New Delhi, Feb. 1 -- Actor Ayushmann Khurrana, who recently visited HT City to meet the winners of the Stars in the City contest, says that his journey to stardom was not easy.
Asked if he had faced rejection along the way, the 30-year-old humbly admitted that he learned a lot during his struggle.
"I have given many auditions, bahut baar reject hua hoon main," said the actor, who came along with actor Pallavi Sharda, his co-star in his latest film.
"Rejections are really important. I think success is a very lousy teacher. Rejection teaches a lot."
When a fan asked him how he met his wife, Tahira, Ayushmann answered much to the amusement of the audience, "We were family friends. I studied in an all- boys school and all-boys college. Toh pehli ladki jisse pyaar hua, ussi se shaadi karli maine."
When another fan asked him about his popularity with the ladies and if his wife kept him on a leash, he said, "We live in different cities. She is in Chandigarh and I live in Mumbai. So, I think she's quite secure ... I'm lucky."
About his latest release, he shared, "As an actor, this was the most challenging, but also the most joyful. Vicky Donor was like sleepwalking, I was playing cricket every day."
The audience welcomed them with colourful paper planes, a fan told Ayushmann Khurrana that though he is an acting aspirant, he became passionate about singing after watching the multi-talented actor, another fan made a huge card with a collage of Ayushmann's pictures, while one sang a self-written song for him.
All this and more happened when the actor came calling to HT City to meet winners of the Stars In The City contest, and promote his recently released film Hawaizaada. The film is based on Shivkar Talpade, who is known to have flown India's first unmanned airplane. Along with his co-star Pallavi Sharda, Ayushmann indulged in a fun chat with Sonal Kalra, national editor, entertainment and lifestyle.
Ayushmann, let's start with asking you about whether this film is a biopic or not...
It is based on true events. The thing is, there's hardly anything written about Shivkar Talpade...about his character, his family... We only know about his inventions, so we cannot call it a biopic.
But Ayushmann, all the titles of your movies are like Nautanki Saala, Vicky Donor and now, Hawaizaada.
Pallavi: My mother was very upset. She said, "Yaar pehle toh Besharam (2013) and ab yeh kiya hai, yeh ho kya raha hai."
Ayushmann: I think it's good to be odd these days and this is the era of the unconventional. In 2014, we had three successful films (PK, Haider and Queen), and they were all unconventional. Our title just catches your attention.
The story of the film is set 150 years back. So how was your experience of shooting the movie, and what were the challenges?
Pallavi: It was a lot of fun and, Ayushmann and I have something in common; we are both very nostalgic about the era gone by. That's one thing that really excited me about the movie when it was narrated to me. So early in my career I am getting to do stuff which is so character driven. The costumes that we got to wear were magnificent.
Pallavi, you are a very good dancer and have studied media and communication. Your parents are IITians and have done Ph.D, so why did you decide to enter movies?
Yes, my parents are from IIT, and they were professors in Australia, so I grew up in an academic environment. I absolutely adored Bollywood and wanted to be an actor. I used to walk in the house with a chunni on my head and a bindi. That's why in Australia, I was a typical NRI girl who loved watching Lamhe and Chandni. So I had this Bollywood dream but I went on to study hard because it was also something that I was interested in.