You seem to be having an amazing year, with three releases lined up.
I’m very happy that people have accepted the promos of Meri Pyaari Bindu that were released as chapters. Its songs are doing well too. The film is looking sweet and nostalgic. I have always looked for novel scripts. Two of my films — Vicky Donor and Dum Laga Ke Haisha — had very different kind of stories and have done well. Meri Pyaari Bindu is not a typical love story; it’s a life story of these two characters from five-35 years of age. I’m also excited about Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Bareilly Ki Barfi.
What kind of expectations do you have from Meri Pyaari Bindu, your first movie after Dum Laga Ke Haisha?
Meri Pyaari Bindu is probably a more commercial film compared to Dum Laga Ke Haisha, and it has a nostalgic element. Dum… had a nostalgic touch too, since my character ran a cassette shop and was a fan of Kumar Sanu. But the main hook in it was the odd couple. Bindu… is all about nostalgia as the lead characters relate their memories to their favourite Hindi film songs.
In both these films, the spotlight seemed to be on the leading lady.
Bindu (played by Parineeti Chopra) is a very spunky character and that makes her more attractive. Otherwise, both of us have equal parts. In the movie, I’m the narrator, novelist and the obsessive lover. My character, Abhimanyu Roy, is the giver in the relationship. The love is mostly one-sided. In the promos, Bindu is out there. But she is Abhimanyu’s pyaari Bindu.
You career has had an interesting trajectory so far.
We tread the path we choose but life changes gears. In the last five years, I have seen success as well as failure. My first movie did phenomenally well, the next film was okay and third one was a flop. Success is a lousy teacher but failure is a friend, philosopher and guide.
While in college, you played the role of Ashwathama in Dharamvir Bharati’s play, Andha Yug.
The character of Ashwathama in the play is aggressive; that’s so unlike me. When I was selected, people were shocked because I was skinny and by Punjabi standards, I’m not very tall. I believe it’s the energy and stage presence that worked in my favour. Playing that character was one of the defining moments of my life. In the movies, I have only played a good boy so far. I would love to play something radically different.
You are acting in Sriram Raghavan’s next. Will that fulfill your wish of playing a grey character?
It will fulfill my desire of doing a thriller. I can’t talk about the character. Till now, I have been acting in slice-of-life movies, this one will be different.
You have tried a number of professions — you compose music, sing and have also been an RJ.
I always wanted to act in movies. If I were a star kid, I wouldn’t have tried so many things. I would have done theatre and directly joined movies. I did radio and TV shows because I had to carve my own way. Outsiders like me have to reach Bollywood through modelling, theatre or radio. My father played a crucial role in it. When I was doing pretty well as an RJ in Delhi, he called me up one day to say that I was being laidback and it was time I moved to Mumbai.
So, how deep-rooted is nepotism in Bollywood?
The only privilege star kids enjoy is a good launch. That, of course, is important. The level of nepotism in the industry has gone down. They get a launch but they also have a benchmark to achieve.
Your brother Aparshakti Khurana was praised for his performance in Dangal.
He used to play cricket and has captained the Haryana under-19 team. When he developed back problems, he quit cricket and studied law. Like me, he was also an RJ and worked in theatre in Delhi. He has been acting for a while now, even though Dangal is technically his first major role.
Was it a conscious decision not to sing in Meri Pyaari Bindu?
It was decided that I won’t sing in the film as Parineeti is playing the role of a singer. I am a writer and non-singer in it. Even in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, I did not sing. However, I have my own band and I tour with it whenever I am not shooting.