Kartik Aaryan: Neither Ayushmann Khurrana nor me are seeking commercial advantage
Unfazed that Ayushmann's Shubh Mangal enjoys first-mover advantage over his Dostana 2, Kartik says highlighting LGBTQi+ stories more important than box office success
In 2016, producer Karan Johar had revealed how he knocked on Fawad Khan's door when as many as six Bollywood actors had refused to play the homosexual character in Kapoor & Sons. Cut to present, Ayushmann Khurrana and Kartik Aaryan are bravely headlining two same-sex love stories — Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Dostana 2, respectively.
The industry may firmly believe in first-mover advantage, but Aaryan is unperturbed that his comedy will hit screens several months after Khurrana's February 21 release. Stating that the industry is batting unitedly for this cause, he says, "The storylines of the two films are not similar. In fact, the subject is so important that we are all invested in it equally. Neither of us is looking for commercial advantages here, nor [is the Dostana 2 team] feeling slighted that their movie will arrive before ours. We have not represented the queer community appropriately for decades; may 2020 be a year of celebrating such stories. Be it Dostana 2 or Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, I am glad that these films are finally starting a conversation. Slowly, the hiccups that producers would usually have about such subjects are smoothening out."
Khurrana and Kumar in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Recently, Khurrana told mid-day that he was discouraged by industry folk from playing a homosexual character on screen. Ask Aaryan if he faced any resistance, and he says, "I go with my gut feeling. It doesn't matter what my family, or my PR team advises me. In this case, I discussed the idea with my college friends who encouraged me to take it up."
It has been heard that Aaryan and Janhvi Kapoor play siblings who fall for the same man in the Collin D'Cunha film. "As a movie buff, I was sold on the script's entertainment value," he smiles.
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