VOICES ANIRBAN GANGULY AMAR BHUSHAN RAVI SHANKAR ANUJA CHANDRAMOULI KG SURESH MATA AMRITANANDAMAYI THE NEW SUNDAY EXPRESS BUFFET MAGAZINE PEOPLE WELLNESS BOOKS FOOD ART & CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT JULY 7 2019 SUNDAY PAGES 12 AYUSHMANN KHURRANA Chameleon Cool UP, CLOSE AND PERSONAL Real name Nishant Khurana Article 15 has sailed past the Rs 300-crore club delivering superstardom and the fifth hit in a row for the Andhadhun actor. He is also an eminently bankable element that constantly keeps Bollywood guessing. Most famous role Vicky Arora (Vicky Donor) Favourite films Favourite food Tezaab, Shakti, Deewar Rajma-chawal, rasgulla If given a chance to spend a fun hour with his favourite actor Role that touched him deeply Rajesh Khanna in Anand Romance and dance with Madhuri Dixit on her famous songs Thought that motivates Most of us miss the silver lining because we want golden ones Biggest inspiration Wife Tahira Kashyap since she is talented and intelligent Ultimate dream role Something similar to Marlon Brando in The Godfather Most memorable moment Personal: Wedding day Professional: When Vicky Donor became a box office hit If given a change to be a time-traveller He would love to see a rich and beautiful India where there is no poverty and beggars on the street Response to a fan who asks him out Take him out for a movie especially Anshumann’s own and ask him for a response Two things people don’t know about him If given a chance to live a second life During his initial days on TV, he donated his sperm Ayushmann writes Hindi poems and is an active blogger Be Ayushmann Khurrana again INTERVIEW The Wonder Star With Article 15, Ayushmann Khurrana has given five hits in a row. He tells Shama Bhagat, how at times he feels like an outsider in the industry. You are playing a homosexual guy in Aanand L Rai’s next film. Yes, and it will be a difficult role. I am a heterosexual guy and I am going to play a homosexual guy and that’s definitely not easy . Aanand Sir is looking for a guy to play the other role. Unlike serious gay films, this film deals with the situation in a light-hearted manner. We want families to watch this film—only then will the target be achieved. It’s a sensitive issue for a commercial film. What about Dream Girl? It’s too early to talk about it. Did you ever have a crush on any actress? I had a crush on Preity Zinta. It was a funny situation actually My father was very strict and . would not allow me to put up posters of actresses. My friend’s parents were comparatively liberal. So AK SANTA BANTA.COM whileI had to put up posters of wrestlers in my room, my friend had put up a poster of Preity Zinta in his room. I would often go to his house just to see it. A couple of years back, I met her during an IPL match and had a brief interaction. You are working with Amitabh Bachchan in Gulabo Sitabo. Everyone has a bucket list of the people they want to work with. Bachchan Sir is one such person. As for Shoojit Sircar, this is the second time I am working with him. It is an interesting collaboration. I read the script three months ago, and we decided to begin shooting as soon as possible. The film is slated for a November release. Any plans to turn producer and director some day? Would you want to share the profits with the producers, like some stars do? I would love to be a producer and director some day I understand the business and am still . understanding it. Also, now that I am in this business, I don’t think I will venture into any other. At present, I don’t want to be a burden on the “I had interviewed Karan Johar long ago for a for a radio interview and that’s when he said that I’m not star material. I asked for his number and he gave me a landline number. But I am a great fan of Karan Johar and would love to do his films.” producer. All this can wait for a later day . What is happening on the music front? I have started a jam session. I am talent-hunting and trying to find composers who do not get a chance. It will be a great platform. Would you call yourself self-obssesed? Not really I don’t even watch my own films. . Karan Johar said you are not star material. Would you like to work with him? I had interviewed him long ago for a for a radio interview and that’s when he said that. I asked him for his number and he gave me a landline number. Obviously I will work with him. I am a great fan of , Karan Johar and he has reached