Six years and nearly a dozen films later, Ayushmann Khurrana says his aim is to be consistent with his choices by retaining his innocence towards the craft.
Ayushmann, who made his debut with Vicky Donor in 2012, has featured in several slice-of-life films, including Dum Laga Ke Haisha and Shubh Mangal Savdhan. His first thriller Andhadhun, directed by Sriram Raghavan, is the best reviewed film of the year. He has followed it up with Badhaai Ho, which is garnering positive response.
"I approach all my films as my first. If you carry that innocence, it reflects in the camera. I know I have become a star but I don't want to believe it. I want to be that simple, no fuss guy who approaches a film as if it is my first movie," said Ayushmann.
The 34-year-old actor believes he has learnt to trust his intuition when it comes to selecting films. "My acting career has been quite a ride. After Vicky Donor, I gave two-three unsuccessful films and that was a great learning curve. But Dum Laga Ke Haisha onwards it was cool. I learnt so much from all my films, successful or unsuccessful.
"You start believing in your intuition, your gut feeling. It ultimately depends on the choices you're taking. Everyone is talented today. Your career graph depends on the choice of scripts, nothing else."
Ayushmann says the key to being grounded is to surround oneself with people who keep things real. "To maintain the innocence depends on the kind of people you hang out with. I have made friends from the industry but I still hang out with my Chandigarh friends. Your family can keep you grounded, make you keep things real," he says.
The Meri Pyaari Bindu actor says he is always on the look out for different subjects. "My first aspiration is to be consistent. Atul Kasbekar (producer) once said I'm like Rahul Dravid of Bollywood, I pick up the right deliveries and hit the sweet spot, but otherwise I am chill and never try too hard. That's a great analogy, I love it.
"The running thread of my career has been different scripts. There isn't any reference point for any of the films— Vicky Donor, Andhadhun or Badhaai Ho so people find it exciting because they haven't seen anything like this. I'm quite proud of it."
Badhaai Ho, which released on Thursday, features him as the son of an elderly couple who find out they would be turning parents for the third time.
"It wasn't just that one quirky line 'what to expect when your mother is expecting' but the whole script won me over. Everyone is a hero in the film from Gajraj Rao, Neena Gupta to everyone. It's such a balanced film which focuses on everyone," he says.