When Shashank Arora bagged the title role in Kanu Behl’s Titli – which was screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival – the Delhi native was inching close to breaking point. “After four years in Bombay and only three [acting] jobs, anybody would be. I’m not stronger than that.” But the gritty story of a family of car-jackers only pushed him further. “Titli is a regular kid from a poor part of Delhi who wants out of his hellhole,” says Arora. “He made me understand how small things define your reality; like not having a place to take a dump in the morning.” The movie has only just secured a long overdue release (October 16), but there’s no lull in Arora’s shoot schedule. His next, Naman, by Gandu director Qaushiq Mukherjee, is about “three geniuses trying to get laid”, after which the passionate jazz and blues musician plans to take the stage for Rock On!! 2.
Photograph: Manasi Sawant; Styling: Nidhi Jacob; Make-up and hair Mitesh Rajani. On Shashank: Jersey sweatshirt, Koovs.com. Polyester pants, Abraham & Thakore
You may also want to read: Name to know: Sayani Gupta