On Ayushmann Khurrana’s birthday, his directors reveal his best kept secrets
With a long list of films that have won over the audience and the critics alike, Ayushmann Khurrana has changed the way the industry looks at him as an actor. He can confidently step into any role, more diverse the better. An actor who keeps the script above everything else has emerged as one of the bravest actors in Bollywood. From laughing at his own jokes to being a true foodie, there is much more to Ayushmann than just his remarkable success graph.
So, what makes him stand out? On the occasion of Ayushmann’s 35th birthday, here’s what the filmmakers he has recently collaborated with believe are his strengths, and they also reveal some secrets.
Anubhav Sinha - Article 15
Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 saw Ayushmann stepping out of his comic and quirky image to play a no-nonsense cop.
Strengths: Talking about why he is among the chosen ones, Anubhav says, “His biggest strength is all that he cares about is the script. Also, for him, success of a film lasts only for about a week and then he moves on.”
Why he made the cut for Article 15: “Ayushmann was best suited because he so passionately believed in the subject matter and the script,” says Anubhav about signing the actor for a film which was away from his established image.
One peculiar habit of the actor: “Ayushmann believes he’s following a regulated diet while he indulges in all the food there is on offer. He’s a foodie like me,” Anubhav laughs.
Amar Kaushik - Bala
Strengths: “Ayushman is a very strong and courageous actor. He has a humongous amount of willingness to experiment and has a great understanding of sensibilities. However, its his humility that’s his biggest strength, that makes him a complete winner,” the director says.
Why he made the cut for Bala: Amar says, “The way our script shaped up, we knew that it was Ayushmann who best suited the character.”
One peculiar habit of the actor: Ayushmann’s secret weapon is sleep. “He is fun to work with. He makes sure everyone is well fed on the set. Off the set, he needs his 8 hours of sleep, no matter what. Even on the set, he can take 5 minute naps and look so fresh. I was actually sometimes jealous of him for his nap power.”
RS Prasanna - Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
Strengths: “The learnings from his years when his films didn’t work, that is his strength,” the director says, “He converted those years into wonderful learning. That has given birth to the new Ayushmann you see now. He just went back to his likes and dislikes as a person, his gut. After all he debuted with the most risky Vicky Donor and won big time. Shubh Mangal Saavdhan came at a crucial point in his filmography. His biggest quality lies in constantly learning from his mistakes, being extremely self-critical and not taking anything for granted. He is extremely hard working and focussed and is damn serious about his job.”
Why did he fit the role:” It’s funny how things change in two years at the box office; it is a perception-driven industry. When I decided to work with Ayushmann two years back, some asked me why him? Are you sure? Why not a big star? For me, he was the big star,” Prasanna says, “And now the same people are saying Ayushmann is a great star. He was always my first choice. Along with what he brings as an actor, he brings with himself the intelligence about a script. He is also a strategist, understands scripts and trends, how the world changes around him. I went to him with no script, just the concept of my original Tamil film Kalyaana Samayal Saadham. He immediately loved it and couldn’t wait to hear the script. Ayushmann is like Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan, always keeping the script above everything else. He has now made an image that filmmakers think that Ayushmann will do any taboo subject in the world!”
One peculiar habit of the actor: “Ayushmann has a very childlike sense of humour, which I really like. As soon as he cracks a joke, he laughs immediately and laughs the loudest. It’s like his self-defence mechanism, he doesn’t give anyone a second to react. Eventually everyone starts laughing. He loves all his PJs and puns and doesn’t let anyone have the time to feel that it was not a good joke. He is so full of positive energy and earnestness, which makes him a delight on screen and off screen,” the director reveals.
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