It's your talent, that takes you to the pinnacle of success, they say. The fact that an artiste is born with several special qualities, makes him a stand-out personality in the crowd. Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who made an impressive debut with 'Vicky Donor', has had an interesting career graph. From winning a reality show to turning a popular VJ, this Punjabi 'munda' went on to rule many hearts with his cinematic charm. In an exclusive interview with Ritika Handoo of Zee Media Group, the actor cum singer talks about his new book, author wife and how he was always meant to be an actor.
What brought you to cinema?
My whole family is, in fact, very filmy. I remember my grandmother sang 'Shabd' in Gurdwaras, and that was the time when I got exposed to understanding the medium of expression through music. In fact, she used to mimic yesteryear actors, and I found it extremely funny. I think it's in my genes to be an actor. However, in those days it was really difficult to confess that you wanted to get into acting, but now the trend has changed and it has become a lot easier.
From being a popular face on television. You made an impressive debut on silver screen. Was it the way you imagined your career?
Of course, as an actor you do plan certain things and imagine your career in a particular way. I would call it a typical actor's drill. I too had thought about it, but at the same time I would like to say that there wasn't too much planning from my part. I think life should give you surprises. I didn't plan or think my debut would be so successful. I had expected critical acclaim for 'Vicky Donor' but never knew it would be a huge commercial success as well.
You are multi-talented—a singer, actor, VJ etc. Is there anything which is yet to be explored?
I believe that more than an achiever, I am an explorer. You just need one talent to survive. In college days too, I used to write my own songs, make music—as I wanted to sing for myself. While doing a lot of theatre, you learn so much. Therefore, I guess you keep learning new things every day.
What do you like more—singing or acting?
Both the mediums are my passion. But, I feel I am more of an actor than a singer. Music requires more objectivity rather than acting. There are a set of rules in music, but in acting you just go with the flow. Acting calls for no rules.
Your last outing 'Hawaizaada' received mixed review. Does that really bother you?
I strongly believe that your craft should be appreciated and that is something which I got from the film. Every movie you do is a team work, and I own that film. Every film has its destiny, so sometimes a film works, and other times it doesn't.
Do you think star kids have an added advantage?
It is more fun if you achieve things on your own. All the excitement of coming to Mumbai, sleeping on roads—going through the struggle is something which is a part of becoming an actor. But, you get an easy opportunity when you are a star kid. Also, having said that the most important thing is that unlike the star kids, we don't have that pressure to live up to a certain name or reputation. The industry is more open to outsiders now, and there is no nepotism.
Who all are there in your wish-list as co-actors and/or filmmakers?
More than the need of working with certain people, I wish to perform certain roles in my career. Co-actors are very important as you perform well when your co-actors infuse great energy in any scene. It's a two-way process. I find Alia Bhatt spunky, and Ranbir Kapoor to be great. Talking about filmmakers, I feel I would like to work again with Shoojit Sircar, Dibakar Banerji, Imitiaz Ali and most of all Gauri Shinde for sure. I think Gauri was brilliant in 'English Vinglish'.
You have recently written the book 'Cracking the Code' along with your wife Tahira. What is it all about?
This book is a clutter-break of sorts. Although, I hate to call it a self-help book, but it does talk about my personal account of landing in this industry. There are different codes of struggle mentioned in the book, and how you can break each has been given out. Today, it is a lot easier to become an actor. It's simple—you go to a studio, give your audition and wait for the result. It's very democratic. However, it was not that simple when I had started out. So, I have penned my struggle in way that would help the new comers in making the right choices before entering the industry. The struggle is still on, as the journey continues. This is a place where fate changes every Friday.
Does your wife have any inhibitions about you doing intimate scenes on screen?
I think she is mature enough, and more than that she herself is an artist—so she understands the medium. As a performing artiste, you must be ready for everything. Tahira relates to it somewhere because she too is aware about the functioning of the medium.
Any best friends so far in the industry?
I have many friends in life, but they are not from the industry. Although, I think my mentor Shoojit Sircar is a friend. Actor John Abraham is like a brother to me and more recently I worked with Aditya Chopra, so he too is my mentor in a way. He motivates me to go further.
Tell us something about your future projects.
I have a few projects lined-up this year. There is Yash Raj Films' 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' and 'Abra Ka Dabra'.