After winning hearts with Dream Girl, National Award-winning actor Ayushmann Khurrana will be seen next in Bala, which releases on November 8. The actor spoke to indianexpress.com about Bala, the controversies it faced and much more.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Bala is about a character suffering from alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss. You are in a business where looks matter. Have you ever thought how will you handle such a situation in your life?
Genetically, I am blessed so I might not face such a situation. However, if that happens, it depends on how I react or treat it. In our country and worldwide, Rajinikanth is an extremely popular personality. He comes in front of the world the way he is. It is really hard to get that sort of confidence. So, he can inspire us. He is indifferent to everything. So, I think (just like him), I will stay as I am in real life but for a character, I will transform.
You have had back to back hits at the box office. Has stardom changed you?
I have built my career being the relatable guy. I want to be that and not get carried away by stardom. I always wanted to connect with people. The idea is to always present the common man in the most real way. We have seen perfect and manicured heroes, over the years, who are aspirational. They are a hard goal to reach. What I do in my films is to glorify the imperfections and put the common man on a pedestal. It gives confidence to the common man. It is important to show realism.
You said similar scripts came your way. Why pick this Amar Kaushik directorial?
The same concept was offered to me by four different filmmakers. While others opted out because we were making it, a few chose to still work on it. We can only wish them luck. I agreed to do the film with director Amar and producer Dinesh. I trusted Amar’s direction and Dinesh’s vision. So, I picked a script that appealed to me.
Do you believe the controversy Bala faced from Ujda Chaman makers has affected the film?
That is why we thought to let them (Ujda Chaman) release the film first because someone has to be graceful about it. We cannot do much about it. We have given everything to the film. When you will watch the film, we want you to come out as a different person.
Bala is about being comfortable in your own skin. What is your take on the film?
We are challenging age-old notions of beauty in the film. We are questioning the notion. Bhumi is playing a dark-skinned character but she is extremely strong. In fact, in the film, I am the one who is insecure because of the receding hairline. She is the one who is confident and inspiring. At the same time, there is an equation of love towards Yami, who plays a Tik-Tok star. She is funky and filmy. We share common interests and get drawn to each other. So, that is my journey with these two characters. It is beautifully woven.
You are a singer. Did you relate to Dr Zeus’ recent comment after “Don’t Be Shy” recreation was released?
We as artists are always going to be emotional about our work. Maddock Films had legally bought the rights from a London based label. It was our right to recreate the song. I am all for artists’ rights and original music but there is a reason why we go for recreations.
The consumer is not just you and me. The public loves recreations or remixes. There is a certain recall value to it. When the original song released, the guys and girls who are 20 now, would have been 9. They don’t have a memory of it. For them, it is a new track. So, songs are made for films to do well and not the other way around. It is a cinema-driven industry. Yes, it is unfortunate that the controversy cropped up but we had the rights. So, why is there an issue with that?
Bala, also starring Yami Gautam and Bhumi Pednekar, will release on November 8. The film has been directed by Stree fame Amar Kaushik.