You have to get rid of films on taboo subjects: Ayushmann Khurrana

After achieving critical and commercial success with more than half a dozen taboo and issue-based films, Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana says he needs to break away from the genre.

Right from his acting debut in 2012 Vicky Donor to movies like Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Badhaai Ho and Article 15the actor became the artist of choice for the role of ordinary men struggling with social norms.

However, the pandemic has made him reconsider his screenplay selection criteria, he said. Its releases from 2022 Anek and Doctor G it’s an election before the pandemic, Khurrana said, adding that he has signed his upcoming film An action hero post pandemic.

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“I have to break up with him. I need to move away from taboo subjects and make a film that is more relatable if I aspire to a theatrical release.

“That’s the evolution or maybe the learning that we’ve had from the last couple of years. This movie (An action hero) is devoid of any messages as such. It’s just pure thrill, entertainment,” Khurrana said PTI in an interview here.

The 38-year-old actor also said that he can break away from taboo stories for a while, but “not the weirdos” as he believes that is his USP.

“Comedy and quirks will always work. You have to engage the audience and that is the biggest challenge today. Also, the patience level (of viewers) has gone down.

“We have reels and everything on (Insta)gram, on phones. So the competition for theatrical release is not only from OTT, but also from social.”

Asked if any of his previous hits can pull people into cinema halls even today, the National Award winner said he would bet big on family entertainers.

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“A film like Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho it will definitely do those numbers. Even flaxen partly because they are funny movies. Humor along with emotions are larger films, they are all family films.

“People are going out with their families to theatres. Restricted films may not work, they are great for OTT. You have to broaden your audience and give them that film,” he added.

An action hero, starring Jaideep Ahlawat, is helmed by debutant director Anirudh Iyer. Billed as an actioner with an offbeat satirical sense of humor, the film follows the journey of an artist (Khurrana) both in front of and behind the lens.

“I’m always looking for something that’s different from my image. This fits the bill not just because it was a really juicy character, but it’s a very different film and character for me,” he said.

In the film, Khurrana plays Manav, an action hero on the run from Bhura Solanki (Ahlawat), who wants to avenge his brother’s mysterious death.

He describes Manav as an arrogant and flamboyant man who wears his superstardom on his sleeve.

But in real life, Khurrana said he couldn’t be more different from Manav.

“I kept my life very simple. Fortunately, I am far from controversy and online trolling. I’m blessed. But I’ve seen it (trolling) happen to a lot of people in the last couple of years, so that actuality exists in “An Action Hero.” It has that media versus Bollywood versus public media process,” he said.

“I can’t relate to Manav’s character. I didn’t have anything to give through personal experiences, but I gave the character what I saw or people saw,” he added.

In his trailer An action hero, the filmmakers also tackle the unseen aspects of an actor’s life. The Chandigarh-born actor-singer said that whenever he is away from the arc lights he immerses himself in music and poetry.

Khurrana said he has a playlist for each character: during Andhadhunhe would listen to the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi and while working on Chandigarh Kare Aashiquiwould listen to punjabi songs.

“I listen to a lot of music. I think I can live without movies, but I can’t live without music. I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I discover a new song every day. So this is just my way of relaxing, discovering myself beyond the cinema,” he added.

It is well known that Khurrana approached director Sriram Raghavan for Andhadhun as he wanted the famous filmmaker to present him in a different light. The actor further said that he will continue to do so whenever an opportunity arises.

“I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Raju Hirani and Zoya Akhtar. I want to get this out.”

Produced by Color Yellow Production and Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar’s T Series, ‘An Action Hero’ will hit theaters on December 2.

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