Exclusive Interview: Hawaizaada’s Ayushmann Khurrana And Director Vibhu Puri

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Upcoming film ‘Hawaizaada’ starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Pallavi Sharda and Mithun Chakraborty explores the real life story of scientist Shivkar Bapuji TalpadeTalpade is said to have envisioned and invented an aeroplane during the 19th century, much before the Wright Brothers claimed credit for launching the first successful aeroplane. Business of Cinema brings to you an exclusive  interview where actor Ayushmann Khurrana and debut director Vibhu Puri spoke about making of the film and more.
Hawaizaada is set to release on 30th January 2015!
Why did you choose a biographical film so early in your career?
Ayushmann Khurrana: the story of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade is extremely interesting. It emerges from the heart of India and we are telling the untold story of an unsung hero. His resources were less, but he was intelligent enough to dig into the knowledge bank of ancient India and bring to truth an unthinkable dream! It feels great that I have played this character.
Vibhu Puri : Bollywood debut is usually about weddings, romcoms, if not romance then at least gangsters! I never wanted to debut with an oft-repeated content. Rather I wanted to try something very different. I happen to be a ferocious history reader and Talpade‘s story was brought to me by a historian friend. I found it very inspiring and started digging in to research for more matter on this. Soon there was a potential plot looking back at me and I had to just plug the loopholes with fictional inputs. The fact that very few people knew about him was by itself a huge challenge.  His life declares the exuberance of human spirit and I couldn’t have let it pass till I lived the journey myself and made an attempt to share it with others.
 
Ayushmann, what do you look for before saying “yes” to a film?
Ayushmann: I just go by my gut feel. A natural intuition works for me in everything I do. For Hawaizaada, we had an amazing script. And for the first time I was considering working for a debut director! I tried to know more about Vibhu as a professional and knew that his associates love him. He is known to be a great craftsman with brilliant eye for detailing. So you can say that along with my intuition, I try to make sure that I am committing myself to the right people and right script.
Vibhu, why did you choose Ayushmann khurrana for the title role?
Vibhu: Talpade was 31 years old when he made a plane. And as much as I have studied him, he was a charming personality. I needed a young actor for this, someone who could simultaneously flaunt his vulnerability and charm. Ayushman is too young in the industry. He is extremely talented and yet, most of his emotions have not yet been explored. No other actor of his generation can offer such twists and turns and is as flexible as clay. You can mould him your way! For him too it was a journey of self exploration and he elegantly flirted with the camera all through. Ayushman‘s faith in the concept was impeccable and he extended all kinds of support to bring up this film.
Ayushmann, how is Hawaizaada different from other works of yours? 
Ayushmann: I had been playing a North Indian guy for a while. It was a cultural disconnect to get into the skin of a very down to earth Marathi character. I am not fluent with Marathi but I understand it. I am good with languages and I am well versed with Sanskrit. Yet, understanding typical Marathi emotions and reflecting them back on screen was quite a challenge.
Ayushmann, unconventional plots attract you easily. Don’t you wish to run around the trees in a film?
Ayushmann: A film thrives either on a superstar or on a superscript. Till I become a superstar, I would rely only on a superscript.
Vibhu, how difficult was it to begin your independent career?
Vibhu: Having worked with Sanjay Leela Bansali for so many years, it was about time that I returned my learning back to cinema. After all burger ke neeche burger nai reh sakta…it’ll fall. To grow I had to start an individual journey and burn my hands into it. I faced issues like every first timer does, but today I am receiving lots of appreciation for the promo and a buzz is generated around the posters and Ayushmann‘s look. I’m sure I shall be able to make the father (Bansali) proud!
Ayushmann, how was your experience working with Pallavi Sharda? 
Ayushmann: Pallavi is a very intelligent girl. Her education and upbringing reflects in the way she conducts herself. She is a lawyer daughter of IIT graduate parents and she had come to JNU for further studies. Given that she is born and brought up in Australia, her command over Hindi is amazing. Also she is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer and in Hawaizaada she plays the role of a dancer. It was great working with her.
 
Ayushmann, you have worked with three senior actors and all three are very different from each other. Mithun Chakraborty, Rishi Kapoor and Annu Kapoor. Compare your experience working with each of them.
Ayushmann: Annu Kapur is highly underrated as an actor. He is a firepower with amazing knowledge of music n art. I acted in my first film and his guidance and patience towards me was phenomenal. He will always be special for me as we worked together in my first film.
Rishi Kapoor is a superstar by his own rights and he has it in his blood. His very body language says that he has been there, done that. He is a one-take artist and I too became a one-take person while shooting with him because I couldn’t have made him repeat his acts because I am messing it up! As a person he is just adorable.
With Mithun Chakraborty, I had my fan-boy moment. Before venturing into films I danced like him in discos and birthday parties. And here he was in front of me, playing a very different character, totally different from the typical disco dancer image. From him I learnt a lot about life. He struggled for his space in Mumbai and made it huge for himself and that unfolds a beautiful journey. He is an inspiration both for me and for Vidhu.
What’s next on your filmograph?
Ayushmann: We have completed the shooting for Dum Laga Ke Haisha. It is produced by Yash Raj Films and will release in April 2015.
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