After making a hugely successful debut with ?Vicky Donor?, Ayushmann Khurrana went through a rough patch in his career. His second film film ?Nautanki Saala? turned out to be an average success. His next two films ?Bewakoofiyaan? and ?Hawaizaada? slowed down his growth further. But the actor has silenced his detractors by delivering a successful film in the recently released ?Dum Laga Ke Haisha?. In this exclusive interview, he talks about his new film that is winning hearts all over.
1. You became a star after the success of ?Vicky Donor?. But the films you did after that did not help in propelling your career forward. The success of ?Dum Laga Ke Haisha? has brought you back in the reckoning. How do you feel?
2. ?Dum Laga Ke Haisha? was supposed to release in April but the release date was advanced by two months and a three week window was allotted to promote the film. Did that worry you?
I feel the release date could not have been better timed. We knew that this film would grow with word of mouth. There were not too many films releasing in the month of March and we realized that if we release the film now, it would get a lot of space to grow. Adi (Aditya Chopra) Sir worked out a strategy to release the film. He decided to give the film a platform release. Platform release refers to releasing the film in limited screens and if the audience response is positive, the film gets more screens in the second week. We have got around 200 screens this week. We did not give a lot of interviews before the release of the film. On the contrary, we are talking about the film after it has released. So, giving the film a platform release was a good decision.
3. You sung for the first four films you acted in but did not lend your voice for any of the songs in ?Dum Laga Ke Haisha'.
I did not sing for this film deliberately. Prem Prakash Tiwari, the character that I play in the film, is someone who does not have any talent. You do not expect him to sing. Also, he happens to be a Kumar Sanu fan. Had I lent my voice for one of the songs, it would have worked against the character. Anu Malik wanted me to sing an unplugged version of the song ?Moh Moh Ke Dhaage? but both Papon and Monali Thakur had sung the song so well that there was no need for an unplugged version to be sung by me. The album had come out very well and seemed complete.
4. Prem Prakash Tiwari, the character that you play in the film, is an under confident simpleton from a small town. The character is far from being heroic. Were you concerned about your look or the way you would be projected in the film?
I want to play characters that come across as real. The film is about real people and Indians are very complex as far as their personality goes. In this film, both the protagonists are very complex. The male protagonist is complex because of his failures in life. He cannot read and write in English, has an overbearing father and is not very confident as a person. The female protagonist, played by Bhumi, is an overweight girl. The screenplay is about this odd couple and by the end of the film, they emerge as hero and heroine. Prem Prakash Tiwari finally takes the responsibility of the relationship that he shares with his wife. There was a natural progression to the way this character develops throughout the film.
5. Your choices have been very unconventional in terms of the roles you have played and the films you have done. Is it a conscious decision to do offbeat films?
Absolutely. I guess I have to do something different as far my career is concerned. I am a fearless performer and not scared of taking up challenging roles. The experimentation with roles and films will continue. I have realized success is a lousy teacher and my failures have taught me more than my successes. I played a Maharashtrian in ?Hawaizaada? which is something I had never played before. I am proud of all the films I have done so far as each of them has helped me grow as an actor.
6. You had two back to back releases in the form of ?Hawaizaada? and ?Dum Laga Ke Haisha?. But the audience would have to wait for some time before they see you again on the silver screen.
Yes, I will be back on the screen after some time. I am in no hurry to sign films and want to read scripts at the moment. I will have a keen eye on scripts that are out-of-the-box and slightly unconventional. ?Agra Ka Daabra? and ?1911?, the two films I have signed, are in the final stages of the scripting process. I will be difficult to shoot in Agra in the summers as the weather gets very hot there. We will be rolling sometime during winter.
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