Ayushmann Khurrana. Picture Courtesy: Instagram/ayushmannk
Giving interviews for their films, and maintaining the momentum by presenting the same answers in creative ways is not an easy show. Ask Ayushmann Khurrana about it, and he says, “Out of ten questions asked, nine are same. It becomes really difficult to keep on repeating the same thing.” Repeating his last year’s trend, the actor is busy promoting two films simultaneously – Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho. In an exclusive interaction with mid-day online, Ayushmann speaks about how he has acquired a festival release for Badhaai Ho and is in a safe zone. AndhaDhun releases on October 5 and Badhaai Ho hits the marquee on October 19.
You have two movies releasing around the same time, both with drastically different stories. How do you feel about seeing more of you everywhere?
Ideally, there should be spacing between two release dates. I was very nervous last with Bareily ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan releasing simultaneously back-to-back in two weeks. But last year was so beautiful. It was very fascinating to see both the films going housefull together. So, it was a lot of fun and I thought why not this year as well. Coincidentally, it happened again, it’s like Deja Vu. The best part is that both the films are different, the texture is different. Last year, people were getting confused kaunsa trailer kiska hai. But this time the trailers are so different. One is a thriller (AndhaDhun) and one is a slice-of-life film (Badhaai Ho). Both the films have good release dates. October 5 (Andhadhun) is a good release date and October 19 (Badhaai Ho) is Dussehra – a festival release. So, I’m very excited about it.
Your character in Andhadhun is not as simple as it appears, it’s a layered one, I guess…What do you have to say about it? We also heard that the character is inspired by a boy in St. Xavier’s college? Rahul Gajjal.
Oh really!? Is it! So, that’s the thing, I was not learning, I was observing. It was a very unconscious learning and unconscious lessons that he was giving because I was just observing him play. Recording with him, sitting and watching his video, so, in a way, he was my teacher. But, I was just observing him. My real piano teacher is Akshay. He taught me about the chords and how to move, but Rahul was an experience.
After spending more than half a decade in the industry, do you feel belong here?
I still feel that I see the city as an outsider because it makes the city more fascinating. I am fascinated with this city – the city of dreams. I came here without anyone, had no place to live. I stayed illegally in a hostel room with a friend at KEM hospital. He was doing MBBS from there. That’s why I see this city as a traveller. Like, if you are one with this city, probably you’ll find it boring. But, when you see it as an outsider/traveller, it will be a different perception, and you’ll never get bored of it. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of Bombay. Also, at the same time, I’ll never get bored of Bollywood. I still get butterflies when I see Amitabh Bachchan sir, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan. I look up to them. So, I get those fan moments even now. Even when I watch their films, which is like totally out of the box or crazy, so, I’ll still whistle and behave like a normal. I’ll watch their film as an audience, not as a critic, who’ll watch their films and point out aspects of filmmaking. So, that’s the best way to be.
Your career graph is an interesting one. The kinds of films you do are quite unconventional. Is it intentional or this is just happening naturally with the flow?
I think this trajectory starts with your first film. I threaded the path of this unconventional choice from the first film. Similarly, Varun Dhawan threaded the path of Student of The Year and continued. For him, threading a different path would be a Sui Dhaaga. For me, a different path would be an AndhaDhun. So, I think that is there. But the unconventional part is my staple. For Varun, Student of The Year is his staple. I’m happy with that trajectory or whatever path that I have chosen. It’s really exciting to be in a space where people are expecting something different from you. Thankfully, these choices are working.
From being a sperm donor to now taking care of your pregnant mother. You are still surrounded by babies. What is not letting you leave this space?
(Laughs) I don’t know. I’m obsessed with the taboo subjects. I have a taboo in my film AndhaDhun as well. Tabu, I’m talking about (jokes) a little bit of wordplay there. But, I think I find these things exciting. I don’t know whether I attract these scripts or I look out for these scripts, but I think it’s a happy marriage. So, as far as people find it exciting, different, palatable. So, I think you’re home.