"I often talk about Salman because he made me realise what I was capable of. It was something that not even me or my family recognised. He spent four years training and guiding me," Arjun told PTI in an interview here.
Salman continues to help Arjun even today and gets excited by his success.
"Today Salman is the most loved man in the country but he was not at the best phase of his career when he started helping me. He still takes a lot of interest in my career. He sees the trailers of my films and gets excited and sometimes he is surprised at what he has made out of me," Arjun said.
Starting off as an overweight assistant director, Arjun would have stayed behind the camera had Salman not intervened and made him shed more than 50kgs.
The 27-year-old's second film Aurangzeb released today (May 17).
Arjun has already four other big budget projects in his kitty but he was initially attracted to direction.
"If not an actor, I would have been behind the camera. Directing a film is still a desire. But I am enjoying acting now and want to create a space for myself before I look further," he said.
Taking on a double role in his second film was a challenge for the actor as both the roles are poles apart.
"The film is set in today's Gurgaon. It is about the family of land mafia. Police is after him. I play Ajay, the volatile son. In this picture comes my lookalike Vishal, who is used by the police. The characters are black and white. "It was a challenge to pretend to be someone else but I enjoy playing characters that are out of my comfort zone."
He has portrayed the tough-guy in both the films but Arjun does not feel that he is getting typecast.
"I am one-film old and I would not typecast myself. Yes, I had guns in Ishaqzaade too but that was a romantic film whereas this is a crime-thriller. I think I am being offered grittier roles more because I have that kind of a body language. But that won't stop me from experimenting," he said.
Arjun recently revealed his six packs at a photoshoot, which is for his upcoming film Gunday.
Asked whether there was any competition from his superfit co-star Prithviraj Sukumaran, Arjun said he did not let the south actor remove his shirt in Aurangzeb.
"We did not allow Prithvi to remove his shirt in this film. I told the director that his acting is fine but he should not remove his shirt because it would confuse people," Arjun joked.
Since the film was shot entirely in Gurgaon, Arjun enjoyed roaming around unrecognised.
"I had long hair so nobody used to recognise me. I once went and watched the 10.30 show of Argo."
The actor will next be seen in Gunday, his third film with Yash Raj Films. He is teaming up with his producer father Boney Kapoor for the remake of Telugu hit Okkadu besides working on the movie adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's novel Two States.
He is also doing an untitled English film with Cocktail director Homi Adajania.