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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Aparshakti Khurana: His ‘Bigg Buzz’ in Bollywood as an Actor

Aparshakti Khurana has proven that names are just mere tags.

Despite being the brother of Bollywood actor/singer and host Ayushmann Khurrana, Aparshakti is carving his own path of success.

Unlike other ‘star brothers,’ he began his acting career through doing theatres and plays. For him, perfecting the craft is more significant than contacts.

Though we’ve seen the actor in supporting roles in major films like Dangal, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Stree, there is a lot more to his success story.

In a special interview with Filme Shilmy, Aparshakti Khurana opens up on his acting career, how his brother Ayushmann supported him, Bigg Boss 12 and much more!

The year 2018 has been quite prosperous for you and Ayushmann – given the successes of Stree, Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho.

The Khurana household must be quite overjoyed right now?

(Laughs) Yes, the Khurana household touchwood is in a happy mood right now. Sometimes things come your way when you least expect them.

Especially for both of us brothers, life has been quite solid this year.

We both have worked equally hard, maybe Ayushmann has worked harder than me.

But having said that, the year 2018 has been quite good for filmmaking per se.

The losses made in the past couple of years has been recovered in the past few months.

God has been kind to me, Bhaiyya and the film fraternity that way.

What does it feel like to be associated with major successful projects like Dangal, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Stree?

I think a person just needs to be at the right place at the right time and have the right judgement in terms of picking the projects.

The major point during my thought process remains the kind of people I’m working with.

If you had been there on the sets of the films you mentioned, you would’ve noticed that everyone’s energy was quite similar.

Everyone was positive, a happy bunch of people and always working towards the one correct direction.

Teamwork was always the priority whenever we were shooting for each film.

This has been the common factor with every project.

In fact, I feel this is the common factor with every film that becomes a success, critically or commercially.

How satisfied are you from playing supporting characters in these films?

If you ask me honestly, I think it’s only about doing good work.

After Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Karan Johar warmly greeted me with a hug at Filmfare Awards and complimented. This is what an artist craves for.

If somebody from London (like yourself) calls me, it’s a big deal!

Had I done a flop film as a lead role, you wouldn’t have called me.

It doesn’t matter how much one can be seen in the film, it’s about doing quality work and people appreciate that.

It should always be about quality over quantity.

Touchwood, a lot of people this year have appreciated my efforts.

When one gets that love and appreciation around the world, more chances are that a person will be satisfied.

I am definitely satisfied.

As you have now established your acting career, what sort of films will you be looking out for now?

The question sort of falls into the category of what role would I have loved to play in the past two years.

I Would’ve loved to play ‘Kamli’ in Sanju. That is the type of character I would’ve loved to play.

Vicky Kaushal did a FAB job in the film.

If you’re talking about a different space, I’d like to do something like Paan Singh Tomar.

I’m a sportsperson from the inside.

So, I really want to do sports-based films and that athlete (Paan Singh Tomar) in the film.

The movie brought a lot of tears to my eyes for various reasons.

Paan Singh Tomar has seen life in a very different way.

Plus, he was a sportsperson, it’s a very different situation to be in.

Let’s talk about your background. You began your career as a radio jockey and host. Why did you choose to pursue acting?

Honestly, I never wanted to shift to Mumbai to become an actor.

I was really satisfied and content with my life in Delhi.

I used to go for football, cricket and squash twice-a-week.

Then every day I would be work at the radio station.

I had a very nice, happy and hectic life.

While doing theatre, all these auditions were happening.

I was performing at Mandi House, Shri Ram Centre in Delhi. There, this man came up to me and said he wanted to cast me in his film.

This is how my first movie Saat Uchakkey happened. It was very random.

So once you start doing something on the creative side, an artist wants to explore bigger platforms. Things happened that way.

I will not disagree that my brother inspired me when I used to see him perform.

I used to think about how interesting a project is and whether I could do it.

Touchwood, people have accepted me.

Until the audience accepts you, nothing can work out even if you are talented.

Did being Ayushmann Khurrana’s brother help open the doors for you into the industry or did it add pressure on you?

Coming to Mumbai and wanting to be an actor is not difficult to accomplish.

But to become a ‘hero’ is very tough.

God has been kind to give me a good platform time-after-time and people have accepted my performance with open arms.

When you have a brother like Ayushmann in the house, you can only get inspired by such a talent.

Once you’re inspired, it is important to understand that you need to have a different journey.

It’s very obvious to take a star brother route, but I think he was wise enough to say advise me to take an alternative route.

It helped immensely to have a brother like Ayushmann.

Never in so many years did he ring or call up a producer/director to give me a project.

I’m glad he didn’t because one needs to have their own journey.

My brother focused on guiding me to become a better actor.

Listen to our interview with Aparshakti Khurana right here!

How exactly did Ayushmann guide you?

The first advice he gave to me was to do theatre and plays – not actually go to an acting school.

He also told me to concentrate on music and sports – i.e. to continue playing football and cricket which I normally do.

My brother never told me to go to the gym.

People, on the other hand, have this weird notion about having a good body and feel this acts a substitute for everything.

Having six-pack abs and big muscles is the last thing on the list for any actor.

Unlike others, my brother advised me not to concentrate on building my body but to focus on improving myself as an actor.

You also sing. Do you feel that it is necessary to have/showcase other talents as well as acting in order to be a successful Bollywood hero?

Not really. It just gives an artist more exposure/confidence and that’s about it.

If you talk about a Pankaj Tripathi, Ranbir Kapoor or Nawazuddin Siddiqui – all three of them are actors of different spaces.

But none of them is a singer, but all three of them are equally successful in their own space.

An actor will always be an actor.

Having said that, it just gives one more exposure and ease of performing on stage.

One plus point could be that if I do a character revolves around music, it is then an artist has an edge over other actors when the filmmaker considers to cast you.

Since you host Bigg Buzz on Voot, What is your view on the current season of Bigg Boss? Any particular favourite housemates?

A lot of people don’t accept that they watch Bigg Boss.

In our country, everybody watched it but they sometimes are a little on the back-foot and slightly embarrassed that they watch it.

This year my favourite was Anup Jalota, but he’s been eliminated now.

I totally love him. He’s such a sweetheart, a cute soul and he was quite nice on the show!

He maintained his dignity.

On the second number (I don’t really like him) but someone who I think could win the show is Romil.

He’s a smart guy.

Finally, what do you hope to achieve in the near future?

I don’t plan things. Whatever comes my way, I just do it.

This is how I have conducted myself in the past for so many years and I will continue to do that.

Once you start planning things and they don’t happen, you feel disheartened.

I’m kind of fine with whatever God is giving me and I will be content no matter what.

Here’s wishing Aparshakti all the best for his future projects!

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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