‘I’m very comfortable in my skin,’: Dream Girl 2 star Ayushmann Khurrana 

The actor talks about choosing films, musical talent and bashing toxic masculinity 
In frame: Ayushmann Khurrana
In frame: Ayushmann Khurrana

If there’s a poster boy of cinema with a social message, Ayushmann Khurrana tops the list. The Vicky Donor star is at the helm of portraying strong characters in taboo-bashing films with great comic timing and dynamism. From playing a sperm donor in Vicky Donor, a blind pianist in a murder mystery Andhadhun, a bald man who critiques society’s obsession with physical appearance (Bala), to advocating LGBTQ+ acceptance (Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan) and landing the role of the opposite gender (Dream Girl), he’s shown a full range of colourful characters that testify his acting chops.

Ayushmann Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana

The actor last appeared on the silver screen with Dream Girl 2. The Hindi-language comedy-drama directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa features him in the lead role as a man who cross-dresses and impersonates a woman, resulting in a life full of humorous chaos.

However, the Chandigarh-born actor is not just the total of his cinematic works. He’s gifted with a mellifluous voice that has breathed life into hit songs Pani Da Rang, Sadi Gali, Mitti Di Khushboo and more, all thanks to his family’s musical mastery that has nurtured his skills. We speak to the actor who just got featured in the ‘Desh ki Tijori’ campaign by Godrej Security Solutions about what makes him pick brands and projects. “I believe in choosing projects that I believe in, whether it is films or brand partnering. The personal choices set me apart from the industry,” he says. 

<strong>Ayushmann in Dream Girl 2</strong>
Ayushmann in Dream Girl 2

The actor shares on crossing gender boundaries without inhibitions, “I’m very comfortable in my skin. I always raised issues about toxic masculinity and it's important to have such movies (Dream Girl 2) talk about the subject. It is not just message-oriented but also a massy comedy. At the same time, I always like to play challenging roles and take risks. I have made my entire career on unconventional characters and films.”

He also recently dropped the unplugged version of the song Mai Marjawanga from Dream Girl 2 on his Instagram, sung in his melodious voice. It left the fans in a tizzy showering him with appreciation. The actor shares his fondest memory linked to singing with us, “During my early years, I heard my grandmother sing in gurudwaras. It comes from there as a musical talent. My father used to perform on stage. My dad’s side of the family is very musical so it’s in my genes. Mai Marjawanga is a very special song. It has been originally sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Danish, which is in the film. I have done a reprise version of it, and I am very fond of that song.”

So what humbles him despite raving success? The artiste answers the question saying, “It is family and friends who have known me since the childhood days and struggling years. They keep me grounded and real. And, I like to be with real people rather than in a bubble. I like to be with people who make me feel real because they are the ones who stood by me during dark times and struggling days. They’ve seen my highs and lows. And, I am because of them.”

Mail: priyamvada@newindianexpress.com
Twitter: @ranapriyamvada

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