Apr 222018

2017 was without a doubt a brilliant year for the insanely talented Ayushmann Khurrana. In an industry where folks are still struggling to get a grip on the nuances of acting, this man can charms your socks off with not just his performance but also his lovely voice. 

Being in Bollywood, which is very much dominated by a few names, it’s stunning to see how Ayushmann is making his way up the ladder by carving his own space. What makes him a shining example is the fact that neither does he come from a film background nor did he have a godfather launching him with a tailor-made film.

“Kya likh kar bhejoon aisa, Ki lage tujhe jaise, yaad hai tu mujhe Aur yaad bhi nahin.” -Ayushmann

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on Apr 6, 2018 at 11:12pm PDT

And what makes his achievements more noteworthy is that despite being around eight films old, he has already gained a massive and devoted fan following. While people have a fixed plan to achieve what they want, Ayushmann on the other hand had multiple plans to reach his goal. He believed in himself and there was just no stopping him after that.

Six brilliant years in the industry since he made his debut, we caught up with him for a chat and had a heart to heart conversation that left us in awe: 

MensXP: From ‘Roadies’ to Bollywood, tell us about your fascinating journey to stardom.

Ayushmann: It was a long and fruitful journey. In fact, it started before Roadies when I was a part of a singing reality show ‘Popstars’. I was in the top five and I was also working as a backup artist for the band. It was my first stint with reality shows; it was in 2002 when I was not even 18 at the time. Roadies happened in 2004 and I won that. Then radio happened in 2006, MTV happened in 2008 and ‘Vicky Donor’ happened in 2012. It took me 10 long years to enter Bollywood. So that was a long and fruitful journey, I wouldn’t call it struggling but it was a lot of fun. 

MensXP: Were reality shows your well thought plan to enter Bollywood?

Ayushmann: Obviously, because I am not from the industry, so no one will prepare a launch pad for me. So generally it’s been a trend that people who are not from the industry are either from the television industry, modelling or either through theatre, they had to do various other things to each this destination. So I had to take plan ‘D’, plan ‘C’ to make my own route.  

Open button. Closed button. Sit down. Thank you. Hosted an event after a long time. (Styled by @ishabhansali )

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on Nov 10, 2017 at 11:02am PST

MensXP: Your character in ‘Vicky Donor’ was quite unusual, what made you pick it and how challenging was it? 

Ayushmann: You won’t believe that I have said ‘no’ to a lot of scripts before going for ‘Vicky Donor’. I always thought when I do a film it has to be different and out of the box. Because I have seen as an outsider that if your first film doesn’t work, then you are not given an opportunity if you are not star kid. So I had to do something which was radical and different and I since I was aware about this process of sperm donation, because I had donated sperm in 2004 as part of ‘Roadies’. When I read the script I was bowled over by the subject because it wasn’t something cheap but something very progressive. Also, the director was very creditable, Shoojit Sircar has made ‘Yahaan’ that time and I loved the film. So I was well aware that I was working with a credible director with a credible film, I was very confident. 

MensXP: And what was your reaction the day your film released, were you open to criticism?

Ayushmann: You know I am realistic, I don’t live in la la land or a bubble, because I have seen that happening in front of me as an RJ and a VJ. I have gone through all of this and it wasn’t an overnight success, I took 10 long years, and I was very practical as a person. So I was very happy with the positive review we got and the success of the film. 

Thank you Bhubhaneshwar for a fun night. My band @ayushmannbhava Yashraj manager @disasterdsouza Music managers @canvastalent

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on Feb 5, 2018 at 9:26am PST

MensXP: People love your voice, when can we hear you sing again? 

Ayushmann: I am in talks and I am jamming with my friend, you will be hearing something soon. I usually don’t cut a single when my films are releasing back to back. And last year three films of mine released and each had a song of mine, so there was no point cutting a single. So this time around, I think I will be cutting one. Also, since my last two films ‘ Shubh Mangal Savadhan’  and ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ had a Hindi song, so this time people should expect a Punjabi song.

MensXP: Who has been your most favourite female co-star and why?

Ayushmann: It’s Bhumi Pednekar, we have done two films together. And we are great buddies, she is like my boy buddy and I am like her girl buddy, so we share crazy chemistry on and off-screen. So it has to be Bhumi.

MensXP: That’s wonderful, so what’s that one thing you love about Bhumi?

Ayushmann: I think we think alike, it reflects on the choice of cinema we pick. We have the same sense of humour, it’s like a house of fire when we are together on the sets.

Ayushmann Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar(c) Twitter

MensXP: What was that one turning point in your life?

Ayushmann: I think when I became an actor, when I did ‘Vicky Donor’ that was my turning point. Suddenly I was working 24/7, when I was a VJ I used to work 15 days a month but after becoming an actor, I started working for 32 days a month, it felt like that. So our personal lives suffered because of that, because both of us were not ready for that kind of shift in our lifestyle and I had no time for my personal relationship.

MensXP: What has been your lowest point, when you felt like giving up?

Ayushmann: There were lot of low points; I had seen a lot of rejections. There were a lot of people saying that “your eyebrows are weird and bushy, you can’t be an actor”. If you see my Instagram that’s what my bio reads, ‘Eyebrows are bushy’ because I am proud of them. I have gone through a lot, but if you believe in your talent, you can achieve anything in life. It’s about believing in your potential. 

Today’s story. Really fun photoshoot @JWsahar

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on Oct 9, 2017 at 12:39pm PDT

MensXP: You are called the face of content cinema today. Tell us about your content choices?

Ayushmann: The process is very simple, I hear the narration, I need to connect with the film. I come from a theatre background, I connect with the masses at the grassroot level, so if the script reflects that experience of my life, and connects with the primary sector, the script has to be about the simplicity of the nation. That’s what makes me pick the film. 

To be frank I give priority to the script first. If it is good, the character automatically becomes good. A script plays a major role in the film, if you connect with it you give your 100% as an actor. As per that you transform yourself, like for me ‘ Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ was the toughtest. There were references for me as my character was a loser. So I had to really work hard on that accent and the body language.

MensXP: Have you ever learned anything from the characters you play and executed it in your life?

Ayushmann: Sometimes you give something to the film from your real life experiences and at times you take something from the film and incorporate it in your real life. No one does that consciously, it just happens. You should never do it purposely, it should organically flow. 

Afeemi mix. Prepping for muscat and dubai. 26th and 27th oct respectively. @ayushmannbhava @shannondonaldofficial

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on Oct 2, 2017 at 7:45am PDT

MensXP: Actor-singer-poet: any other talent that Ayushmann is hiding from us?  

Ayushmann: (laughs) I don’t know, I am just following my passion. I always wanted to become an actor who could sing and I am doing that. I have always written poetry from childhood, it’s just that people got to know about it now. The idea is to have a book of my own in a year’s time. I think you just need one talent to survive in life but I am glad I have certain aspects in my life. I just have to hold on to that even more. 



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