Ayushmann Khurrana who has been going through a lean patch of late is all gung ho about his latest film releasing today ‘Hawaizaada’. ADC’s Sandeep Hattangadi spoke to the ‘Vicky Donor’ star about his new film. Over to Ayushmann
Your recent films have not done too well. How important is ‘Hawaizaada’ for you?
I agree my decent films like ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ and ‘Nautanki Saala’ have not done too well but it was conscious effort on my part to do different and unconventional films, not the usual commercial type films because if you notice that recently it is the unconventional films that have done well with the audiences. Unfortunately my films got appreciation, but didn’t click at the box office but still I accepted ‘Hawaizaada’ because I liked the script and the realism in the film. I had the confidence in the director Vibhu Puri and so that makes ‘Hawaizaada’ an important film for my career and I hope the film clicks with the audiences.
Reportedly the film is a bio-pic.
Yes. It can be termed so. It is the story of a very well learned and respected man Pandit Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who is credited with the first unmanned aircraft flight in 1895 at Chowpatty in Mumbai, much before the historic Wright Brothers' flight, but it went unnoticed by the historians of that time. But some historians have acknowledged the efforts of Pandit Shivkar Bapuji Talpade and have even mentioned Bal Gangadhar Tilak as one of those present during the historic flight. I play the lead character of Pandit Shivkar Bapuji Talpade.
How did you prepare for your role?
I researched to know more about the man and I took tips from the director Vibhu Puri. Then I learnt Marathi because the lead character is a Maharashtrian. I told everyone to speak to me in Marathi so that I can learn the language and I am very good with languages since I am well versed in Sanskrit which is considered to be the mother of all languages. So I can speak Marathi fluently now and also I learnt about how such characters dressed in the pre-nineteenth century and how they interacted with others.
Your analysis of your director Vibhu Puri.
He is a very talented director destined for bigger things. He is from FTII and has assisted stalwarts like Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Initially I was wary about doing films with debutant directors but when I heard Vibhu’s narration and his passion for the film, I immediately gave my nod and he has made a wonderful film which I am sure will win lots of awards this year. He has created the structure of two planes that have been depicted in the film without any help and also created Mumbai of 1895 in a set built in one of the Mumbai studios, which is a marvel. He is a multi-faceted man.
What was it like working with your co-star Pallavi ?
She hails from Australia and has done films before. She is also a wonderful dancer. She fit the part of my wife in the film like a glove. She has done a wonderful performance. I would like to work with her again.
There is also a veteran like Mithun Chakraborathy in the film.
Yes. He plays my teacher and mentor. He gave me a lot of tips on acting and he told me about the vignettes of his struggle in which he started as a nobody and then reached the heights of stardom and how he became a successful businessman. It was great to work with a man whose work I have admired right from my childhood when I used to dance to his Disco Dancer songs.
Have you sung for this film?
Yes. I have sung and composed one song in the film. There are a total of seven songs which have been melodiously composed. My song is based on a Mirza Ghalib ghazal ‘Dil E Nadaan’ which is an universally acclaimed creation. I hope to compose more songs in the future and sing them as well.
You started with TV and now you are a movie star. Will you accept any TV offers in the future?
Yes. Why not? Television and films share a symbiotic personality and today a superstar like Shahrukh Khan has emerged from television, and film superstars like Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan are a part of television shows. It’s a good trend and TV is no less a powerful medium. I hope many more filmstars like SRK emerge from television as I did with ‘Roadies’.
What are your forthcoming films?
I have ‘Dum Lagake Haisha’ which is about a man married to a very fat woman. It’s a comedy which everyone will enjoy. I also have ‘Agra Ka Daabra’ in which I play a struggling actor called Sanjay Bajaj.
Any role models in the industry?
Right from childhood I have been a big Amitabh Bachchan fan. I want to be an unconventional hero like him and want to do films like him. He is my all time favourite actor and idol.