Birthday boy Ayushmann Khurrana has impressed everyone with his acting prowess and unconventional choices. Be it his latest release, Dream Girl, where he plays a man who imitates a female’s voice for an adult hotline or last year’s Andhadhun (2018), that bagged him the National Award for Best Actor, he has time and again, redefined conventionality. As he turns 35, he admits that the “fun lies in challenges and being out of the box”.
Born to an astrologer, Ayushmann says more than thanking his stars for his unprecedented success, he believes in his father’s teaching, which he has followed by heart. “I don’t believe in astrology, but my father has been my life coach and mentor. He always used to tell me ‘beta public ki nabz pakdo’ (Catch people’s pulse) and I just did that,” he says.
Not many know that the actor, who has starred in 12 films in a span of seven years, was thrown out of the house to pursue his dream. “I remember, straight out of college, my father was the one who pushed me. I was very laidback, but he was very ambitious for me. He packed my bags and booked my tickets. I was thrown out, and he said, ‘Jao actor banne jao, bahut ho gaya. Chandigarh main dera dalke baitha hai’,” Ayushmann laughs.
An early start to his career made him brave to follow his gut. “I was 19 when I started my journey with Roadies, and became an actor at 27. It took me eight years to get a breakthrough. If I would’ve straightaway gone to become an actor at 19, I wouldn’t have left an impact,” he says.
The actor owes his success to the journey he underwent and his father’s guidance. “From being a radio presenter and TV anchor, to theatre artist and actor, all the experiences I’ve had, gave me a balanced approach towards life,” Ayushmann shares.
The actor continues to live by the wisdom he gained growing up. “My father probably knew that the sooner you start your pursuit, the better for you. When I was six, I was at a birthday party and told my dad, ‘Papa mujhe gana gana hai’. He replied, ‘tumhe koi sunega nahi’. There were four people and I told him that I want to sing for them. He said, ‘No, you aren’t ready for it’. I couldn’t understand it then, but later, he told me that when the time is right and you are ready to take the leap, only then should you do it. It has been that simple.”