Though he looks like and plays a 17-year-old school going boy in Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar (MP3), Ruslaan Mumtaz is all of 24 and says that when he was that age he had fallen in love just the way it is shown in his debut movie.
"Many of the scenes in my debut film seem to be straight out of my own life when I was 17," Ruslaan told IANS.
"I was involved with a girl for several years. I didn't run away to Paris to meet my girlfriend like my character in MP3. But I did lie to my parents and ran away to meet my girlfriend in Mahabaleshwar once."
So what happened to a love so intense?
"It vanished, I guess. Once I got busy with my career as an actor I couldn't give her the same amount of time. She didn't like that. We decided to take a break. I agreed, thinking we'd be together again. After a while I went to her building and waited for four hours for her to come down and meet me. She never did. That's when I knew it was over between us."
Busy shooting his second film and on the verge of being signed for several new projects, Ruslaan wants no distractions from his work.
"I have a large group of friends. But I hardly see them any longer. I don't go out in the evening because I want to reach the sets looking fresh the next morning. Yeah, I do miss a normal life. But I'd rather spend my free time watching movies, working out and reading."
However, regular exercising proved a detriment to Ruslaan.
"For the audition of MP3 I turned up looking extremely brawny. I was asked to get rid of all the muscles to look 17 for the part. I wasn't too keen to do that. I didn't want to make a chocolate boy hero's debut. Every aspirant wants to be Hrithik Roshan. I was no exception."
Ruslaan is the son of Bollywood's Anjana Mumtaz, who plays the role of a mother in movies and serials. She featured as Shilpa Shetty's mother in Dhadkan.
But having his mother in the industry made no difference to Ruslaan's struggle as a wannabe star.
"Why just my mom? I learnt dancing from Shiamak Davar. So I thought my mom's connections added to Shiamak's reputation would help me get an entry into Hindi films."