Ayushmann Khurrana: I have built my career being a relatable guy, so can't get carried away by stardom

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 05, 2019, 10.28 AM(IST) Written By: Zeba Khan

Ayushmann Khurrana in 'Bala' Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

While promoting their film in New Delhi, Ayushmann who essays the leading role of Bala got talking to WION about playing characters that any common man can relate to, controversies surrounding his film and a packed 2020 with multiple releases. 

Their film ‘Bala’ is ready for release on November 8, 2019, and the trio of Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam want their fans to deep dive into the idea of self-love -- something that the film tries to educate via a less-explored subject on the celluloid before this, receding hairline. 

While promoting their film in New Delhi, Ayushmann who essays the leading role of Bala got talking to WION about playing characters that any common man can relate to, controversies around the film and a packed 2020 with multiple releases lined up. 

Ayushmann addressed the elephant in the room at the start of the conversation when he said that he was offered different concepts with the same theme by at least four directors. “I chose the best director Amar Kaushik and producer Dinesh Vijan. I liked their vision, believed in their talent, loved the script. As for the other film, they made it after we did. We can wish them all the luck,” he said on his film’s clash with ‘Ujda Chaman’. 

As for the role, it would take him more time to get the physical attributes of the character on point than the acting bit. Ayushmann who wanted to go bald for the role eventually decided against it. He had to spend 2 and a half hours getting the prosthetics. “When I saw myself in for the first time in the mirror with the prosthetics, I couldn’t recognise myself,” he said. 

But it was not the physical preparation, rather the emotional transformation that helped him get the character in sync with the filmmaker’s thought. Ayushmann explained, “Out of those facing the receding hairline issue, some have complex while some are okay with it. They are confident, they are successful. Many women also find bald men hot. Our film is on self-love and that's the transition that Bala goes through -- from a complex character to a confident one.” 

Delivering one successful film after another, Ayushmann believes that the definition of cinema’s hero might have changed considering the kind of stories the audience finds palatable these days. Unfazed by stardom, the National Film Award-winning star keeps it grounded by being an extremely relatable guy. ”I have built my career being a relatable guy so I have to be relatable and not get carried away by stardom. I have always been that guy who’s got that connect with people. I started my career as a radio presenter, became an anchor eventually and now an actor,” he said. 

“The idea is to just present the common man in the most real way. We have seen perfect manicured heroes over the years on the celluloid. And of course it's very aspirational for the common man but at the same time it's hard to get or to achieve that goal for them but with something like what I do in my films, we find imperfections, put the common man on a pedestal and celebrate the imperfections. That gives confidence to the common man. So it's very important to show realism,” said Ayushmann who is today one of the most bankable stars in the country, earning praise from the critics and moolah for the producers. 

Ayushmann also explained what he meant when he recently announced that he would be taking a break from acting. “It’s just a vacation for a couple of months I guess. My lineup for the next year is ready -- ‘Gulabo Sitabo’, ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan’.”

Ayushmann plays the role of a guy facing a receding hairline issue. His character is named Bal Mukund Shukla, a name that ultimately becomes an irony in his life. 

The two girls, Bhumi Pednekar and Yami Gautam play equally important roles in the film. Bhumi plays a strong character that is well educated and stands to break every kind of societal stigma and norms attached to colour obsession in India as she plays a dark-skinned girl while Yami’s character Pari is one that sees everyone from a set standard of beauty. As she thinks highly of herself, she seeks the same perfection in her partner. “Personally I feel I wasn’t a natural choice for this role as I have never played such a part before,” said Yami talking about her character.