He’s been everywhere

He’s been everywhere


Ayushmann Khurrana_Courtesy Abheet Gidwani

Ayushmann Khurrana is the quintessential Bollywood hero. After dabbling in theatre, radio and television, this Roadies-winner turned heads with his debut, Vicky Donor, an unconventional film that did well with audiences and critics alike. Subsequently, Ayushmann starred in many films, some exceptional, like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, and others simply forgettable, like Bewakoofiyaan. But what he did manage to do was to create a unique space for himself in Bollywood.

He became a poster boy for socially conscious movies that featured topics such as erectile dysfunction and sperm donation.

The audience also welcomed him with open arms as a singer. His songs, ‘Pani Da Rang’, ‘Saadi Galli Aaja’, ‘Nazm Nazm’, ‘Mitti Di Khusboo’ could easily be in their own genre of love ballads. Recently, he released yet another one, a romantic single called ‘Chan Kitthan’. Needless to say, this Punjabi folk song has also been doing well.

Here are edited excerpts from an exclusive conversation with Ayushmann:

What made you choose something as unconventional as sperm donation as a subject for your debut?

It wasn’t unconventional to me. When I was part of Roadies in 2004, there was a task of sperm donation. So, I knew about the process. Most of the actors had declined Vicky Donor because they weren’t confident about the idea.

More than that, it was an entertaining script. It was palatable, and there was nothing vulgar about it.

How do you choose your scripts today? What attracts you to a character?

More than the character, it’s the script in totality that attracts me because I feel it resonates with the audience more than anything else. The script has to be neat, and the storytelling, different. The character also has to be different from my previous film.

You mostly take on socially conscious films, is this a conscious decision?

This trend started with my first film and it has been going on since. It’s very important in today’s day and age to give something different to the audience because there’s a lot of great content online as well. Vanilla just won’t sell anymore.

Any roles that you aspire to do?

When I entered the industry, I thought I’ll do something like Shahrukh Khan’s character in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, or Aamir’s Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar or Lagaan. But scriptwriters are so creative and out of the box in their thinking that I never thought I’ll do a character with erectile dysfunction. Since I lean towards music, probably, I could do Ranbir Kapoor’s character in Rockstar, wherein I could sing for myself, too.

Tell us about your upcoming films.

I have two films coming up. In Andhadun, My character is a visually challenged piano player. This is the first time I am attempting a thriller, and that too with Sriram Raghavan. We haven’t used a body double in the movie, so I have tried my best to make it look as real as possible. Then, there’s a slice-of-life, Badhaai Ho, with Sanya Malhotra that’s releasing on October 19.

How do you deal with flops?

It’s very important for me to be detached from my films. Otherwise, I won’t be able to move on to the next one.

How do you think you have evolved as an actor from your first film?

I used to be a method actor earlier, but now I have become more spontaneous. Earlier, I used to do a lot of workshops and rehearsals. But now, after six years in the industry, and with experience in radio, television and live media, I have become much more spontaneous in my acting.

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