Ahead of the release of Bewakoofiyaan, Ayushmann Khurrana talks about his film roles, his unique position as a singer-actor and how he dislikes self-promotion.
What made you sign Bewakoofiyaan?
For any Hindi film viewer who has grown up watching Chandni, Lamhe and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, working with Yash Raj Films is a dream. It was my desire to be a part of a YRF romcom. Vicky Donor and Nautanki Saala weren’t typically commercial, so you can say that Bewakoofiyaan is my most commercial film till date. The film is not a typical romcom — writer Habib Faisal has given it a sort of rootedness and director Nupur Asthana comes with urban sensibilities, which is an interesting combination.
You are playing a Delhi-based guy in this film just like in Vicky Donor. So how are the characters different?
In Bewakoofiyaan, my character, Mohit, is a corporate guy in the time of recession. It’s based on real-life situations that happened a couple of years back when an airline company went bankrupt. Unlike Vicky (in Vicky Donor), he is more polished and not as brash and bindaas. Mohit is extremely ambitious who is in a relationship with a girl who is equally ambitious. Vicky was Lajpat Nagar, Mohit is the shining, new corporate Delhi.
How have you managed your film career till now?
Till a point, I was consciously choosing roles I can relate to in real life. Vicky, being a Punjabi, was easy, and so was a theatre actor in Nautanki Saala. I can also relate to the urban Punjabi in Bewakoofiyaan and to the struggling actor in my forthcoming film Hamara Bajaj. In my early roles, I needed something immediate to latch on to, because I was still learning as an actor. My forthcoming roles are going to be drastically different, and not like how I am in real life. In 1911, I play a Bengali footballer, whereas I have been a cricketer all my life. I play a Bhojpuri speaking illiterate in another film with YRF called Dum Laga Ke Haisha. The film is set in Haridwar and Rishikesh and is about how my character gets married to a fat girl who is quite intelligent and how they fall in love eventually. In Bambai Fairytale, I play a Maharashtrian scientist. Now, I am looking deeper into the characters and choosing challenging roles.
You’ve had an interesting journey: from winning Roadies, to becoming an RJ, TV anchor to finally a singer-actor. Were you always aiming to be a movie star?
I always wanted to be more of an actor than a star. I acted in a couple of school plays and I was a fan of Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. But I was not good looking as a kid. I was skinny, spectacled and nerdy continued…