Ayushmann Khurrana, the superstar of the common man, is as conversant with everyday truths, writes Raghuvendra Singh
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by… and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
This sums up the spin Ayushmann Khurrana has given to his career. From theatre to television to the big screen, Ayushmann’s graph has been that of a wanderer. But everyone who wanders isn’t lost. Certainly not Ayushmann. On the contrary, he’s been discovering new signposts along the way. The ambitious boy from Chandigarh learnt early in his career that to make an impact in an industry sold on glamour and dynasty, he had to be different. He chose to do films that pulled out truths tucked in the closet and put them on the big screen. Sperm donation, erectile dysfunction, the embarrassment of having an obese partner and the discomfort of accepting the sexual intimacy of middle-aged parents, Ayushmann’s characters confronted unexpressed concerns, often silenced in the obsession for social approval. His goofiness found a connect with the common man and middle-class India found its next-door hero. With Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15, he treads into serious territory. Of the lawmakers and the lawbreakers... in his inimitable earthy manner…
From goofy and vulnerable characters, you played a tough cop in Article 15…
Your body language turns confident when you wear uniform. You feel a certain sense of responsibility. Even when I was doing the look test for Article 15, my posture had changed. After playing goofy characters, here I’m playing someone in control. Whether it was Vicky Donor, AndhaDhun or Badhaai Ho,
I was the victim of circumstances. Here I’m trying to be the champion of circumstances. That’s the difference.
Your portrayal of a cop is different from those regularly played in Hindi films...
My portrayal is subtle and so is the message of the film. The film tackles inequality, discrimination, cast... Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk was also subtle. He has taken that legacy forward with Article 15. While Mulk dealt with Hindu-Muslim issues, this one is about conflict between the upper castes and the lower castes. It will compel the audience to introspect. I did it for the love of cinema and as a social responsibility. People need to see this film for their own good, for the good of the country.
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