Even though Ayushmann Khurrana made a successful foray into the film industry with Vicky Donor (2012), his popularity soon took a blow with the lukewarm response to his next two films - Nautanki Saala (2013) and Bewakoofiyaan (2014). In the meantime, his contemporaries delivered hits, creating more pressure. While the actor admits that his career needs a boost with a commercial hit, he also maintains that projects with a potential for good acting are his priority.
You are still remembered for your first film. Do you feel that you desperately need a hit now?
The industry can put you down anytime. I'll be lying if I say I don't want commercial success or that I only want critical acclaim. I hope my next does well. But, for me, the most important thing is to deliver as far as acting is concerned.
Do you think that you have made wrong choices in the past?
You may think you made a regular choice, but when you are doing a film, you can't predict its success. There are many commercial films that, if promoted well, or if their music clicks, do well.
It is often said that to survive in this industry, one needs to have some kind of speciality. What is your USP?
I have created a niche for myself as a singer-actor; not too many people do that.
But several actors are singing nowadays, be it Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor or Amitabh Bachchan. How are you different?
I have got awards for singing. It is not my hobby, but my profession. It's unfair to compare me with other studio singers.
In the last two years, your contemporaries have delivered hits at the box office. Does that bother you?
In 2012, five newcomers entered the industry, including Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Arjun Kapoor and me. I got the best debutant trophy at all the awards shows. Then I realised that there are five newcomers entering the industry every year. I think I will go mad if I keep a tab on all newcomers. I am content in my life. I am doing pretty well - be it anchoring, my music, or appearances.
You did well as a VJ. Do you think you could have been a better VJ than an actor?
I think I am a better actor. I can go back to television whenever I want to; maybe 10 years down the line, I will do that. But this (acting in films) is something I have achieved after a very long time, after a lot of hard work and several unsuccessful auditions.