legend status. People will know him for centuries. He knows how to mount a film on a great scale with huge cinematic experience. I would love to do his films. How much support do you get from family and friends now? Life gets lonely when you become an actor. You have to have solid grounding and that’s when family plays a major role. My friends have also supported me and helped me a lot when I was new in Mumbai. I was staying illegally in a hostel with a friend who was doing MBBS from KEM Hospital. What is the experience like when you visist your home town? People simply throng wherever I go. It’s like they own me. I feel really proud. L By SHAMA BHAGAT ike any other astrologer, Ayushmann Khurrana’s father believes in the stars. He was sure his son, a Virgo, was going to be a star, though the firmament would be Bollywood. Ayushmann’s current hit film Article 15 directed by Anubhav Sinha and playing to packed theaters countrywide sailed into the `300-crore club with intensity and elan, creating a personal record for the new star next door. He continues to choose films in which he plays diverse roles. The next one on the sets is Bala directed by Amar Kaushik, which deals with premature balding—certainly not a ‘sexy’ topic. In Aanand L Rai’s Shubh Mangal Zyaada Saavdhan, he plays a homosexual man. Then there is director Shoojit Sircar’s quirky rom-com Gulabo Sitabo. Dad was right from day one; the actor bagged an IIFA award for his debut performance in Vicky Donor (2013)—incidentally Ayushmann himself was also a sperm donor. Last year the half-Burmesehalf-Indian played an attentiongrabbing role as a charming blind musician (oh, is he?) in Andhadhun, a critically acclaimed mystery with a twist. Released in India on October 5, 2018, it won the 35-year-old poet-actor the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and earned the film `441.38 crore worldwide. Industry sources say Ayushmann is paid between `2-3 crore a film, which is likely to go up after the success of Article 15. Article 15 has made news outside the box office, too. In this age of at-the-drop-of-a-hat anti-film protests which give instant though temporary attention to local politicians, screening was stopped in Roorkee and Kanpur after Right Wing protestors stormed theatres, shouting slogans. The movie is based on Article 15 of the Constitution and deals with the Badaun gang-rape in Uttar Pradesh and caste discrimination. Ayushmann plays an IPS officer. It has been banned in Hardwar too and the filmmaker plans to approach the courts. The Article prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. Before casting, director Anubhav wasn’t sure Ayushmann was right to play the male lead but the actor persisted and asked for the script. Says the filmmaker, “Ayushmann is such an extraordinary actor and my film needed an actor like him. He is an explosive bundle of talent among acclaimed actors.” Once Ayushmann read and jumped headlong into the film, the result was his fifth hit in a row. Even the torrential Mumbai rains didn’t stop movie-goers from filling up the halls. Film critic and trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted: “#Article15 is super-strong on the crucial Mon... Braves #KabirSingh juggernaut + torrential rains in #Mumbai, yet stays solid at key metros... Eyes `34 cr [+/-] in Week 1... Fri `5.02 cr, Sat `7.25 cr, Sun `7.77 cr, Mon `3.97 cr. Total: `24.01 cr.” The actor says that his belief in ‘hatke’ films has become stronger now. He feels that his choices are driven by the script and if the story is right, half the work is done since the audience loves good stories. Ayushmann’s story is no less interesting. Filmistaan, which likes to label its stars, has many adjectives to describe the Article 15 star who wanted to be an actor since he was five years old—apparently, he was driven after watching the quintessential Bollywood Diva Madhuri Dixit on screen—‘The Dependable Mr Khurrana’ and ‘The Dark Horse’ are two. If given a chance to be a superhero, what would he be? Says Ayushmann with a hint of humour, “I would be Ayush Man. It sounds like Superman, Batman or our very own Shaktiman. I will try to do my best for my country and help everyone in distress. There would be no riots or bombings or killing on the streets if I become Ayush Man.” Every actor has versatile interests before they choose the final Turn to page 2
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