.”
Back in Mumbai, Arjun was being groomed through workshops to look and act the part of a fiery rustic ishaqzaade (lover). As part of the homework, he spent some time in Lucknow wandering around and observing the locals. When they landed in Lucknow, Arjun and Habib got into Avneesh’s car and the director suggested to his lead actor that he make Avneesh his driver, hang out with him and use him as a reference point for his character. “He has a unique body language and a ‘I-don’t-give-a-damn’ attitude which is bang on in terms of what I thought Parma should be like,” says Habib.
As a thank you they even gave Avneesh a cameo in the film. “He has done a good job for a debutant actor with absolutely no background in cinema,” says Habib.