The makeup room is lit up at Yash Raj Studios. No, it’s not for a makeup session for a shoot but for an interview with actor Ayushmann Khurrana. The actor, who in his impressive career of five years is known for having done quality roles, makes sure he introduces himself personally to all the journalists. What follows is a streak of questions and his rather unvarnished answers. The actor talks about his upcoming release Meri Pyaari Bindu, his love for music and how he believes in an organic approach towards work.

Ayushmann Khurrana

Ayushmann Khurrana with Parineeti Chopra

What’s your character in the film like?

Abhimanyu Roy is a writer who pens pulp magazines. Ironically, he imagines Bindu (played by Parineeti Chopra) in every character that he builds. These are not the eulogies or dedications to his beloved. It’s just his expression of love. But his writing and love for Bindu are separate. Writing is his vocation. He pictures her while writing but the novel is not on her. She’s his childhood love.

Parineeti and I can just listen to the song and tell you which film the song is from, its composer and probably the lyricist as well. That’s the kind of bond we have

How did you prep to play a writer?

I’ve been writing since a very long time. These days I am writing for DNA (newspaper). Apart from writing, another major aspect of the character is that he hails from a Bengali milieu. So, language coaching was a very important aspect because of the backdrop of the film. I had two coaches to teach me Bengali. One is Professor Mitra who’s a Bengali theatre actor from Delhi and the other one was Shamoon Ahmed who is also a Bengali actor and has done Bangla serials and films.

READ: Acting is much more than just increasing my IMDB list: Shweta Tripathi

How was it working with debutant Akshay Roy? What was his process of working like?

Akshay is a great guy. He’s not a Bengali but half Parsi and half Punjabi. Akshay won a National award for his short film and has been working since the past ten years. It’s great that Yash Raj is helming this project. When Sharad Kataria was making Dum Laga Ke Haisha, he was in the same shoes as what Akshay is now. But Sharad’s career shaped after Dum Laga Ke Haisha. Yash Raj backing your talent also gives you confidence to move in the right direction. Akshay too has a long way to go.

The casting and our love for music has been very organic

Ayushmann Khurrana

Ayushmann Khurrana with Parineeti Chopra in a still from Meri Pyaari Bindu

What is the first thing that attracted you to this character and film?

It has to be the character’s love for music. It’s also his love for writing. He’s a giver in life. Also, more than the character, it’s the film’s music that attracted me towards it. They wanted two characters who love music. It’s a genuine emotion for me. Also, I feel that the love of music is an emotion that you can’t fake. Both Parineeti and I enjoy music a lot.

Read: An actor has to live what the character has lived through – Purab Kohli

How was it working with Parineeti? This being your first film together, how did you work on the chemistry?

We are very similar as people; our upbringing is also similar. I’m from Chandigarh and she’s from Ambala. We both are Punjabis. We’ve been listening to retro music since long. Her father sings and my father plays the flute. So, we are like music geeks. Most people of our generation might not know about Naushad saab or Khayyam saab or O.P.Nayyar saab. But we (Parineeti and I) can just listen to the song and tell you which film the song is from, its composer and probably the lyricist as well. We do that all the time. That’s the kind of bond we have. The film is also about that.  The casting and our love for music has been very organic.

Abhimanyu Roy imagines Bindu in every character that he builds. It’s his expression of love

Having largely done content-oriented films, do you wish to foray into full-fledged potboilers?

Aditya Chopra told me a month back that your real life persona reflects on screen. You come across as an endearing guy which reflects on screen. You change every day. Every five years there is a metamorphosis in you. Till the time you don’t realize that you’ve changed as a person, it doesn’t work. It’s a very internal process.

Yes, I want to do everything. But my focus is on taking it organically. I like to work in different genres but the performance should be truthful. My next film is a thriller with Sriram Raghavan. That I feel is a genre which I haven’t yet explored in my career path.

Ayushmann Khurrana
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