“I waited for four years for the right kind of film” – Ayushmann Khurana in conversation with Koimoi
Touted as the next big thing in Bollywood, he is the new chocolate boy on the block. Reverberating with positive energy and excitement, Ayushmann Khurana is mighty happy after making the biggest Bolly debut of the first quarter of the ongoing year. And voila! He has nailed it down; the critics and the audience have already made him their darling, but this young achiever is all set to reach the zenith. Gritty and determined, he is still measuring his steps in to filmdom making sure nothing goes wrong with his career graph. Over to him:
Vicky Donor: the film created huge euphoria among the masses prior to its release. Being a low budgeted film, it went on to create wonders at the box office and brought all the performances into notice. How was the feeling having hit a jackpot with the very first film?
Of course, the feeling was great. I waited for four years for the right kind of film, the right kind of director. But then as the saying goes, if you plan something, it might just go completely wrong. But I was quite fortunate to work with a film maker like Shoojit Sircar and fortunately the film clicked with the audience. Before its release, I was expecting the film to receive a decent critical review and a decent amount of collection at the box office. But Vicky Donor went beyond all expectations. The film’s success has also put pressure on me to make the right choices in future because the real challenge begins now.
Much has spoken about the film, its theme and everything. But the inside stories of the film is still a secret. Tell us how you landed with the role of Vicky.
You would be surprised to know that I did not audition for the role. Shoojit Sircar had this vision; he wanted a Punjabi who had an instant youth connect, given the core theme of the film. Since I was connected to a youth channel all my life and a Punjabi, I was by default, fulfilling all the pre requisites of the director. Then again, he had seen my work on television, so he thought that I would be the perfect Vicky. He felt I fit the bill perfectly and he did not even audition me for that. Initially when I was trying for the films, it did not happen then. There were times when I did not like the script. There were times when the director did not like me. But Vicky Donor was just the perfect match.
In 2004, you had to perform the task of sperm donation in the first season of Roadies and eventually Destiny played its role and your first film is about sperm donation. That’s strangely mystical.
It is definitely like a chain reaction. Sometimes we never realize that certain things that you do at certain point of time would lead to some other thing. In 2004, frankly I was hesitant about going for Roadies. I thought maybe its okay, lets do it for the fun of traveling and meeting new people. But that step led to so many realities later in Life: I became a VJ, I became an actor, my first film was on sperm donation and I was a sperm donor at 19, everything was just unbelievably true.
You have already signed in your second film, yet another time with the same producer-director duo of Vicky Donor fame. The film is a John Abraham production titled Humaara Bajaj and directed by Shoojit. Tell us something about that.
The shoot for the film would start around February 2013. It’s the story of a small town tourist guide in Agra; a guide of the Taj Mahal who aspires to be a film star. The character I play is of Sanjay Bajaj which is why the film is titled ‘Humaara Bajaj’.
Besides that you are also doing Rohan Sippy’s next untitled project too. That must be exciting.
Yes, that is the film I am doing right now. The workshop is on for 20 days and today is the second day of my workshop. It is a very unusual, quirky buddy film. I can’t just describe the film, it is so unconventional. I am just waiting for Rohan’s explanations because it would be interesting to see how he describes the film to the people. It is a film which is both in the youth space as well as the mass space. Kunal Roy Kapoor of Delhi Belly fame is also playing the lead along with me and we are now reading the script. I really respect Rohan as a director; he comes from a film lineage. I met him for the first time in the same room where the narrations for Sholay used to happen with all the actors especially Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. So that was quite a historical moment for me.
‘Paani Da Rang’ is one song that has gone viral with the mass from day one. The buzz around it is high even today. An original composition by you in your college days, the song must have been inspirational. What was the inspiration behind writing and composing the soulful melody?
No, it was just a creative thought and not at all inspirational. In fact I composed this song with my friend and there were other guys too who used to compose songs. It was for our own theatre production. It was like a random thought. If you are a lyricist or a composer, you don’t need to gather inspiration for doing anything you want to. That’s what we also did in our college days. We used to compose our own songs for the theatre group.
How did your college time creation ultimately become the Vicky Donor charm enhancer? How did it work out with Shoojit?
Shoojit and I were sitting together and we were discussing about the music. I was carrying my guitar. I always carry it in my car. I love music and I love playing the guitar. So then when we were chatting, I just told Shoojit about Paani Da Rang, that I and a bunch of my friends had composed the song in college. Then he asked me to go for it. After I sang the song, he quite liked it and felt it was going with the theme too. I was with the guitar and it was a Punjabi song which suited Vicky’s character in the film. He loved the song and finally he used it in the film. Then the audience reaction to the song has been overwhelming. It just happened.
The Personal Diary:
The most embarrassing moment of your life would be: Post Vicky Donor, I had this rather embarrassing experience when I was at a mall with my mom and there was a girl who screamed, ‘Ayushmann I want your sperms’.
Your favourite holiday destination: There is a place called Madhumalai Sanctuary on the border of Kerala. It is very peaceful.
Dream date: I am married, so it has to be my wife.
Your heart dances to the thought of: Holding my own concert someday!
Ayushmann in a sentence: Earthy Cool – A mix of earthiness and coolness.
If you had to turn gay for someone, you would do it for: John Abraham because he is the producer and I might just get paid for this answer! (Laughs)
If you could wish for three things, you would ask for: I would love to have Classical vocal training. Secondly I would love to produce a film where I will be a superhero called Ayush-man! The Third would be to increase the number of hours in a day so that I can try and spend more time with my family.