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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

‘Shooting for an issue-based film, is an experience in itself’

Ayushmann Khuranna has shot Anubhav Sinha’s upcoming film ‘Article 15’ in Lucknow and is currently shooting Amar Kaushik’s ‘Bala’, followed by Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ in the state capital.

lucknow Updated: Jun 28, 2019 15:27 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Ayushmann Khurana
Ayushmann Khurana

Ayushmann Khuranna has shot Anubhav Sinha’s upcoming film ‘Article 15’ in Lucknow and is currently shooting Amar Kaushik’s ‘Bala’, followed by Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ in the state capital.

During a chat with HT City he said ‘Article 15’ is his most challenging film.


How is it most challenging?

This film is my most challenging physically, emotionally and mentally too. Physically, because we shot in a pond for a couple of days which had leeches and we did not know what’s happening under water, and emotionally, mentally as it’s based on a very hard-hitting subject.

I have read in literature about caste divide and discrimination and this is one film which actually made me a little sleepless and edgy while shooting for the film. I am very detached as a person when it comes to films but I couldn’t detach myself from ‘Article 15’ somehow.

There are some voices being raised!
  • It’s a very socially relevant and important film and needs to reach the grass-root level. It’s not against any community or demeaning anyone as some people are saying. I will just say they should wait to watch the film and then comment on it.

Was this your first encounter with ground realities?

Coming from a street theatre background you become sensitive towards social issues as most street plays are based on social issues. I have done a lot of theatre in college. But shooting for a film, which is about discrimination, is like getting a first-hand experience. For example, we were shooting in a Dalit village when we realised that it was on the periphery of the main village. All this questions the right to equality.

How do you manage to choose novel scripts?

I am glad that I am getting such roles and scripts and the opportunity to work with great directors, who come up novel ideas which have never been executed in Indian films. My only criterion is that my film should be unique and should be a first attempt in Indian cinema. No one has talked about this subject in mainstream cinema which was very intriguing as well as interesting for me.


Is the film entirely shot in Lucknow?

Yes! We shot in Malihabad and a lot of villages on the city outskirts. It’s such a film which required a lot of rural areas. In my life I have never shot in a village, so, it was a different experience. In the film, my house is shown in the middle of a town but overall we shot outside Lucknow.

Is this your first film with Anubhav Sinha?

It’s my first collaboration with him and I will surely be working with him again because we have the same sensibilities. He knows about the complexities of a society. He knows the subjects and that’s why he executes it to perfection. That’s why I am in love with his craft.

You are shooting your third film (Bala) here and will shoot fourth film too?

I have shot ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ entirely in Lucknow as we did not shoot it in Bareilly. For ‘Article 15’, we were staying here but we shot outside the city. ‘Bala’ I have shot in Kanpur and now we are shooting here and ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ will also be shot here.

Lucknow is very special. Its shoot-friendly and the people are friendly. It has a unique flavour, it has urban geography in place and certain rustic places too. The variation that we get from Old City to the new city is a great feature as it’s great to shoot here.

We loved having food in Lucknow. Anubhav is a foodie, so am I and so we were one happy unit. Every day, we used to feast from biryani to nihari everything. We went to Rahims, Dastakhawan and all these places.

Are you shooting another film after this here?

We will be shooting for ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan’ also. The team is still figuring out the locations. It may be shot in UP also but I am not sure about it.

What can you say about ‘Bala’ and ‘Gulabo Sitabo’?

I can’t talk about ‘Bala’ right now. Just that it’s great shooting here. The weather is very hot right now. When I shot ‘Article 15’ it was winter and this we are shooting in challenging weather. I will be entering ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ in mid-July and will be shooting till August I guess.

Any songs coming up?

I have sung a reprised version ‘Intezaari’ in this film. Right now, I have not sung anything for my forthcoming films. Let’s see if there is space for my voice...I would love to.

First Published: Jun 28, 2019 15:13 IST

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