Mumbai: Ayushmann Khurrana plays a scientist in Vibhu Puri`s ‘Hawaaizaada’, a near-illiterate in ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’ and also doing Shoojit Sircar`s football film. The actor, who chooses his projects carefully, is not unnerved by failures or swayed by success.
Q: You`re playing scientist Shivkar Babuji Talpade in Vibhu Puri`s ‘Hawaaizaada’?
A: Yes, that`s the one I am shooting right now. It`s a very difficult film to make. Though I play a real-life character, there isn`t much material to fall back on. I am back to this very difficult film after completing Yash Raj Film`s ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’. That`s done.
Q: That was very quick?
A: Yes, we did it in one 60-day schedule. It`s actually very interesting that I play a very educated scientist in ‘Hawaaizaada’ and a near-illiterate in ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’. I play a simpleton who belongs to a shakha. It was quite simple for me to play a simpleton since I am a very simple person in real life. And I`m surrounded by very simple people. My grandfather was also a very simple person. I`ve used his body language .
Q: What other preparations to play simple?
A: I was on a vegetarian diet. And I was doing yoga, `surya namaskar`, etc just like the character. In the film, I get married to an overweight woman who loves me. But I don`t love her back. She is educated and intelligent. I am not.
Q: And you also play a Kumar Sanu fan in ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’?
A: Yes, that`s an idea we introduced into the film since the film is set in the 1990s when Kumar Sanu was a major force in the music charts. My character owns an audio-video shop. It`s all very 1990s. So a huge nostalgia trip for all of us who were growing up back then. I was in school during the 1990s. I remember I used to sing the songs of ‘Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee’ for my first girlfriend.
Q: When your wife reads this she`ll have a lot to say?
A: Arrey nahin nahin, she is aware of all this.
Q: You`re also doing Shoojit Sircar`s football film?
A: Yes that will probably start in January 2015. I also have a three-film deal with Yash Raj. So I have one more film with them to do.
Q: You are being picky?
A: Every actor has to be picky. When I decided to do ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’, my producer Aditya Chopra was very surprised. He never expected me to pick a role of a simpleton. Every actor wants to be projected as a star. But I loved my role. I love the character. Adi is very proud of me.
Q: How close are you to Aditya Chopra?
A: I always like to be at the periphery. I can never be the insider. Having said that I must say my first mentor is Shoojit Sircar and Yash Raj has adopted me. It`s every actor`s wishlist to be part of Yash Raj. I`ve grown up watching their films. So now I am very proud to have done two diametrically opposed film for Yash Raj, first ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ now ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’.
Q: Were you disappointed by the box office performance of ‘Bewakoofiyaan’?
A: You know, I don`t react that much to either extreme happiness or disappointment. I remain detached from both the conditions. I am quite used to rejections in life. I auditioned for so many films and I was ultimately rejected for. I`ve become numb to both success and failure. I got good reviews for ‘Bewakoofiyaan’. That was enough for me. I think failure is as important as success.
Q: What plans as a singer?
A: Lots of plans. I am singing two songs in ‘Hawaaizaada’. I have done a version of Ghalib`s Dil-e-nadaan in the film. You`ve heard many versions of the famous lines. This would be the most hummable version. I am making sure it`d be the most popular version of the lines. I am not singing in ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’. Kumar Sanu is. I think that`s awesome.
Q: Music continues to be an abiding passion?
A: That`s what sets me apart from the other actors from my generation.