An Action Hero actor Ayushmann Khurrana on his last four failures, 'I believe that progressive cinema is not for theatres'

Actor gets candid about An Action Hero, the fate of his previous films, and more

Rohit BhatnagarUpdated: Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 10:12 PM IST
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Ayushmann Khurrana | Pic: Instagram/ayushmannk

Ayushmann Khurrana will soon be seen alongside Jaideep Ahlawat in Anirudh Iyer’s upcoming directorial debut film An Action Hero. The film will hit screens on December 2. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:

Breaking stereotypes with your film choices has been a regular phenomenon and An Action Hero is just another testimony to it. Your thoughts?

I don’t know… I am still in the evolving stage and I feel the whole industry is in the evolving stage. I am just trying to reach out to more and more people. I feel the more evolved audiences are on the OTT spectrum right now. So, one has to cater to the lowest denominator keeping that quirk intact. I can probably give up on taboos but not on the quirks and I think that’s my USP. This is why I tend to give something which is different.

Do you believe that An Action Hero is your most commercial film to date?

Yes, I think it is the most commercial film. The one-liner of the film could be… Fan mixed with Andhadhun but the plot is entirely different. It’s a thriller for sure with comic elements in it. This is my way of expressing something which is happening right now in the country. We have taken the topical stuff happening in the media and film industry. It is the film of 2022.

An Action Hero blurs the line of a hero and a villain. Your thoughts?

I feel you need a Joker to a Batman. Since the time I had watched Paatal Lok in the pandemic, I have been wanting to work with Jaideep Ahlawat. He is an amazing artiste. Though we faced a lot of date issues after his show did well on OTT, I was ready to wait for him to do this film. Jaideep adds a lot of value to the film and it’s not just another role, it’s a parallel lead.

You mentioned earlier that you always wanted to do an action film. However, you have mostly acted in socially relevant films so far. Do you see any risk factors with this film?

I have always been a risk-taker and I can’t do without it. I am an unconventional actor so I have to make unconventional choices. I have paved my journey by taking risks and I can’t give up on that. I have to make my audiences wide so I have to do theatricals.

Your last few films didn’t do well at the box office. How do you take these failures?

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui was a LGBTQ+ film and such films don’t do well in our country. Unfortunately, India is a homophobic country. I tried my best to reach out to the masses. Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan took an opening of Rs 10 crores, which is equivalent to any normal Hindi film but historically it wasn’t well received. Anek was a docudrama and it was entirely the producer’s choice to release in the theatres. I can only give my point of view. 

Go on…

Doctor G got an A certificate and all these films have a limited audience. An Action Hero is my first choice after the pandemic. There have been learnings from the past and the idea is to now choose films which are palatable to more audiences. If it’s a taboo, it has to be relatable. In making a difference to cinema, we can’t really go away from the entertainment quotient. 

A still from An Action Hero

A still from An Action Hero |

Does the OTT evolution affect you somewhere as a big screen actor?

I would love to do something with a great ability on OTT but there are different genres for different mediums. I totally believe that you can’t go with progressive cinema in theatres as of now. If I am doing so, it has to be on OTT and I can come with An Action Hero and Dream Girl 2 in theatres. The classification is a new thing and we have to choose our mediums wisely.

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