Ayushmann Khurrana: Content landscape has been changed by the pandemic, and the industry has to make superlative cinema to pull people back to the theatres
This has been an unusual year for sure but Ayushmann Khurrana made the most of the time he had at hand, due to the pandemic, to ensure that 2021 would be jam-packed one for him. The actor shares how he is excited to translate these scripts into films and hopes that his next slate of projects will manage to pull people to theatres in 2021.
“It has been a reflective year for me and it has made me focus on my priorities. I have been fortunate enough to read some really cracking material through the year and have managed to handpick some unique films which I can’t wait for audiences to see,” the actor says.
The actor, who shot Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui amid the pandemic and also stars in Doctor G, adds, “The content landscape has been changed by the pandemic and the industry has to make superlative cinema to pull people back to the theatres. Anything less than that would not do the job. I have tried my best to ensure that my next few releases are superbly fresh in terms of storytelling and I will wait for the reaction of audiences to validate my content choices for 2021.”
2020 saw Khurrana play the role of a gay man on screen in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan. He also had a direct-to-digital release with Gulabo Sitabo.
Talking about his film choices, especially those which bring this important social issue out in the open through his belief, the actor says it has been his endeavor to try and normalize taboo conversations in India through his cinema.
“It was good to shatter a big stereotype that leading men cannot play a gay man on screen (in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan). Every time someone told me that I was making a mistake by doing this film, I couldn’t get myself to believe that people of my country would not be accepting of their big screen heroes trying to trigger positive conversations,” the 36-year-old notes.
Khurrana despite the situation on the entertainment industry this year, has emerged been quite the darling in the brand endorsement space.
“All I can say is that it is humbling to be called pandemic proof. I still have to grasp what it fully means (smiles) but I have a vague idea why people have tagged me with this. I believe that every individual has to do their bit for society to change slowly and I’m trying to do that through my cinema. If I’m contributing to that change, then I’m doing my job as a citizen,” he says.
This year also saw Khurrana being roped in by UNICEF to be a Celebrity Advocate and raise awareness on their marquee global initiative Ending Violence Against Children (EVAC) in India. He was also voted as one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine due to his conversation starting social entertainers.
“I’m grateful that I could associate with UNICEF this year and learn a lot about how children are vulnerable to violence. Through my brand of cinema, I speak about things that I think matter, that I want to bring focus upon. Also, being voted as one of the most influential people in the world was too humbling and at the same time empowering for an artiste like me. I do realise the responsibility at hand for me and I will try and do justice to it,” he concludes.
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