Out of the many A-listers of Bollywood, Ayushmann Khurrana is definitely that one actor who stands out because his journey here has been plain incredible. From being an RJ, to a television anchor and finally debuting with a film like Vicky Donor in 2012, Ayushmann has come a long way. But even after delivering two back-to-back hits like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, he still prefers to see Bollywood through the eyes of an outsider.
On his 33rd birthday, here’s Ayushmann Khurrana’s story, who calls himself an ‘Aam Aadmi’ and feels that he doesn’t have the baggage of an industry guy. Starting from his birthday plans to him looking forward to writing a film’s script, here’s everything that the 33-year-old had to say.
On being asked about his birthday plans, Ayushmann Khurrana didn’t seem like an excited or typical birthday person. Sounding a little taken aback, he takes a second to gather his thoughts and answers, “Um.. The plan is just to go out for a quaint weekend with my family, because there has been so much hullabuloo for the past three months. With the two films releasing and everything, so it’s going to be a quiet affair.”
Ayushmann’s two recent releases Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Saavdhan are doing wonders at the ticketing counters. So, does it feel like his birthday gift came in early with two hits? Ayushmann quipped, “Yeah, definitely! So, I think this was long due because it was in 2015 that Dum Laga Ke Haisha came and I waited for two years after that because I was looking for scripts that had that connect that Dum Laga Ke Haisha had. Then, I was working for Bareilly and it was during the shooting in Lucknow that I got the narration for Shubh Mangal, and suddenly the release dates were announced. Both the films released back to back. I had to promote them back to back. It was quite hectic. But eventually, I think the success feels really sweet.”
From Vicky Donor to Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Ayushmann Khurrana has long been doing content-driven cinema. On being asked if it is a conscious choice, Ayushmann said, “I think now we don’t have any other option than to choose content based cinema, because we are in the day and age where there are lot of options available in the digital space. So, we really need to present something very novel and unique to the cinema-goers.”
Ayushmann Khurrana’s journey in the entertainment industry has been a long one. From a 17-year-old RJ to a 33-year-old Bollywood A-lister, he has come a long way. But not only does he feel that his life is nothing less than fun, he has no regrets. He is also glad that he didn’t enter the industry as a Bollywood actor. Here’s what he said, “It has been a great journey. It has been very fruitful. It was a long and very enjoyable journey. I was a part of a reality show for the first time when I was like 17-18 and Roadies happened when I was 19-20. And now I am turning 33. So, it’s a great journey and I am really happy that the journey is still on. I am really excited about my future projects as well. I am glad that I did not straight away start as an film actor because it gives me a really well-rounded perception. I have done theatre, radio, Television, then eventually films. And I have this paddle musical entity as well. So, I guess it’s good fun. Life is fun.”
Did he always want to be a Bollywood actor? Ayushmann answered, “I always wanted to be a Bollywood actor. But I had to take this route of radio, theatre and then television because if you are not a star kid and you are not from the industry, nobody gives you that ‘launch’ in the beginning of your career. So, I think I have paved my own path to reach this place.”
So it took Ayushmann Khurrana almost six years to get to Vicky Donor and we wonder if that is what it takes for an outsider to make it big in Bollywood. Ayushmann didn’t quite regret any part of his journey. He is just happy that he is here. He is even thankful that he started out like he did. He said, “It really depends. You really have to be at the right place at the right time. As a Radio Jockey in 2006, straight out of college I was in Delhi for two years and then in 2008, I became a VJ on MTV. For four years I was an anchor on Television. So in 2012, Vicky Donor happened. It may take one year or ten years, I think it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you should get what you want and what you aspire for.”
On being further probed about his status as an outsider in the industry, Ayushmann had a really interesting perspective to share. He said, “Even if I am an insider now, I will always be having that outlook of an outsider because I just love doing that. I watch cinema as an outsider, as an audience, as ‘janta’. Whenever I watch a film, I don’t carry that baggage of an industry guy or an actor who will be too critical about the work. Because that is what happens when you become a part of the industry. Then, you nitpick certain things in every film. I don’t do that. I watch films as an “Aam Aadmi.”
Majoring in English Literature, Ayushmann definitely has a flare for writing, as can also be seen in his blogs and columns. So, can we expect a script out of him in the future? He remarked, “I would love to write a script. Initially, I thought I could write only 140 characters on Twitter, you know make my tweets interesting. But lately, I have been writing blogs and I have been following my deadlines and I make sure that I write at least 600 words for my column. So, I realised I have the capacity to write. So, I think I will definitely write a script one day.” We are anxiously waiting for it, Ayushmann!
Ayushmann Khurrana also shared how working with Tabu in Shooting The Piano Player was really amazing because he was a huge fan of her work. Ending the conversation with the actors he hopes to work with in the future, Ayushmann said, “More than actors, I am excited to work with certain directors. So, of course, Sriram Raghavan (Shoot The Piano Player director) was part of the list and it is amazing that I am already working with him.” He also said that he would love to work with Shoojit Sircar (Vicky Donor) and Sharad Kataria (Dum Laga Ke Haisha) again. And he also expressed that he hopes to be directed by filmmaker Aanand L Rai in the future. Well, we wish Ayushmann the best of luck and the warmest of wishes!