Ayushmann Khurrana on Badhaai Ho, Andhadhun, choosing 'the right scripts' and why he's here to stay
Ayushmann Khurrana says the script of Badhaai Ho won him over immediately, whereas for Andhadhun he had to approach Sriram Raghavan. He further says he would love to do action films in the future.
When Ayushmann Khurrana was offered Badhaai Ho, he laughed. “Because it is part of the legacy I am living, or creating — of quirky, slice-of-life film,” says the actor, who, by his own admission, owns the ‘realistic zone’ in Hindi cinema.
He has completed a trilogy of films with Vicky Donor (where he played a sperm donor), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (where he faced erectile dysfunction) and now Badhaai Ho, his most recent outing and the 10th film in his six-year-old career.
“It was one of the most brilliant scripts I have read and it was an immediate yes from my side,” says the actor, who is also basking in the success of his previous release, Andhadhun. In Badhaai Ho, Ayushmann plays the older son of an elderly couple who can’t come to terms with his mother’s pregnancy. “Badhaai Ho is not something very different for me, it is in the same space. This is my staple. I have made this my zone and I hope nobody else picks up such taboo-breaking subjects, but it is good to venture out once in a while like in Andhadhun. That was a deliberate effort from my side because I approached Sriram Raghavan myself and it was a great experience,” says Ayushmann.
“Though most of my films have been word-of-mouth successes, this time I am expecting good opening. In fact, this is the most massy film I have ever done. Take for instance, Vicky Donor. How do you explain to kids what sperm donation is? Whereas Badhaai Ho is quite palatable by the masses of every age. This is the most commercial film I have done,” he adds. Incidentally, the film is off to a flying start at the box office with over Rs 7 crore collection on day one.
Like last year, Ayushmann had two back-to-back releases (Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan) this year as well. “But I was tense last year wondering what would be my fate as both the films were of the same genre, whereas I was relaxed this year as the films were so different from each other,” says the actor, who’s comfortable doing two to three films every year. “Now I am happy that I am getting some great scripts. In recent times, most of the great work has come from new directors, new writers. Talent can come from anywhere and am glad that I am making the right choices,” he adds.
"The primary objective of an actor is to control his own craft. I normally don’t watch films or web series. I read books, observe life, meet people. With Andhadhun I met real blind people. Sriram had told me not to see any film with blind characters. I learnt the piano for real and for three months, five hours every day I diligently learnt both piano and walking and living like a blind man,” he reveals.
Talking about Badhaai Ho, Ayushmann says it wasn’t just that one quirky line, ‘what to expect when your mother is expecting’, but the whole script that won him over. “The entire family is the hero of the film. Not just me, every character is important for the film. Neena Gupta and Gajaraj Rao are the parallel leads in the film. It is great to be part of such a film. The casting is very fresh, elderly romance is fresh, and reaction of the children, like me dealing with parental pregnancy, is again fresh. So it’s very novel as an idea,” says Ayushmaan.
Though Ayushmann is happy playing the real characters, he longs to do an out-and-out masala entertainer. “I have grown up watching mindless movies. If you succeed in entertaining then nobody questions logic. I would also love to do an action film. I want to beef myself up. I really want to do that physical transformation and do action movies. I have lot of genres to explore and I don’t want to exhaust myself doing everything in one year. I am here to stay,” he signs off.
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“Whatever we’ve read in our childhood, our books – storybooks, even our textbooks, literature in Hindi and English in school… it’s all about how much interest you have in studying, and those things registering themselves in your mind. All of that reflects in our art," says Encore, one half of Seedhe Maut.