Ayushmann Khurrana says he chose to star in Hawaizaada, an upcoming Bollywood biopic on scientist Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, as it was challenging to play a man from the past. Ayushmann, 30, learnt Marathi, went for a physical transformation to portray the Indian scientist, who is said to have made the first unmanned plane though American brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright are credited for the feat in 1905.
"There are hardly 100 words written about him (Shivkar). He is apparently the first man to have constructed and flown unmanned aircraft in the 19th century. It was a challenge for me to play such a role which is completely opposite to me. I am playing a Marathi and that also from an era which is so different from now. I think by taking challenges, an actor can grow," Ayushmann said in an interview.
The trailer of the film, which is hitting theatres on January 30, has been getting positive response from audience and crossed 10 lakh views within four days of its release. "It's good that the film is creating buzz much before its promotions. People are liking the novelty of the character and the content. It is overwhelming for me," Ayushmann said.
Directed by Vibhu Puri, the film also stars Besharam actress Pallavi Sharda and veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty in pivotal roles. "Mithunda is very young at heart. He is an institution in himself but he is very friendly on the sets. Mithunda and I share all kind of messages. I got to learn from him a lot," he said.
Ayushmann said his director did extensive research though not much is written about Shivkar. "Vibhu met some of the family members of the scientist to know more about him. He also met certain scientists in a research institute in Pune where there is a proof that he actually flew an aircraft in Chowpatty," he said.
To fit into the role, it was very important for Ayushmann to learn Marathi. "I learnt Marathi for the role. Our writer of the film Saurabh Bhave helped me to learn the language. Apart from him, I also instructed my staff in Mumbai to speak with me in Marathi," he said.