Exclusive: “I Auditioned For Andhadhun” – Ayushmann Khurrana

Shravan Shah
Ayushmann Khurrana in Ermenegildo Zegna at the 2017 HT’s Mumbai’s Most Stylish Awards (Photo courtesy | Viral Bhayani)
Ayushmann Khurrana in Ermenegildo Zegna

Ayushmann Khurrana began his Bollywood career with Shoojit Sircar’s Vicky Donor in 2012. The film opened up discussions on the topic of sperm donation and it managed to grab people’s attention and how! While the film was a hit, the audience was waiting to see what more this new starboy had to offer. While a couple of his next releases didn’t manage to impress the masses, Sharat Katariya’s 2015 flick Dum Laga Ke Haisha put him back in the game. Ever since then, Ayushmannn’s career has been on the rise. Now after having a stronghold, the actor will be seen experimenting with the thriller genre with Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun. Right from auditioning for his character to following a zen mode approach, the Bareilly ki Barfi star gets candid.

You started off with Vicky Donor then you had your share of highs & lows. Last year you’ve had success pouring your way with Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhaan. As an actor, does it take a toll on you, when failure comes your way?

I think it’s been 6 years in the industry and I’ve realized that it’s very important to be detached from what you do. I don’t expect anything. I just do my best in whatever project I’m doing and give my 100 percent to it. I have a very zen-like approach and I don’t get depressed easily. I don’t get ecstatic easily either, so I’m always somewhere in the middle. I think it’s good to have that approach. You should love your work and results are incidental because they depend on many factors like the release state, the success of the music, the collaboration of the producer, the director. It’s not just about you, it’s about everybody.

True, but is it very easy to be detached with something you’ve given your sweat and blood for a long time?

Of course not, but I think if you’re immediately working towards the next project then it becomes easy to detach yourself. If you’ve done one film and you’re waiting for the release and you’re not doing anything after that it becomes slightly difficult but if you’ve suddenly moved on, physically also to the next character it becomes easy.

While earlier love has played a vital role in your films, this year you have a film with Sriram Raghavan. What should we expect this time?

This is the first time I have approached a director. I’m very laid back as a person and I always thought that your work will attract more work but I think I wanted to change my genre from slice of life films. I wanted to venture out into something completely different. This is my first thriller that too, with the master of thriller’s Sriram Raghavan. I auditioned for Andhadhun. I told him to take my audition, because he had never seen me this way so I asked him to take my screen test. After the screen test, I thankfully got selected and now I’m doing the film. I think it’s good to change your genre once in a while. You cannot change yourself in every film. You should not establish yourself in a particular genre and then surprise the audience. I think actors are also instinctively self-obsessed. They think that “I should be different” but I think people are not bothered about you, they are bothered about a new story. People need to see a different story more than a different you, because if your story is different you will be different in the film.

Now that you mentioned the slice of life films, were those the kind of scripts that came your way after Dum Lage Ke Haisha and Bareilly Ki Barfi? Is it very easy to get typecast in the industry?

No there’s nothing like that. I think if the film is different, if the story is working, everything works. I can see that Varun (Dhawan) and I are on two different sides of the spectrum. I’m doing the slice of life films. For me, a typical commercial film will be different, while for him an October and a Sui Dhaaga will be different which might be staple for me. So I think it’s the other way round. I think once in a while you have to do something different.

We have singles releasing nowadays and it’s great. You did a single recently for T Series titled Chan Kitthan. While it gives a great platform to actors and musicians, why don’t we hear songs having similar flavour in Hindi cinema?

I think it is because you get a brief from the director and producer here. While we are doing singles we don’t follow any narratives where as in films, you have to follow the narratives of the script. With singles we can take the liberty and it works which we cannot take with a film.

While Ayushmann has finally reigned the light-hearted romantic genre, Andhadhun will make us witness a side of the actor which we haven’t seen. We are looking forward to this one!

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