‘Both Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor inspire me,’ says Ayushmann Khurrana
Film after film, a new controversy erupts around casting — whether young actors should essay older characters, whether fair-skinned actors must flaunt a darker shade on-screen, or even if hiring cisgender people for transgender roles is suitable or not. But as someone who has a “great hairline” and has still played a balding man on screen in his latest hit Bala, Ayushmann Khurrana has an interesting perspective.
He says, “An actor is always looking forward to something which is different, and which is not really them on screen. By that logic, you will never cast an actor as a cricketer. Why not take a real life cricketer? Or why not cast someone who is balding? I’m someone with a great hairline, so I’m the worst candidate for this role.”
The actor, who has been a part of multiple heartland stories such as Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan, Bareilly Ki Barfi among others, further add that if that’s the logic then he should never play a small town, rural guy either. “That’s because I’m a convent educated urban guy. So why not just take an actor from rural India? We will end up playing ourselves otherwise. We are always looking for roles which make us push our boundaries not just in terms of acting skills, but also with the way we look,” adds Ayushmann, whose filmography is a proof of his versatility.
The 35-year-old believes that at the end of the day, a film’s messaging and intention should be correct. And a message worth the audience’s while has been a constant in most of Ayushmann’s films — right from Vicky Donor on sperm donation to Dum Laga Ke Haisha on how “love comes in all sizes” and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan on erectile dysfunction. Bala, Ayushmann says, taught him a lot about empathy.
His career graph is something that a lot of his co-stars, peers and aspiring actors eye and envy, and given that he has just struck a streak of seven consecutive hits, people’s expectations are naturally high. Ayushmann considers it a “happy” expectation. “There are only positives out of it, and it is great that they have a certain expectation out of me. It gives me more courage to choose roles and scripts that are more radical and risky. It gives me more bravado as a risk taker.”
As for his own self, Ayushmann is clear about who he looks up to in the industry. Ask him about it, and he says, “I’d love to name my contemporaries, even though normally people don’t do that. I look up to Ranveer Singh. The diversity in his filmography is amazing. His energy levels are unbelievable and he’s so inspiring. And also Ranbir Kapoor for that matter. Both Ranveer and Ranbir are extremely talented, and they inspire me.”
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