Ayushmann Khurrana: Won't wear political ideology on my sleeve
Even as he fronts films that challenge the status quo, Ayushmann Khurrana asserts his choice of being 'apolitical' off screen
Six hits and a National Award later, Ayushmann Khurrana has become an industry disruptor of sorts. The actor, who consistently takes on movies that challenge the status quo while keeping an eye on the box office, says he has a bigger goal in mind. "From sparking a conversation on inequality in Article 15, to highlighting gender fluidity in society through Dream Girl and now discussing premature balding in men through Bala, I have hoped to deliver films that start a discussion in society. For me, that's the true meaning of cinema. Besides entertaining everyone, films need to make people ponder and encourage them to take an idea home with them," opines Khurrana.
A still from Bala
For an actor who will fearlessly back a film with a powerful message — his upcoming film Bala aims to highlight the importance of self-love — Khurrana oddly emphasises that actors must be "apolitical". With multiple sightings of the Bollywood brigade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this year, there has been much chatter about the politicisation of the entertainment industry. Quiz him on this, and he chooses his words carefully as he says, "An actor can put a message across through his craft. I have addressed the issue [of caste divide] through Article 15.
Khurrana with the Bollywood delegation that met Modi earlier this year
I don't need to venture out and be a revolutionary. I don't need to put my views on social media; they will reflect in my work. I don't want to wear my religion and political ideology on my sleeve. I used to wear a kada when I started out as an actor, but now I want to be a-religious, apolitical and a clean canvas. My characters shouldn't be viewed with the baggage of my ideas. I played a right-wing [character] in Dum Laga Ke Haisha  and a left of the centre in Article 15. "
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