Ayushmann: “There is a bit of Abhimanyu in me in real life”

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Ayushmann Khurrana will be seen sharing the screen for the first time in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ with Parineeti Chopra. His character is a story-writer in the Akshay Roy directorial, which is a little different for him . The first trailers and songs have done much in upping the excitement for the film.

BizAsiaLive.com caught up with Khurrana ahead of the film’s release.

What was the appeal of the character you’re playing?
Well the thing about the character was, is that he’s a very emotional guy, he’s intelligent, he’s intellectual, at the same time he’s a writer in the film and he loves music. The love for the music was very important, for retro music, that’s like the common factor between me and Abhimanyu and his character is madly in love with his neighbour Bindu and he likes stories and imagines this character in every particular novel of his so I think that was quite exciting.

‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ has an old school kinda 90s era feel. What would  you say is your personal connection to that era?
We call it like the recent past or the recent retro… 90s.  Of course I was in my teens in the 90s and the most exciting time in my life… 90s.  We’ve gone through the blank calls, crank calls, using the landline…no caller ID and we’ve had fun and there was this mystery behind whose this person mis-calling again and again.  And I think that was beautiful and I’m a sucker for nostalgia.  I love the 90s also because of the cassette recorders, the tapes, the mixed tapes, everything. And I guess we take music for granted now, back in the days we used to wait for a particular album and physically go from our homes to the music store and buy the cassette and I think that was amazing so that’s the kind of connect I have with the character in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’.

How do you think the current generation will take to the kind of romance there is in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ without the phones and the internet?
I think it will be very fascinating for them.  I recently saw a video where a guy was given a cassette, a tape and they could not recognise it then, what is this, and they were like… they were given a Walkman and they couldn’t recognise it and they were told it could produce music and like a modern day Ipod and it was an old school iPod or something and they were very flabbergasted.  So I think it will be quite fascinating for them to see those things and see romance during those times.

You were reported saying that you had to unlearn singing to play the role of a writer.  How would you describe doing that?
Unlearning singing of course I said it in jest since I’m playing a non-singer in the film…that’s why I’ve not sung a single song in the film as well.  Though I was really craving to sing one song… really wanted to sing one song, especially Haareya… it’s a very my kinda song.  But yea since Parineeti is playing a singer in this film the communication would have gotten diluted if I’d sung but nevertheless love for the music is there and love for retro Indian Bollywood music is there and that’s enough.

How would you describe ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ being the perfect comeback for Parineeti?
I think she did not go anywhere. She took a break for her physical transformation or emotional transformation. She took this break deliberately, of course she always had choices but she chose this particular film as a comeback because again… reinvention as a singer-actor because everybody knows she’s a genuine singer-actor.  She can sing live, she’s a classically trained singer so that’s the reason why it can be called a comeback film.

Would you take to writing in that way in your real life? You’ve written a few columns but writing stories maybe?
The fact I have graduated in journalism and I’m a qualified journalist… I write columns these days. I write weekly columns for publications in India which is fun. I write my songs so writing isn’t something that’s new  to me but of course I’ve not written anything in pulp fiction, that’s the kind of genre my character has in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ which is quite unique in a way. I will  never write pulp fiction, I’m not that kind of a person. I’m more of a non-fiction kind of person or probably slice-of-life kind of a person than fiction. So I guess writing is not something new to me and I loved playing this character.

Parineeti’s real-life character comes across as bubbly and your character comes across as quite calm and  collected. Would you say that’s exactly what you’re like in the film?
I guess I am calm in real life.  I’m not very impulsive as a person and that’s what Abhimanyu is also like in the film. That’s why I think the kind of energy Bindu has, Parineeti is similar in real life so I guess your real life persona reflects on screen as well. There is a bit of Abhimanyu in me in real life, I was quite naïve and innocent in my early twenties, that’s what Abhimanyu is in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’, he’s honest, he’s naïve, he’s vulnerable at the same time he loves his neighbour but at the same time he’s not obsessive and that’s the common factor between me and Abhimanyu.

What do you hope stands out about the story of ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ with the audiences?
As I said it is a nostalgic feeling, the relationship between you and music from the past which has never  been seen on celluloid or even cinema so I think that’s the  unique USP of the film and that’s a very novel idea to have in Hindi cinema.

‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ releases on 12th May.

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