It’s been a long road to success for Ayushmann Khurrana. In a recent interview with Film Companion editor Anupama Chopra, the actor spoke about the various life experiences that have shaped him as an actor – one of them being the time he lived illegally in Mumbai’s KEM hospital hostel for 2 months. Edited excerpts:
“It’s been 12 years since I have travelled in a Mumbai local. My station used to be Elphinstone because I was staying in my friend’s hostel in KEM Hospital. I used to walk down from the station to the hospital every day. I was staying illegally in the hostel for about 2 months. Nobody found out because I used to look like a doctor, I never looked like an aspiring actor. I used to wear glasses and a lab coat to enter inside. So I was an aspiring doctor till 11th – 12th standard. My batchmate Siddharth, who now stays in Delhi, was working in Mumbai earlier. I was staying with him and I’d take the train every day to Andheri for auditions.
Whatever you play on-screen is the sum total of experiences you have had in life and I’ve got diverse experiences. It’s not just travelling on trains and staying in a hostel illegally but also travelling across the nation. I think I am quite fortunate that I have seen a lot before getting here.
I got the first-mover advantage also. I was just 21 – 22 when my father said pack your bags and get out of this house. I think not many people wanted to be an actor at the time. I had joined radio when radio stations were shooting all across the county, licensing was very free, and then suddenly MTV was looking for VJs. So, I was at the right place at the right time.
Also, my language is good. My mother has an MA in Hindi, so I read a lot of Hindi literature. I have a good grasp of Indian languages and I can pick up languages very easily because the root language is Sanskrit. It really helps that the kind of films that are thriving these days are heartland based and very rooted.”