I am a hardcore realist, and that’s why I feel my journey has been a joyride: Ayushmann Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana says his five-year Bollywood journey has been “a fun ride”; adds success is a lousy teacher while failure is “your friend, philosopher and guide”.bollywood Updated: Jun 26, 2017 16:20 IST
Ayushmann Khurrana started off his Bollywood career with a bang with Vicky Donor (2012), but hit a few roadblocks soon after. However, the actor-singer, who has just started shooting for his next with film-maker Sriram Raghavan, says it has been a “joyride” so far. He recently completed half-a-decade in B-Town, so HT caught up with him to talk about life, career and the journey so far.
You just completed five years in Bollywood. Has the journey been bumpy?
I think the second and third years were average, with Nautanki Saala (2013) and Bewakoofiyaan (2014). And of course, Hawaizaada (2015) was a disaster.
Was that time scary, when the three movies you mentioned didn’t do very well?
Not really. I think, overall, it has been a fun ride. Maybe because I am that kind of a person who doesn’t have a lot of expectations. I am a hardcore realist. A few days ago, I put up a quote on my Twitter page: “I am a pessimist because of my intelligence and I am an optimist because of my will power.” And for me, things are always like that.
So, what kept you going?
See, if you are an intelligent person, you will be like a realist or an optimist. So, you will always be like, “pata nahi iska kya hoga, but jo hoga theek hai dekh lenge” (I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’ll figure it out). I think that’s a good attitude to have in life, and since I am a realist, I think it was a joyride. I always think that success is a lousy teacher, but failure is your friend, philosopher and guide. That’s what I always believed in. At the same time, I am fortunate enough to have two National Award-winning films, starting with Vicky Donor and then Dum Laga Ke Haisha (DLKH; 2015).
This is a busy year for you. Are you nervous about your back-to-back releases?
Mujhe compensate karna tha do saal ka (laughs; I had to compensate for not doing any films for two years). This is the first year after DLKH that I will have films releasing. In fact, the same goes for Bhumi (Pednekar; she made her debut with Ayushmann in DLKH) as well. A lot of people were also asking me, ‘tumhari film kyun nahi aa rahi? (why aren’t your films releasing?)’. It’s unfortunate that Manmarziyan didn’t happen, or else, I would have had a film last year. But I am glad that three films are releasing this year.
Are you enjoying such a busy schedule?
I have never been in such a situation. You know, I am not free till September 1; I’m busy every day. I am a very laidback person, so this is the first time that I am running about for different releases and dubbings, especially since my two films weren’t shot with sync sound. So, we have to dub from scratch, and that’s quite a task. I have a wallpaper on my phone that reads, ‘Every next level of your life demands a different you’. So, that’s what’s happening, but it’s a good situation to be in.
You are an actor as well as a singer and a live performer. What gives you a bigger kick?
It’s definitely performing live, because it gives you instant gratification. The same goes for stage and theatre too. I think when you interact with people and improvise as per your audience, you can see how well they are accepting your performance, and that’s a different high altogether. But having said that, ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a film actor, and that will always be the biggest high (smiles).
You started your career along with many other youngsters, who are your contemporaries now. Do you feel the competition?
Even when I made my debut and other young actors were getting launched, I remember Vicky Donor (2012) was a small film. And even now, I am still doing films, which belong to that same zone. So, if you see, Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) was similar to Vicky Donor, and will be in the same zone as Shubh Mangal Savdhaan or Bareilly Ki Barfi.
It seems like you are comfortable being in your ‘zone’?
Student Of The Year (2012) was far more commercially successful than Vicky Donor at that time. They (Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt) were already commercial stars, while I was considered an actor, who would do concept-based, slightly ‘off-centre’ kind of films. Even five years down the line, we still tread the same path and I have no complaints about that. I am not trying too hard to tread that territory.
What kind of films do you plan to take up in the coming days?
I would want to continue doing my kind of cinema, and actually, it’s not even my kind of cinema but something which is an extension of my personality, and suits me as an actor. If one competes with oneself and is able to build that space, then it’s amazing. I think everybody has built that for themselves. Jisne jo sur pakda back then, usi sur mein sab chal rahe hai, apni apni jagah (whoever caught a particular tone at that time is still working in the same zone).
But would you like to do big-budget commercial films as well?
Why not? Of course. But I should have that kind of a pull in the market as far as commercial cinema goes. It all depends on that. I shouldn’t do it for the sake of it.
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