For the first time I play a larger than life character – Ayushmann Khrurrana

For the first time I play a larger than life character - Ayushmann Khrurrana

Finally, Ayushmann Khurrana takes off his shirt?
Yes. In Bewakoofiyan. It was peer pressure, I guess. I've so far played normal characters in a more realistic kind of cinema. But Bewakoofiyan is the kind of film where I could afford the indulgence of being somewhat larger-than life. Yup, I can this time show my abs and still seem like a normal person. It is a slice-of-life rom-com about the guy, girl and her father.

Your progress has been pretty rapid?
I wouldn't say that. I've one hit to my credit in my two-year film career. That's just about a decent average. Luckily our cinema is constantly evolving. There are many kinds of films happening in our country. There is a cinema that's going into the past and cinema that's very contemporary. I am happy to be part of both through my roles in Bombay Fairytale and Bewakoofiyan.

Sonam Kapoor your co-star in Bewakoofiyan thinks you are very cool?
You know, in the guise of a style icon she's such a simple person at heart. I had a really good time working with her.

And Rishi Kapoor?
He had all of us on our toes. He is basically a one-take actor. He is such a natural actor he can act even in his sleep. He is most natural in his first take. He believes in two takes at the most. I take time to warm up in front of the camera. I take at least three takes to warm up. But he was very sweet and tolerant. Food was the common bond between us.

He force-fed you Punjabi khana?
When we were shooting in Delhi the yummiest food made in shuddh ghee used to come from his daughter's home. I had to hide from my trainer who was on the sets constantly and I am a foodie, though it doesn't show on me. I had to just work-out more. And my metabolism is high right now. I don't know how it will be five years down the line.

Why was the trainer constantly on the sets?
Because I had to look extra-fit. I am a squash player. I've played squash in college.

You are currently playing a 19th century Maharashtrian scientist Bapuji Talpade in Vibhu Puri's Bombay Fairytale. How tough is that?
It's different, a different language and a different universe. So far I've only been playing variations on myself. But in Bombay Fairytale I started living in the past.

Did you have to learn Marathi for Bombay Fairytale?
I am a 21st century boy born and brought up in Chandigarh. For the past five years I've been in Mumbai. The first thing that I did when I landed in Mumbai was to buy myself a book on how to speak Marathi. By now I can understand Marathi, but not speak the language. All my staff members are Marathi. That helps me a lot in getting the character and accent right in Bombay Fairytale. Mercifully this is a Hindi film with Marathi here and there.

I am ashamed to say I had never heard of Bapuji Talpade before this?
Neither had I. Even when I googled I hardly got any information on Babuji Talpade. So I had to kind of build the character from scratch. I just had one bleached picture of his. But we've changed his looks. Besides being a scientist, Bapuji was also charmer. That part came easily to me (laughs). He is as endearing as a little child. The character has a graph. My hair is completely different for the role. I had to hide my look from the press photographers.

Are you going to really a fly a plane?
I don't know. We still have to get there.

For the first time I play a larger than life character - Ayushmann Khrurrana

How tough is it for you to go from playing the 21st story dude in Bewakoofiyan to the 19th century scientist in Bombay Fairytale?
But as an actor it is very important for me to switch on and switch off. So I didn't go into any intense preparation. But I've always loved history. I am a fan of William Dalrymple's writing. When I was shooting for Bombay Fairytale in a place called Gondol in Gujarat, I'd take bucket baths just to get a feel of the era. We were staying in a palace constructed in 1880. I had this huge room with a huge bathroom where I took bucket baths with Hamam soap….just for the retro feel. That was the oldest soap available. Now I am shooting for Sharat Kataria's Dum Lagake Haisha in Hardwar, It's a light-hearted small-town film. I am very excited about it. This is my first visit to Hardwar.

How is life looking for you?
This year seems really exciting. I have completed Bewakoofiyan. I am shooting for Bombay Fairytale and Dum Lagake Haisha and then I go into Shoojit Sircar's football film 1911 which would again be period film. Shoojit is a very good football player. And my brother is also a terrific player. He's the sports champ of our family.

What was it like working with the amazing Mithun Chakraborty in Bombay Fairytale?
I remember dancing to his song 'I Am A Disco Dancer' as a kid at birthday parties. And now I am working with him! During shooting he would cook, not just for himself but his staff and sometime for me and my staff too. I used to love him. Now I love him even more. Mithunda is such an animal lover. He has his own sanctuary.

How is your son doing?
He is with his mother in Chandigarh. He thinks I live inside the television set and once in a while come out to meet him.

When will your wife and son join you permanently in Mumbai?
Well, I am living out of suitcases. There is no point in having them here when I am not around. Besides my wife loves Chandigarh. She does theatre there.

Article written by staff at Bollywood Hungama. Read more

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