Mumbai: Bringing unorthodox subjects on celluloid, Ayushmann Khurrana realised it was time for him to change gears and experiment by challenging himself as an actor.
In an interview with PTI, Ayushmann talked about why it was essential for him to pick up Sriram Raghavan's "Aandhadun".
"It was a deliberate decision to move away from that space of doing slice-of-life films. I believe you don't have to change yourself with every film, establish yourself in a particular genre and then break the mould. If you are changing with every film then where is the surprise? You will get exhausted as an actor," he said.
The actor says he realised that this film offered him the perfect opportunity to break away from the image of playing a middle class boy.
"I was ready to do this film as soon as possible. This film would been a game changer for me as I have been doing slice-of-life films and I have established myself in a particular genre successfully. I wanted to break that mould."
To Ayushmann's surprise, Raghavan had seen some of his films and liked the kind of work he was doing.
"He told me that I am a good actor but he doesn't see me in a thriller space. It will be an interesting casting as nobody expects you in my film.
"We shot two scenes. We did certain blind scenes and it was great experience. While I was doing it, he was like let's discuss dates now. I am a guitarist and he was convinced that I would learn piano as I know the chords, and all."
Ayushmann, 34, recalled that as a struggler he used to audition for films a lot but once he became an established actor, he stopped doing it.
What Ayushmann enjoyed the most, he says, is the way the "Badlapur" director narrated the story of this forthcoming film.
"It was a very fascinating narration as he will ask you questions in between like 'what will happen next' as he wants to gauge the reaction of the actor. That keeps you on your toes and you keep thinking, what is going to happen now.
"But he is always thinking ten steps ahead of the viewer. His style is amazing. I was excited about his world. I loved 'Ek Hasina Thi', it was a game changer for Saif Ali Khan and 'Badlapur' for Varun Dhawan, now I hope this film works for me."
In this genre, Ayushmann feels it is important for actors to do their job earnestly as there is no method to get it right.
"One has to own that character and those lines. Whatever the body language is, you have to imbibe that for your role. It is a different zone. Acting in slice-of-life is easier than this as there was no reference point. Playing blind pianist was doubly challenging."
Releasing on October 5, "Aandhadun" also features Tabu and Radhika Apte in pivotal roles.