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Aparshakti Khurana: ‘My journey has been fantastic since I stopped planning everything’

Ayushmann Khurana’s younger brother, Aparshakti plays his first full-fledged negative role in Dhokha: Round D Corner

Sameer Salunkhe Calcutta Published 27.09.22, 01:17 PM
Aparshakti Khurana

Aparshakti Khurana @aparshakti_khurana/Instagram

Aparshakti Khurana is a busy actor. After anchoring reality shows, hosting cricket chat shows, doing music videos and playing supporting roles in films, the 34-year-old actor plays his first full-fledged negative role in Dhokha: Round D Corner, which released in theatres on September 23. Aparshakti tells us how he keeps himself in check, how not planning has been better for him and his wish to explore regional cinema.

Tell us something about Haq Gul, the character you play in Dhokha Round D Corner.

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Aparshakti Khurana: This character is very different from what I have played so far. His eyes, his mannerisms, dialect, everything is different. Hence, it was exciting to play this character. It was (director) Kookie (Gulati) sir’s idea to have a dialect coach for this role. We didn’t want to make it a totally regional film nor did we want to make it superficial. We tried to balance it out.

How did you get into the psyche of the character?

Aparshakti Khurana: Haq Gul’s psyche is altogether different. More than that, what’s happening to him in life is very situational and confusing. It’s very difficult to understand who is telling the truth in the film. So, it becomes very difficult for me to crack it.

How did you get the role?

Aparshakti Khurana: I have been working very closely with T-Series and Mukesh Chhabra (casting director). They said that it’s a very interesting film and you must take a narration of it. I took the narration. And the moment the narration got over, I knew that I wanted to do this film. Then I wanted to understand from them on how to take this forward. Bhushanji and Mukesh Chhabra both thought that I should play the role and I’m happy that they thought of me for the role.

While preparing for the role, did you bounce it off with your brother Ayushmann?

Aparshakti Khurana: I have been saying this for the past six years that we never discuss scripts. We’re both so busy with our own work that it is difficult to bounce our work with each other. We get to meet maybe once a month, that too with great difficulty. That time we’re with our family. We don’t want to discuss work at that time.

Do you make a conscious effort to observe people and pick up traits to be used later in your performances?

Aparshakti Khurana: I do various things at a given point of time. That’s the type of person I am. I don’t like sticking to one particular space. I want to experiment. This is what keeps me going, makes me happy and brings out the best in me. When I am hosting, I’m not playing a character. It helps me to stay in touch with myself. When you keep on playing different characters, sometimes you tend to forget your real self. I try to keep my upbringing and myself intact.

What kind of fodder goes into you becoming a better version of yourself as an artiste?

Aparshakti Khurana: Fodder… watch more films. It’s also about not getting carried away by the debauchery that comes along with our field. You can get carried away with the glamour and praise that comes your way. Name and fame can sometimes destroy you. You have to keep a check on where you are headed to grow as an artiste. That keeps your perspective in place.

How did Dangal change things for you? It’s a different kind of challenge after you get a popular film to your credit.

Aparshakti Khurana: Dangal had put me on the map. I did a film before that titled Saat Ucchakkey but not many people had watched it. When you do a popular film like Dangal, which really strikes with the masses, it puts you on the map. And once it puts you on the map, you try to make a better life out of it. And I’d like to believe that I have made a better life out of it.

Are you consciously choosing projects now? What type of content do you want to be part of?

Aparshakti Khurana: I want to be as relevant as possible. I am no different in having that thought about myself. Having said that, I don’t really kind of plan things. If things fall into place, they fall into place. If they don’t, they don’t. And I don’t wait too much to catch hold of the right script. I kind of just enjoy working with different kinds of people. And we’re in an era where no one can put a finger on a script and say that this is going to work and that is not going to work. Beyond a point, planning too much also backfires. So, if I connect with the script, if I connect with the team, I go with it. My process is simple. I don’t calculate too much.

From the age of 19 to 26-27, I was planning so much and putting everything together and nothing happened. No film came my way. My personal and professional journey was absolutely obnoxious. But since the time I stopped calculating it and started taking one step at a time, my personal and professional journey has been fantastic. I got married, I got Dangal. Since all these things started happening, I thought maybe not planning too much is the key.

What was your takeaway from Dhokha Round D Corner?

Aparshakti Khurana: Right from the time the trailer had hit theatres or YouTube, different types of films started coming to my agency and to me. That’s a big takeaway that people have started considering me for different roles as well. After picking up a dialect which was not my own, I have done Hindi, Punjabi, Awadhi, Haryanvi. I now want to do a regional film if I can. I have already connected with a couple of Marathi directors, Bengali directors, Gujarati directors. The kind of innocence that they bring to their characters is way better than the mainstream films. So, I want to try regional cinema.

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