With his debut film Vicky Donor, Ayushmann Khurrana has become a hot favourite of Bollywood. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu in conversation with the actor in Mumbai as he readies for the release of his next film Nautanki Saala
How does it feel to sweep all major awards for your debut film itself?
I came to Mumbai to be an actor and win at least a Filmfare award, which is every actor's dream. And see, this year I won two Filmfares (Best Male Debut and Best Male Playback Singer), besides Screen, Stardust and Zee Cine Awards . You feel happy when life gives you surprises; when things happen against least expectations.
With the kind of response Vicky Donor received, weren't you expecting these awards?
I am a very practical person. 2012 was the year of debutants and all of them were so good. Everyone was a complete package. And I had my own set of conspiracy theories and I thought award function organizers will give away the awards to other people since I am from Chandigarh and nobody knows me here.
You are not only being appreciated as an actor but also as a singer. So can we call you an all-rounder?
I never aspired to be an all-rounder, seriously. It all just happened. I started out with theatre in Chandigarh and then radio in Delhi and then television in Mumbai and now films happened. When we were doing theatre, we used to compose our own songs in our own productions, so it's a learning process that happened when I was in school and college. But frankly speaking, I always wanted to be an actor; it's just that the parts of my journey made me a so-called all rounder. But I don't believe I am one. I am just getting the right opportunities.
Tell us about your character in Nautanki Saala.
In Nautanki Saala, I am playing a guy called Ram Parmar who is a theatre actor and director. He is playing Ravan's character on stage. So he is Ram as well as Ravan and there is a character dichotomy ... how Ravan's characteristics invade his real life is the story of the film.
What is the film about?
It's a new age quirky comedy where there are two guys ... how the other guy Mandar Lele (Kunaal Roy Kapur) comes into my life and changes it completely. Then there is romance. You can call it a quirky love triangle.
Are you Ram or Ravan in real life?
I think I am quite a Ram in real life, but would love to be a Ravan on-screen.
You are also doing playback for this film. True?
Yes. I am singing two songs in the film. One is 'Tu Hi Tu', which is a slow, pensive, melodious song. The other one is 'Saadi Galli Aaja' composed by me and Rochak Kohli, the same 'Pani Da Rang'(Vicky Donor) combination. It is a Punjabi song and quite up-tempo.
How is Kunaal Roy Kapur as a co-actor?
Kunaal Roy Kapur is a very seasoned theatre actor and been working there for the past 12-15 years. Though he is from English theatre and me from Hindi theatre, our world is exactly the same and so enjoyed a great work ethic on the set. We were completely prepared while going for the shoot and when you see the film you will see how confident we were as actors.
What are your future projects?
I am working on a film with Yash Raj Films. Sonam Kapoor is there with me in the film. It's a rom-com based out of Delhi ... love in times of recession. The other film is by Shootjit Sircar and John Abraham called Hamara Bajaj that will happen later this year.