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I am an actor who sings, not a singer who acts: Ayushmann Khurana

Did you expect to bag so many Best Debut awards for Vicky Donor?
Initially, I had never thought I would even be nominated for any awards! I just expected the movie to get decent reviews, but it has surpassed our expectations for sure. Getting the Best Debut award in the year of debutants is brilliant — this was the year of Ishaqzaade and Student Of The Year, and everyone was so good in their movies. The subject, script and the director helped me a lot.

Ayushmann Khurrana

The cherry on the cake is the Best Male Singer award too!
I had composed Pani da rang during my college days. I didn’t expect to get this award, after being nominated alongside professional singers. I have trained in classical music as a kid, but never took it seriously. However, now I have started training again. I was expecting perhaps one or two Best Debutant awards; but the Singer award was a surprise.

Who did you think would bag the Best Singer award?
I thought Papon would get it for Kyun (Barfi) or Sonu Niigaam would bag it for Abhi mujh main (Agneepath). I seriously believe that the popularity of Pani da rang supported me a lot.

And what about the Best Debut?
I thought Arjun Kapoor would win it. He had faced the camera for the first time, while I had been facing the camera for the past four years now.

What do awards mean to you?
I was hosting award shows earlier; and now I am receiving awards. This is my first year and awards do mean a lot to me. I am like a kid in a candy shop, who wants all the candies.

You have no film family backing and have made it on your own. Do you feel like an outsider?
The industry has accepted me with open arms. Today Bollywood has become receptive to those with some talent. This is the time for newcomers to make merry. It doesn’t matter whether you have a filmi connection or not. In fact, those who are from the industry have more pressure to prove themselves.

Would you say your climb was easy?
To get a chance wasn’t easy, but now I am working with big production houses.

Your next release is Rohan Sippy’s Nautanki Saala. Are you a nautanki in real life?
You can’t be a nautanki all day long, there are bouts of nautankipana. There is a comic nautanki element in me for sure, which I like. The film is a quirky new-age comedy. Sometimes I am a nautanki in the film, sometimes Kunal Roy Kapoor is one.

You are also doing a Yash Raj film with Sonam Kapoor.
The film talks about love in the times of recession. It is based in Delhi and very realistic, the way director Habib Faisal’s films are.

Will you be pairing with Yami Gautam again?
Shoojit Sircar has just signed me for Hamara Bajaj. He was pondering over Yami Gautam or Parineeti Chopra for the lead. I have known Yami for a long time and that helps in the onscreen chemistry.

Do you plan to sing in your future projects?
I am singing in Nautanki Saala and Hamara Bajaj. We haven’t still decided on the music for the YRF project. There is no desperation to sing. If the director wants me to sing and if it brings something to my character, then I will.

Between acting and singing what do you prefer?
Definitely acting. I have been doing theatre since childhood. I am more passionate about acting than singing. I am an actor who sings, not a singer who acts.

How serious are you about your singing?
I do riyaaz five days a week. The awards have raised expectations; there is a lot of pressure.

Why are you low key about your marriage?
In my winning speech, 90 per cent of the content is about and for my wife. I am not low key about my marriage. If you are talented, people accept you. Your relationship status doesn’t matter. People have become progressive.

Are you tired about the sperm donor jokes made in your presence?
Being an anchor, who is irreverent towards others, I expect people to crack jokes on me. I know how to take jokes. One shouldn’t take oneself too seriously. I am enjoying the fact that they are cracking jokes on Vicky Donor. People cracking jokes on sperm donation just proves the success of Vicky Donor.

What is the funniest sperm joke you have ever heard?
Shah Rukh Khan and I did a gig on sperm donation. It was all in good humour.

SRK wanted to gift you a container for sperm, what would you like to gift him?
I think he can be the perfect Vicky Donor. 

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