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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ayushmann Khurrana: Non-actors can’t work with Andhadhun director Sriram Raghavan

Ayushmann Khurrana said he learnt to play a piano (he plays a blind pianist) for Sriram Raghavan’s Andhadhun and since his debut in 2012, this is his first audition for a film.

Written by Priyanka Sharma | Mumbai | Updated: July 4, 2018 6:50:22 am
Ayushmann Khurrana on Andhadhun Ayushmann Khurrana says working on Andhadhun was a deliberate decision.

After starring in successful romantic comedies, Ayushmann Khurrana, last year, decided to step out of his comfort zone. The result was a phone call to director Sriram Raghavan, followed by an audition for Andhadhun. Now, that the film is gearing up for release on August 31, Ayushmann opens up to indianexpress.com about working with Sriram, who has films like Badlapur and Johnny Gaddar to his credit.

“It (doing Andhadhun) was a deliberate decision. I think it is not important to reinvent yourself with every film. Actors probably take themselves too seriously thinking, ‘I have to be different in every film’. But more than seeing you differently, the audience wants to see you doing a different story. Apart from that, you can reinvent yourself after establishing yourself in a particular genre,” the actor said. He also added that Andhadhun was the perfect opportunity to do something radically different as he had already created a space for himself in the genre of quirky, slice-of-life films.

Andhadhun is a first for Ayushmann in more ways than one. It is the first time that the actor learnt to play a piano (he plays a blind pianist) and since his debut in 2012, this is his first audition for a film. Sriram was not sure how Ayushmann would become a part of the neo-noir setting of Andhadhun and the actor offered to take a screen test.

“This is the first time that I approached a director directly for a film. I have never done that. I am quite laid-back like that. I have always believed that you get a film when your work is good. But for this particular film, I called him and told him, ‘Why don’t you just take a screen test? Test me for this particular film’. And there was a screen test. I auditioned for the part because he was like, ‘I have never seen you in this kind of film but let’s try’,” he said.

For Ayushmann, working in a Sriram Raghavan film was a realisation of his spontaneity as a performer. One has to be spontaneous, up for improvisations if he or she wants to collaborate with Sriram, revealed Ayushmann.

He said, “Every film is a learning experience even if it’s from the same genre but this particular film… Sriram Raghavan is a very organic director. He will give you a situation, a milieu and you will react to that. I have done theatre in the past so, I am used to improvisations. It’s very challenging for an actor because it’s not on paper. You have to be on your toes every day and be impromptu. A non-actor cannot work with him for sure. You have to be a good actor or a spontaneous actor to work with a Sriram Raghavan. He is a spontaneous director. He would think of a particular nuance on the spot, right there. So, it has been a great learning experience for me.”

Also starring Radhika Apte, Tabu and Vinay Pathak, Andhadhun is co-produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Matchbox Pictures. It has music by Amit Trivedi.

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