TARA BRADY meets a man who studied for years to be a lawyer, then gave it all up to pursue a career in Indian films - and has proved that he made the right decision.
HARROW actor Armaan Kirmani has hit the big time - landing a role in the latest Bollywood film. Patiala House is the highly anticipated production starring Akshay Kumar, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia, and promises to set the standard of Bollywood cinema for 2011.
Armaan, 24, of Porlock Avenue, Harrow, is a Cambridge graduate who left a career in law to pursue film and theatre.
Having been trained by veteran actor Anupam Kher, at his institutes in Mumbai and London, Armaan is set to be the next rising star of Bollywood.
This year he has also completed a film called London Life, by director Naveen Medaram, who was involved in the post-production process for big budget Hollywood films such as Iron Man 2, The Dark Knight and Harry Potter.
Armaan has also written, produced and acted in a British Asian cross-over short film, Shortcut, which is due out later this year.
Armaan said: "I graduated in 2008 with a law degree from Cambridge but I decided to go to acting school.
"I live opposite Whitmore High School, where fellow Harrow actor Dev Patel, from Slumdog Millionaire, was a pupil.
"I've watched his work and to think that a year and a half later another Harrow actor will be making his debut on film."
Patiala House follows the story of the Kahlon family, focusing on the relationship between Parghat Singh Kahlon, also known as Gattu, played by Akshay Kumar, and his father, played by Rishi Kapoor.
Set predominantly in Southall, west London, Kapoor's character tries to hold on to his Indian values in a land that he does not believe is home.
His son, a talented cricketer, is torn between following his dreams of playing for England and his respect for his father.
Armaan plays Jaskaran Kahlon, Kumar's younger brother, who is married to his childhood sweetheart, Preity. Taking her advice, Jaskaran starts up his own business but it crumbles and he must rely on his father to help him get back on his feet.
Armaan said: "It's been such an amazing experience working on this film. I had to go through a number of auditions to secure the role and it was quite a challenging process.
"My character is quite similar to Gattu and very close to his father. Family is integral to the whole film and working with such amazing actors such as Akshay, Anushka Sharma, Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia has been an incredible learning curve for me.
"I hope this opportunity will open more doors for me, in Hindi cinema as well as western cinema."
Patiala House is credited with being filled with love, laughter and incredible music and promises to take you on a journey of discovery, where you learn the meaning of family and the importance of staying true to your dreams.
Armaan said: "This is traditional Bollywood - if you want to be entertained by larger than life characters, fantastic music and great costumes then this is for you.
"The most important thing I want to emphasise is that Patiala House shows the best of British Asian talent, and the British Asian community and British public should come and support it."
Previews of the film begin today (Thursday) and the film is released tomorrow.
* For more information about Armaan Kirmani, visit twitter@armaankirmani.