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Posted at: Aug 13, 2019, 8:05 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2019, 8:06 AM (IST)

'National Award is like your score in board exams'

Fresh from the high of winning the National Award, Ayushmann Khurrana, while launching the trailer of his film Dream Girl, says he keep his basics right

Gurnaaz Kaur

Ayushmann Khurrana is the toast of the town. And, why not! Earning the prestigious National Award for the Best Actor in Andhadhun is a dream come true for this actor, who will soon be seen in the movie Dream Girl. 

As he launched the trailer of his upcoming film, Ayshumann gives an analogy to explain his excitement about the award. “It’s every actor’s aspiration to win the award and to have won it is a big thing for me. Each award is equivalent to your annual score in school, but National Award is like being with the nation; when it gets announced on the TV, it feels like the board exam result is out and people tell you how much you have scored.” 

Great moment

The Badhai Ho actor says he is yet to digest the fact that he has bagged the National Award. “When I got the award, I was shooting. So, as I took a break, I looked at my phone and there were 50 missed calls and so many messages in 10 minutes! For a minute I got worried why so many calls. When I finally read the message, I realised I had won! It was a strange excitement. I wasn’t even able to express, I didn’t really get that moment with myself because I was surrounded by 50 people. I am still trying to digest that.” 

Funny take

We’ve seen the poster of Dream Girl that featured Ayushmann donning a saree and sitting on a rickshaw. The trailer goes a step further. It starts with Ramleela, where Ayushmann enters the scene in a saree, playing the role of Sita! In this one, he reunites with his Vicky Donor co-star Annu Kapoor, who plays his father. Annu Kapoor tells Ayushmann, “Tumhare Amma ne kitne vrat-upvaas karke ek beta paida kara, aur tum kabhi Sita ban jate ho, kabhi Radha.” 

Full of punches, you are bound to crack up at the trailer, and that’s what Ayushmann says is the USP of the film. “The film is full of strong punches and it has been a very different experience for me. So far, I’ve done very subtle and real roles, but this one gave me more elbow room to perform.”

Essaying the role of a small-town guy, who has the ability to speak in the voice of different women, the film will revolve around Ayushmann who works at a female friendship call centre. To everyone’s surprise, he tells that he has dubbed his own dialogues in a female voice. “It wasn’t easy but my experience as an RJ helped me. I’ve been behind the mike, mimicking different people. Raaj had given me the references of a few men, who prank people by talking like a woman. I studied them extensively.” 

Star appeal 

Known for his versatile performances and for choosing out-of-the-box roles is what made Raj Shaandilyaa choose Ayushmann. “He is the best actor to work with. We shared a great understanding; I would say and he would bring it in his act.”

Interestingly, Nushrat Barucha, who plays the female lead, was convinced to do this role even when she knew she isn’t the dream girl! “When Raj narrated the story to me, I was literally transported into that world. It was so hilarious and even before he finished, I said a yes,” she says.

Ayushmann leaves with a food for thought when he tells that he chooses films based on the newness and relevance of the story. “It’s usually men who play Sita or Draupadi or other female characters in Ramleela. It’s something that’s followed nowhere else in the world. Have you thought of it? When I select a script, I think from the point of view of the audience. They are not as excited to see a different you, but they want to see a different story. I keep my basics right.”

The film will release on September 13.

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