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Life certainly has changed for this Delhi boy ever since he made his big Bollywood debut last year with 'Vicky Donor'. As Ayushmann Khurrana gears up for his second film exactly after a year, itimes caught up with him for a candid chat. Read what he has to say about life in Bollywood and otherwise and how he sees no competition from the young brigade.
People still address you as the 'Vicky Donor' guy. Do you want to come out of that shell?
It just shows the success of the film and my character. Thankfully I was known as an anchor on television otherwise people would have only known be as Vicky, though I would be loved to be called as Vicky. It was such a unique role and character. Vicky Donor was a rare combination of quirk and credibility. The film was critically acclaimed and got appreciation at the national level as well. The director has the vision and I am glad I was a part of it.
Two movies and you have done boy next door kind of roles. Are you scared of getting typecast?
I think these are two extremely different characters. Vicky was a Punjabi good for nothing boy whereas my character in Nautanki Saala is that of a theater person. The character sketches of both are very different. Also I feel during the initial phase of career, one should choose role that are close to you. You should pick roles where you can take references from real life experiences. Once you can relate to the character, only then you can make it look believable to the audiences.
Whose career path do you want to follow?
There are lots of good actors in our industry but I am sure most of young actors would want to follow Amitabh Bachchan. The innings he has played in the Hindi cinema is unmatched. Among the contemporaries, I feel Ranbir Kapoor is the best option. He is doing the right mix of films. Rest I feel you can draw inspiration from everyone. I am a Roger Federer and Sachin Tendulkar fan, so I get inspired from them too.
What was the best thing about Nautanki Saala that you agreed to do the film?
As I said, I love to do real life roles. I quite liked the reference of the film. It's the remake of a French film and I could see myself and Kunal in those characters. Plus, it's always a good thing to work with a credible filmmaker. I don't see any issue if Bollywood directors are making remakes. As long as people are getting entertained, it's okay. Anyways, Nautanki Saala is an adaptation of a French film not a remake and not many people here would have seen it. It has been made keeping in mind the Indian sensibilities.
Was there any rivalry with Kunal Roy Kapoor while shooting for the film?
Not at all... Firstly, ours are two different characters, so there was no scope of any clash. Rather our roles are dependent on each other. Moreover, both of us are from theater background, so we are really simple people without much of complexities. During workshops, we even became good friends.
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
I am an overgrown infant. I just hope I evolve as an actor, singer and anchor. I don't believe in planning now. I planned a film years ago, which didn't workout. It was supposed to get released before Vicky Donor but now I am glad it didn't happen. I have got so many rejections in life but today, I have nothing to complain. Life has given me a surprise and I don't expect anything else now. I believe success exists in a state of happiness.
Why do we don't get to hear anything about your personal life? Do you keep a low profile by choice?
It's not really like that. I think in past one year, whatever awards I have received, I have thanked and praised her more than anyone else. She travels with me also, so it's not that I don't discuss about her or my family.
On screen kissing seems to have come easy for you. How does your wife react to it?
As an actor, I am ready for every kind of scene and I think till the time it is acting and you are not falling for the person, it's fine. My wife is very supportive and being a writer herself, she understands this profession. She knows that while playing a character, I would be required to do a lot of things.
Why were you annoyed when director wanted to promote it in the trailers?
I was annoyed not as an actor but as a singer composer of that song. I was disappointed because the song from the film was being promoted by glorifying the kiss, which was not done. I compose and sing my songs without any agenda or materialistic aspirations. Paani Da Rang became a hit and that was incompletely unexpected and I composed Saadi Gali even before that. So let's see how people react to it.
Which newbie you want to work with?
Parineeti Chopra is very believable. Surprisingly, I can think of only one, as she is doing so well.
You grabbed quite a few awards and critical acclaim too. How do you plan to keep up the standards with your future films?
It's a positive sign that people are expecting a lot from me but honestly, you cannot compare the two films. Vicky Donor was a rare phenomenon and an issue based film. Nautanki Saala is a comedy.
How was working with Sonam Kapoor in YRF's romantic comedy?
We have completed the first schedule and I'll again start shooting after the release of Nautanki Saala. Sonam is amazing to work with. She's the ultimate style icon and so professional and very supportive as a co-actor.
Among contemporaries, who do you see as your biggest competition this year?
I am an actor singer, so there is no competition. Frankly speaking, there are so many newcomers coming every day, so I rather focus on my work and not worry about this petty competition.