‘Either you are a super star or your script is a super star’
Ex MTV VJ Ayushmann Khurrana won the Most Promising Actor Debut award for his fantastic first film, Vicky Donor. An actor and singer, Ayushmann plays the role of Shivkar Talpade, an Indian who made the world’s first aircraft way before the Wright Brothers, in the recently released Hawaizaada.
What is Hawaizaada about? Why did you choose to do this film?
The film is a tribute to Shivkar Talpade, who made the world’s first aircraft. Since he could not patent his discovery, there is no documented proof of it. However, there are several articles stating that he made the first ever airplane that flew in the air for 18 minutes in front of 500 people and Jawaharlal Nehru. We made a film on this person as he went to think out of the box. Hawaizaada has a beautiful story woven with a lot of care and love. It has changed my perception towards life and I would want people to remember the film and the character and feel proud that it was not the Wright Brothers but an Indian who designed the first aircraft.
How did you prepare for your role in Hawaizaada?
My director Vibhu Puri and his co scriptwriter Saurabh Bhave had already done their research. I tried to keep my interpretation of the character earthy and real. I had to also adapt to the body language of a bygone era. the film tested my linguistic skills but our co-writer helped me deliver the Marathi dialect well.
Have the makers taken creative liberties for a cinematic purpose?
Since there were not many references available to us, we got a chance to make our own world. I got a chance to play the character the way I understood its sensibilities.
What makes Hawaizaada your most exciting film after Vicky Donor?
This is my most unconventional film after Vicky Donor. I did two conventional films (Nautanki Saala and Bewakoofiyaan) which didn’t work. I feel this is an era of unconventional films; either you are a super star or your script is a super star. If we look at 2014 – Queen, Haider and PK – were all unconventional films and they went on to become huge hits.
How was your experience working with Vibhu Puri who is debuting with Hawaizaada?
Vibhu is one of the youngest directors I have worked with. He is a great technician and is very passionate about his craft.
How was it working with your co-stars Pallavi Sharda and Mithun Chakraborty?
Pallavi, Mithunda and I shot together for one and a half year and bonded very well. Pallavi is one of the most intelligent actors I have worked with. I learnt a lot about life from Mithunda who has struggled a lot and rose from that state to became a superstar. It was amazing to hear about his life’s journey.
Who do you absolutely love in Bollywood?
I love Amitabh Bachchan and admire Shahrukh Khan. I have always been a Shahrukh Khan fan.
How would you define your journey in Bollywood?
As a Radio Jockey, I was earning well but my father pushed me to try something new and so I dabbled in television. I was successful as a VJ and then acting just happened. It has been an amazing journey so far. I feel this is the best era for an outsider to enter Bollywood. Everybody is accepting new talent and that’s a good thing.
– Priyanka Jain