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Monday, January 18, 2021

I’m not here only for comedy: Aparshakti Khurana

Aparshakti Khurana, who appeared in Street Dancer 3D this year, looks back at his 2020.

Written by Mimansa Shekhar | New Delhi | Updated: December 31, 2020 5:06:34 pm
aparshakti khurana 2020Aparshakti Khurana will next be seen in Helmet. (Photo: PR Handout)

In 2020, actor Aparshakti Khurana was seen in Street Dancer 3D which hit theatres in January this year. Though a small part, it became a prominent one because it gave Aparshakti a chance to explore something other than the comedy genre. And the actor isn’t complaining. “Things are coming my way in a very different space,” he told indianexpress.com.

In this candid interaction with indianexpress.com, Aparshakti Khurana talks about Street Dancer 3D, the year gone by, the web medium and more.

Excerpts from the conversation:

How do you look back at 2020?

2020 has been quite a roller coaster. Everybody’s plans have gone for a toss. But let’s look at the positives. We have definitely coped well. We are on the way to getting a vaccine. We are finishing the year. We are spending time with family and friends. And we are taking care of our soul, enough to come back and start working properly. I think now we’re good to go.

Your part in Street Dancer 3D seemed like a conscious effort to break away from the kind of roles you did. Is that true?

Yes, it was a conscious effort. I think an actor cannot be bracketed. Comedy is a very difficult space. Weirdly enough when I was doing theatre in Delhi, I was always given the serious part. So somewhere I knew that I’m not here only for comedy. Whenever I go out, people talk about that bus scene from Street Dancer where I pick Varun Dhawan’s burger and start eating it. I have a couple of messages on my Instagram saying that we started a community fridge. If that was the impact of a 10-minute part, I think I was on.

street dancer aparshakti khurana Aparshakti Khurana got noticed for his supporting role in Remo D’Souza directorial Street Dancer 3D.

Does this mean your preference has shifted towards doing more serious characters now?

I have worked hard on my craft, but I haven’t really planned my career. So, I will not make too much of a conscious effort to break the clutter of comedy and quickly get into other parts. But, having said that, if they come my way, I’ll do it. My next is a suspense thriller, not a comedy. But I’m not really worried about the fact that I have to do this or that. We just have to keep ourselves relevant for the next 15 years maybe.

Was lockdown a difficult phase for you?

In terms of work, no. In terms of my process and my real functioning, yes. Working doesn’t mean generating revenue, working means working. My mindset and personal space did get affected. Being on the move keeps me going. Before lockdown, I don’t remember having breakfast at home.

Any series or film this year you wish you were a part of, and why?

Scam 1992. We haven’t seen a Gujarati world or a film on finance. Also, Hansal Mehta is one of my favorite directors. Pratik Gandhi has done a great job too. He said in some interview that things didn’t change for him overnight, and he’s been working for it for the past 10-15 years. That’s so true, and all the actors can relate to it. For me too, Dangal didn’t change things, I was working towards it for a long time.

How was your experience shooting for Helmet, and when will it release?

We recently saw the first proper copy of Helmet. When producers are happy, actors are happy. I think within a span of a couple of weeks, they’ll be calling all the OTT platforms and making them watch it.

It was a big happy family where every team member was on the same page. I can proudly say that this was a set of equals, where everybody ate together, shot together, danced together. That’s definitely not a parameter to make a 10 on 10 film, but it’s definitely a parameter to have the most vibrant and energetic set.  Actors are given more importance, which I think we need to get rid of because every person is working hard. I think we’ve been able to execute it well.

helmet movie Aparshakti Khurana with the cast of Helmet. (Photo: Abhishek Banerjee/Instagram)

How do you see web as a medium to explore as an actor?

Storytelling is a medium to explore, be it on web, films, TV, theatre. I don’t think OTT is a different medium. Audience wants good content. They’ll just go wherever they get that. Similarly, an artiste needs a good script. He or she will go wherever they get that. But yes, because of coronavirus, web has become a lot more relevant than films. When TV came, everybody said now they won’t go out to watch films. But that didn’t happen. For the lack of a better word, TV became corrupted. I’m hoping against hope that web doesn’t become corrupted too. Then people will definitely be glued to it and not look at movie halls. But movies are an experience. And I need that experience.

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Anything new that you discovered about yourself this year?

I think I’m not a bad cook! I cooked a few dishes, and I think I did well (laughs).

How do you see your 2021 on the work front?

Without kind of announcing anything, I’m looking forward to shoot as much as possible. Helmet will release. That will make the year special for me. The year will be more prosperous for films. It will also make people a little more considerate towards each other. And one thing to look forward to is the vaccine. I need to call my astrologer father and ask how 2021 will be (laughs).

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