‘In the director-producer mix, one person has to be solid’
In just five years, actor Ayushmann Khurrana has worked with several directors with very different styles. Shoojit Sircar launched him in Vicky Donor (2012), and then he worked with Rohan Sippy in Nautanki Saala (2013) and Sharat Katariya in Dum Laga Ke Haisha (DLKH, 2015). This has given him a unique perspective of how Bollywood works.
Now awaiting the release of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, the actor says that he is glad he gets to “work with different kinds of directors”. What works best for him — an established director or a new one? “I think there has to be a nice combination. If it’s a first-time director, the producer has to be solid,” he says. “One of the persons in the mix should be more experienced. If a director is solid, you can work with a first-time producer.” As an example, he mentions that Katariya was a relatively unknown director who delivered an acclaimed film like DLKH, and that worked because the film had very experienced producers in Aditya Chopra and Maneesh Sharma.
As for his directors, he thinks of Sircar as “a one- or two-take director”. He adds, “Shoojitda says that an actor’s natural instinct goes for a toss if they over-rehearse a scene, so he is very instinctive.”
On the other hand, Katariya loves to improvise on the sets, says Ayushmann, adding, “He’ll do the whole composition [of a scene] along with them and start from scratch. He gives a lot of space to his actors.”
Then Akshay Roy, with whom he worked on Meri Pyaari Bindu, has “more urban sensibilities”. Roy, he says, plays on the commonality that exists between an actor and a