Movies

Driven by passion

A ROOTED PERFORMER Ayushmann Khurrana

A ROOTED PERFORMER Ayushmann Khurrana  

Ayushmann Khurrana talks about his love for Kolkata and content-driven cinema

From a thinking actor who picks his roles with care to a singer who has shown there is more to Punjabi music than just rap, Ayushmann Khurrana, in a short time, has proved his versatility. The actor-singer says that wearing many hats is easy if you are driven by passion. Now, he is doing Shubh Mangal Savdhan, a remake of the hit Tamil romantic comedy, “Kalyana Samayal Saadham,” written by Prasanna with Bhumi Pednekar, his co-actor of Dum Lagake Haisha. A romantic comedy with sex central to the story, here he discusses how he related himself with Kolkata for Meri Pyaari Bindu, his next Yash Raj film relationship with industry and fellow actors and more.

Excerpts:

How do you manage time shuttling different mediums along with family and kids?

I think when your heart is at the right place and you have passion, it drives you and you do not feel that you are taking out time for anything else but it becomes life. It will be the only year when three of my films will be coming out back to back otherwise I am like one film a year kind of person. Now I am realising that life is all about managing time between your family and your passion and doing justice to both.

How does your family see you as an actor?

My kids are too small to react to my acting skills but my family usually gives critical comments to my work(laughs). I am happy that they are blunt when it comes to my work and it is very helpful to have a support system which is encouraging but at the same time tells you the truth.

Music singles these days have a short but cogent narrative which makes them easier for digital distribution. Do you see it as a medium to reach the audience when films are not coming up?

I think there is a need to gratify that audience who are out for music and independent music scene is also quite big in India as compared to the other markets. Also with digital distribution, there is space for everyone and if a celebrity is connecting through this channel, it will definitely expand the reach. Songs in the films follow the narrative arc of the film but with singles you can experiment and is easier for the audience to relate with. The fact of the matter is big music labels like T-Series are backing singles which, in a way, will boost independent music in India.

How would you define your relationship with the film industry after this journey? Do you still feel like an outsider?

I do not know what outsider or insider means, as I think, it only depends on the kind of work you are doing and the kind of success you are getting through your work. I believe that you are wanted when you are doing good films and if you fail to do good work, the industry just does not need you any more. Part of anyone’s success lies in the kind of work they do and I was fortunate to work in two films which won National Awards. Also once you are part of content-driven cinema, your equation with other people changes. I feel proud that people are accepting the change and films are gaining acceptance and so do the actors working in it.

But distribution for smaller films is still a problem.

I do not think that there was a problem in distributing those smaller films which I did. For instance, Vicky Donor was a smaller film but Eros was backing it. I think there should be a big producer to back the content and should have the muscle to make those smaller films ready for release and compete with the commercial big fishes.

Are you open to working in web-series too?

There is too much censorship in television and it has its own limitation which made digital space, a place where you can be edgy, creative and wacky at the same time. If I would be given chance to do a web series, I would love to do that as I find the medium more suitable for doing crazy things (laughs).

What was your relationship with Kolkata during your early life and how did you relate yourself to the place for getting yourself ready for Meri Pyaari Bindu?

I love food and music and Kolkata is full of these elements So the place has a big place in my heart. I am in love with the Bengali backdrop and I have been reading a lot about Rabindranath Tagore, whom I admire very much. I used to eat home cooked food with the local flavour throughout the shoot and also gur sandesh from Balaram Mullick shop used to complete my feast there.

As far as relating to the place, it is very important for an actor to get into the shoes of anyone and since my root language that is Sanskrit is good and it becomes easy to pick up tones easily when the roots are strong. Same was the case with Dum Laga Ke Haisha also where my character was from Uttar Pradesh and I had to pick up the raw tone of the place which helped me a lot.

Fellow female actors must have inspired you...

A lot. I am fortunate to have worked with young female actors who not only mentally delve into a character but also transform physically for the characters. The kind of dedication I have seen in Bhumi is tremendous as she had put on weight for Dum Laga Ke Haisha and now she has lost it all for Shubh Mangal Savdhan. Parineeti Chopra, on the other handcan handle anything and she also has a taste for music as she is a trained vocal artist which is her strength. When as an actor you have an understanding of music, it helps you in acting as well, especially if you are portraying a character of singer, which Parineeti is doing in the film Meri Pyari Bindu. I am happy to work with her.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:57:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/Driven-by-passion/article17289269.ece

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