Ayushmann Khurrana, who has carved out a niche for himself with his choice of offbeat scripts and characters, is currently busy promoting his upcoming political thriller ‘Anek’ in which he has teamed up again with director Anubhav Sinha after their latest draft ‘Article 15’.
The actor has brought stories with intermediate cinematic sensibilities into the mainstream and there is a conscious choice behind this, as he believes in “cinema for change”, and for him credibility comes before commercial success.
In a recent chat with IANS, the “Anek” actor talked about socially relevant stories, the art and rebellion equation, and how he strives to age his films.
Historically, art has been wired with rebellion; be it Sarojini Naidu, whose poetry was instrumental in India’s freedom struggle, the powerful playwright-writer Saadat Hasan Manto or the more recent satirical painter Banksy. However, Ayushmann sees the relationship between art and rebellion from a different angle.
He says, “People imagine that art is an instrumental factor in rebellion. But, I think we can’t really depend on rebellion and revolution and expect them to create something great. You can also creating something unique without needing a revolution is what my school of thought is I think it’s a very destructive mindset where we think artists can create when they’re in a very destructive mode and I think it’s a very pessimistic way to create art.
He is a firm believer in the idea that cinema should bring about change in society and that star value plays a key role in driving a film’s message. He mentions, “It (star value) broadens the reach of a movie and if a movie hasn’t reached a lot of people, what good is a social message?”
“I believe in cinema for change and I also believe that every adult has a core responsibility and if they use it right we can really bring about change locally,” he adds.
Speaking about his approach for his role in ‘Anek’, he says: “It was more for the physique and the body language and how calm and composed you are while delivering dialogue. I also borrowed emotionally from my friend because he is in the military and is currently serving in the northeast.”
In closing, he expresses how much he would like to see his filmography 20 years later, “if I look back after 10 or 20 years in my filmography, I should rather be proud of the work I have done, it should age well . I want my films to age well where future generations would also be proud.”
“For me, credibility comes before commercial success and if you get both, there’s no such thing. But the priority is essentially the credibility of the content”, concludes the actor.