Ayushmann Khurrana Interview: It’s a welcome change for me to not be the simple, sweet and good guy in a film!
In an interaction with BollywoodMDB, popular actor Ayushmann Khurrana talks about his upcoming film, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’.
Not puzzling much over the failure of his last release, Meri Pyaari Bindu, actor Ayushmann Khurrana is all psyched up about his next film, Bareilly Ki Barfi. Also starring Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao in lead roles, the movie has been directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. Before the film enters cinema halls on 18th August, BollywoodMDB Reporter, Mohnish Singh, catches up with the actor at Mehboob Studio for an interview. Read on…
Q. Given your current choice of movies, when are you planning to do a serious movie?
A. The next film which I am doing is a serious movie. It’s a movie with Sriram Raghavan. That is a serious film. It’s a thriller.
Q. When a film is set in a small town, especially if it targets a particular section of a region, filmmakers tend to caricaturize things, especially their accent. What is your take on that?
A. I think it all depends on the director and the school of thought he or she is coming from and the kind of cinema he or she is making. In this particular film, we have tried to keep the accent of our characters exactly like the people of Bareilly and people of Lucknow speak. In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, there was a particular way of speaking, too.
In India, after a few kilometers, the twang changes, the accent changes. In this film, we had a language coach, Rohit Chaudhary, who has also acted in the film. He is playing my best friend in the movie. He is the one who took great care of our language and diction while shooting. He is from Uttar Pradesh. He has done theatre in Lucknow. He has been to Bareilly. He has traveled across the entire East and Western UP. So, being caricaturish is not the tone of our film. The level of the film is very commercial. It is a very realistic kind of cinema. The whole plot is interesting. And we believe in realism.
Q. Do you think if a story is set in the heartland of India, it becomes easy for the audience to connect to it?
A. It is a mix of the heartland and probably the class, the middle class. Apart from that, a film like Sairat, for example, was a Marathi film. Many non-Marathi people could still relate to it. I could relate to it. There was the small town romance, the basic rooted romance, which was so strong that people could relate to it. Similarly, Haider was set in Kashmir. So, it was kind of different for the rest of India to see how the language is there and how they portray their culture. So, getting acquainted to a different culture in a rooted manner is very new for the cinema. So they love watching that kind of films.
Q. It is the first time that you have got another hero to share the screen space with. What was the reel and real life chemistry like with Rajkummar Rao?
A. This is the first time I am working with a contemporary. But having said that, it’s always fun to work with somebody of your age. In a solo film, if the schedule is of 50 days, you work for 35-40 days, at least. In a two hero film, stress is not there. You don’t have to work for all days for 14 hours long shift. You get four offs as well.
At the same time, my onscreen chemistry with Rajkummar Rao was of give and take, off set was very friendly. At times, I was bullying him, the other time he was getting back to me. So, I guess, it was give-and-take on screen, but off screen we were really friendly. It was a great fun to have an actor like Rajkummar for the character he plays in the film. Great actors put the film up there, scenes enhance, the film enhances. So, it works in totality.
Q. You have two back-to-back releases this month – Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhan. Do you feel any pressure?
A. Of course, it’s not easy to have two back-to-back releases in the same month. Promotions do take a toll. After 18th August, I will be promoting the other film of mine.
As far as concepts are concerned, both films are very different. Characters are so different. So, that way it is fine. Overall, it’s great to do two different characters at the same time.
Q. What was the most enjoyable part of doing Bareilly Ki Barfi?
A. In this film, I am playing an aggressive guy for the first time. I have never played an aggressive bully and selfish, who is manipulating things. Since I am doing all this for the first time, it is a welcome change for me to not be the simple, sweet and good guy.
Q. How was your experience working with director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari?
A. I have said this earlier also that Ashwiny is culturally really aware because of the fact that she is a Tamil Brahmin. She is born and brought in Chembur, Mumbai. So, her Maharashtrian connect is great. Her South Indian connect is great. She is married to Nitesh Tiwari, who is from UP, so her UP connect is also great. Since she is culturally very aware, she incorporates those little nuances in her scripts also. That really comes across. So, it was fun working with her. She is a brilliant director. She is brilliant as a person also.