After working behind the camera and battling his obesity issues, the actor worked very hard to get in shape for his debut movie Ishaqzaade that release in 2012. The movie directed by Habib Faisal and co-starring Parineeti Chopra was a huge critical and commercial hit. For his role as Parma Chauhan, a chauvinist brat, Arjun was lauded by the critics and he went on to win his maiden Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. Following the success of his debut movie, Arjun next appeared in a dual role in the Atul Sabharwal’s 2013 movie, Aurangzeb alongside Prithviraj Sukumaran, Sasha Agha and veteran actors, Rishi Kapoor and Jackie Shroff. Upon release, the movie turned out to be a critical and commercial failure.
In his first 2014 movie, the actor appeared in Gunday alongside Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra. The film directed by Ali Abbas Zaffar is a fictional recount of two coal bandits who rise to become the most notorious and powerful goons in Calcutta in the 1980’s. The movie was a smashing hit and the on-screen chemistry between Arjun and Ranveer was much appreciated by the critics as well the audience. The movie went on to gross more than 100 crores INR worldwide. After appearing in three consecutive crimes movies, the actor appeared in his first romantic-drama movie 2 States, which was the adaptation of the author Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name. The movie also starring Alia Bhatt in the lead role emerged as a major commercial hit; it grossed more than 100 crore INR in domestic ticket sales.
With two 100 core plus movies in his kitty in the same year, the actor next appeared in Homi Adajania’s Finding Fanny, which was also his last release in 2014. The English satirical movie also featuring Deepika Padukone, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia and Pankaj Kapur in the lead roles received critical acclaim. The following year, the Arjun was cast alongside Sonakshi Sinha in Amit Ravindernath Sharma’s Tevar, which was the remake of the super-hit Telugu film, Okkadu. The film got terrible reviews with Raja Sen, a film critic stating “yet another of those mindless South remakes.” The movie was a commercial disaster too.
In his first release of 2016, the actor appeared as a stay-at-home husband in R. Balki’s Ki & Ka alongside Kareena Kapoor Khan. The romantic-comedy movie, which attempted to break the gender stereotypes in the society got mixed critical reviews but it turned out to be a commercial success. His other 2016 project includes Half Girlfriend, which is the adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name.