Exemplar of versatility
Ayushmann's talents are not restricted to acting alone. All of 28, he's done theatre, written and sung songs, worked on radio, as an anchor on...
Ayushmann's talents are not restricted to acting alone. All of 28, he's done theatre, written and sung songs, worked on radio, as an anchor on television before the natural progression to films happened with 'Vicky Donor' Radhika Rajamani Ayushmann Khurrana is a much talked of actor ever since his hugely successful debut in 'Vicky Donor' helmed by Shoojit Sircar. He chose a meaningful yet entertaining piece of cinema to burst upon the silver screen as a highly acclaimed newcomer who picked up most of the awards last year too. Ayushmann's talents are not restricted to acting alone. All of 28, he's done theatre, written and sung songs, worked on radio, as an anchor on television before the natural progression to films happened with 'Vicky Donor'. Now Ayushmann's next film 'Nautanki Saala' directed by Rohan Sippy is up for release on April 12. Like in 'Vicky Donor' where he sang 'Paani Da' which is popular Ayushmann has crooned two songs 'Saadi Galli' and 'Tu Hi Tu' in 'Nautanki Saala'. 'Nautanki Saala', which co stars Kunaal Roy Kapur, is a Hindi adaptation of the French film 'Aprez Vous'. This film has a theatre setting and Ayushmann chose this to be his second film. "I think the role was quite interesting. I liked 'Aprez Vous', the original reference of the film. I have done theatre in the past. So I can add a lot of nuances to the character," he said while in Hyderabad along with Rohan Sippy to promote 'Nautanki Saala'. He's chosen a comedy film, no doubt, but Ayushmann says "comedy is serious business. You have to take care of the timing, you have to get into the skin of your character, you have to read the script over and over again, you have to be in touch with your co-actor. Comedy is more about give and take." His co-star Kunaal Roy Kapur (of 'Delhi Belly' fame) is quite adept in comedy and these two make a good pair. "I was also perfect to work with Kunaal who also blessed with good comic timing. We bonded well. Both of us have done theatre in the past. It makes us more believable. There were no insecurities. The best part was we were honest to our characters. It was fun working with him." The film, Ayushmann says: "is not just a slapstick humour comedy. It's about two guys on a beautiful journey. It's a quirky rom.com." Ayushmann plays Ram Parmar. "It's quite ironical that I'm playing a Ram's character but I have to play Raavan on stage. It's quite challenging as a character because nobody is a perfect - Ram or Raavan. They have shades of grey. As an actor, I am quite fortunate have got this role pretty early in my life. It's a very character-driven role." Doing theatre in the past helped Ayushmann in 'Nautanki Saala'. It was kind of homecoming for him. "I'm quite well versed with the quirky language of theatrewallahs. They have a certain body language, a certain poise. I have done theatre in the past. I was also a theatre director. I had to work on my body language again. I had to just revise my theatre experience." Also the workshops and reading helped the actors in the pre-preparation as they had a tight 35-day shoot schedule. "We did multiple readings. We almost knew each other's dialogues as well." For Ayushmann, 'Nautanki Saala' gave him an opportunity to work with the Sippys. "Working with Rohan was good. He's a pretty seasoned filmmaker. It's always good to work with credible filmmakers like the Sippys." He also got to interact with Ramesh Sippy too in the process. "He used to come on the sets very often and interact with the cast and crew. He's very encouraging. Since Rohan was the captain of the ship he would never interfere. But during the workshops he gave suggestions." Ayushmann's choice of both films seems interesting. "I think I'll always look out for character driven roles. It's always good to do meaty roles or ones which give you the opportunity to act. So I would like to do characters which are believable." For a person who has dreamt of being an actor since childhood, Ayushmann has done well for himself though it has taken him some years to reach celluloid via other media. "My parents have always been supportive. I have done theatre since childhood. In college I had formed two theatre groups." Ayushmann was a familiar face on television before films happened. "I always wanted to be an actor but I got a certain confidence after facing the camera while anchoring. Acting and anchoring are two different crafts all together. Anchoring is talking into the camera, acting is ignoring the camera. I had to unlearn a lot of stuff as well. Having said that it was a natural transition as I always wanted to be an actor." The multi-faceted Ayushmann has been through radio, theatre, TV and now films by the age of 28. "I think it's good to experience different forms of media. It's a great learning experience. It's good to climb the ladder of success step by step. 'Vicky Donor' was not sudden or overnight success. I've seen it all to from radio to theatre, television and now films. So I'm quite fortunate in that regard. I've just enjoyed my journey a lot so I don't think it was quite tough. I've enjoyed my hard work, enjoyed my passion towards theatre and music." When asked if he would want to script a film some day as he is versatile he says, "I think it's quite early for me. I will continue singing and acting. That may come later. As of now that's not the agenda." Ayushmann has two films 'Hamara Bajaj' and a Yashraj film on hand. I've completed one schedule of a Yashraj film, will be starting the second schedule after 'Nautanki' is released." Life continues under the spotlight for Ayushmann with a creative journey ahead.