I’ve taken lot of risks in life. They teach you a number of things: Ayushmann Khurrana
Actor Ayushmann Khurrana feels that the kind of choices he is making in his career is “quite cool”; adds life is about taking risks.Updated: Jul 24, 2017 18:25 IST
Since his debut film Vicky Donor (2012), which released five years ago, Ayushmann Khurrana has surely carved a niche for himself. He admits to being in a “great space” as far as his work is concerned. As his next, Bareilly Ki Barfi (BKB) readies for release, the actor tells us that he signed BKB even before Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s first film, Nil Battey Sannata (NBS) released. He also reveals that he suggested his co-star Rajkummar Rao’s name to makers. Excerpts from an interview:
It seems as if you are coming into your own now. True?
As an actor, yes, but, of course, I won’t deny that I want my films to work, and that people should love my films. I don’t know how much business BKB will do but we have made a good film for sure.
Ever since you made your Bollywood debut, you have done a number of sweet, boy-next-door kinds of roles. Do you fear being typecast?
It doesn’t matter what bracket you are putting a person in but overall the film should work and the character should be appreciated. If you are doing a good job, I think it [putting an actor into a bracket] doesn’t matter because I have a long way to go, and I am going to do different characters. Also, a lot depends on the kinds of films and roles you get, and I am glad that I am doing a Sriram Raghavan film next, which will be completely different for me. So, if this is a bully character (in BKB), my character in Sriram’s film will also not be a simple one. Sriram is known for edginess and craziness in his scripts, so I think it will be a good ride for me this year.
Watch Sweety Tera Drama | Bareilly Ki Barfi
Is it true that you signed the film even before NBS had released?
Yes. In fact, I was the first one to come on board [for the film], even before NBS had released. I had heard a narration at Juno’s (Chopra; producer) place, and I had loved the narration. Nitesh (Tiwari; writer-director) sir gave the narration, which was brilliant and then Mukesh (Chhabra; casting director) told me that she is the same director, who has directed NBS.
And then, you watched NBS in the editing room, and also suggested Rajkummar’s name for BKB?
NBS was at the editing stages at that time, so I went to the edit room the next day, and I remember I was crying alone in the edit room. I came out crying and called up Ashwiny saying, ‘I want to do this film (BKB).’ And so, I was on board and then the search began for different actors. Then Kriti (Sanon) came on board and I thought, ‘this role is perfect for Rajkummar because he is such an amazing actor.’ His range is amazing and fortunately, they took my suggestion. I am glad he (Rajkummar) is on board.
After five years in Bollywood, where do you see your career going?
I think the kind of choices I am making right now are quite cool. I have taken lot of risks in life, and I believe that life is about taking risks. They teach you a lot of things. After Bareilly Ki Barfi, I have Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, followed by Sriram Raghavan’s film, which is a thriller. So, I think I have made a few decent choices, and have given my best as an actor. Now, it totally depends on people.
Are you feeling extra pressure about Bareilly Ki Barfi, since your last film, Meri Pyaari Bindu, couldn’t do very well?
I think a lot depends on the release date as well. I am glad that we have got a decent release date and people have really loved the promo. Ultimately, we can only do our job. I have realised that at the end of the day, I have to detach from my films, just do my job and move on. That’s what I’m doing right now. Then it’s for people to decide.
What’s your unbiased impression of the film?
We have done our jobs and made a quirky and different film. It’s in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Sai Paranjpye space and even like Woody Allen’s films in a way. The film has Nitesh Tiwari coming after Dangal and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari after Nil Battey Sannata. Both are credible names and plus, we have great casting. Kriti, Rajkummar and I make a great combo in the film, so it should be a good film.
The film’s trailer is also getting a great response. Were you expecting it?
I think the excitement [about any trailer] is always there. Every film feels like your first film. It’s like as if you have appeared for your examination and now the results are going to come, especially when people have seen the first glimpse. The feeling is the same. Whenever we take any exam, we always feel a little anxious, nervous and excited. But I am glad that people have liked the trailer.
Since you said yes to Bareilly Ki Barfi even before Nil Battey Sannata released, were there any worries?
You know, neither Dangal nor Nil Battey Sannata was released at that time but when you connect to a film, you just connect. When I came out of the edit room, and called up Ashwiny to say that I would love to work with her. It was an immediate, spontaneous reaction, and I believe that your first instinct is the best instinct.
Be it Vicky Donor (2012), Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) or Bareilly Ki Barfi, you have always had strong supporting cast…
I think every film is like a team game, especially for me. I have always got films, which have a strong cast. Vicky Donor had Annu Kapoor, who was so good. He got a National Award for his performance [in the movie]. Then, in Dum Laga Ke…, Sanjay Mishra was brilliant. I think a film is made with each and every cast member. If the casting is strong, half our job is done. Then, even the mundane line is delivered in a great fashion. Every good actor adds nuances to the scene and takes it to the next level.
Watch Bareilly Ki Barfi trailer
Does it help you also to be surrounded by such strong actors?
I think it’s a great thing because in such a case, the overall level of the film and scenes go up. Acting is mostly about reacting and if you are getting good lines from the other side, then it’s easy to react to a certain thing. It keeps you agile as an actor and then, it’s great fun playing that part.
Have you sung in Bareilly Ki Barfi?
Yes, I have. I recently recorded a song for the movie.
You’ve always maintained that you are an actor first and then a singer…
Yes, I am, and it’s been a deliberate decision to keep the two things [singing and acting] separate. Both my identities are completely separate from each other.
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