Aparshakti Khurrana is no more Ayushmann Khurrana's younger brother who doubled up as an RJ in Delhi and hosted a celebrity show for a music channel. He is known as Aamir Khan's nephew in blockbuster Dangal who is unanimously being loved for being the comic relief in the film who entertained with his quirky dialogue delivery, eye-lashes raising expressions and seasoned narration right through the film. In an exclusive with Faridoon Shahryar, Aparashakti pours his heart out on how he made the most of the opportunity of being Omkar and what life means to him from here on.
I got so many comments on the links of my Dangal’s team interview, “We want the interview of brother, uske bina yeh interview adhoora hai.” Your success is personal to us as you’ve done so many interviews of celebrities along with us and now you’re a celebrity
Pleasure is all mine. Main aapko ispe ek honest baat bataun, jab main radio karta tha, interview karne se pehle YouTube pe jaake aapka interview dekhta tha kya kya sawal pooche hue hai. Mujhe lagta tha kya kya aachi cheezen hai jo radio pe logo ne nahi suni hui hai woh main inke interviews mein se nikaal leta hoon (Laughs!)
You’re the narrator of the film; even through your voice you’ve added a lot of entertainment. How did you pull this off considering Mr Bachchan was the narrator in Lagaan and now you're doing the same for another Aamir Khan production.
Actually mere liye narration waala part zyada mushkil tha. Aasan and mushkil dono tha, aasaan isliye tha kyunki I’ve been a radio jockey and aawaaz ke saath khelna thoda bahut aata hai and mushkil isliye kyunki aap itni badi film ki narration karne wale the. Jo log keh rahe the ki 2016 sabse badi film hone wali hai and touchwood woh hui. Bahut pressure tha. Agar aap acting mein kuch galat kar dete ho toh log kahenge it’s okay naya ladka hai, maaf kar do. Lekein agar aap narration mein ladkhada jaate hai toh atleast radio fraternity toh mujhe kabhi maaf nahi karti. I think everyone has worked in an extremely honest way woh aapko nazar aa raha hai screen pe. Sab ke sab log ek family the wahan pe woh bhi aapko nazar aa raha hai haan yeh ek family hai yaar. Hum off camera bhi saare ke saare family which includes the direction, costumes team, writers, art directors, sab ke sab family the, takreeban 600 log the. All of us have worked in one direction to produce something jo mere liye hamesha memorable project rahega.
Aamir Khan is an extremely difficult guy to please and once he agrees to something he totally backs it. He has had a Lagaan where Amitabh Bachchan was the narrator and now he has Dangal which has been called as the biggest film of all time and Aparshakti Khurrana is the narrator. How tough for you to convince Aamir?
That way I think I’ll give the credit to Mukesh Chhabra, yeh sab kuch Delhi mein hua tha, saara auditions Delhi mein hua tha. This is the only audition we did and never repeated any audition. The bad part is it took four months to get back to me. Pehle do hafto mein lag raha tha kab aayegi call, teesre hafte mein thoda settle hua, chouthe hafte mein bhool gaya. 3-4 months tak call nahi aayi which means they were looking every audition inch by inch from Geeta-Babita to Omkar to coach to everyone. Mukesh paaji has a big role to play there and talking about Aamir sir, he is very particular about what he wants. Jab unko woh mil jaata hai aapko woh khula chhod dete hai, comfortable kar dete hai, ek baar bhi shoot karte hue nahi laga ke main Aamir Khan ke saath shoot kar raha hoon. Dil mein yeh hota tha ke ab yeh ho gaya, iske baad kya karoonga? Sabne itni badi film bana di hai toh har ek ke liye ek benchmark ban gaya hai ke ab iske baad kya karna hai? Which means life is going to get tough from here on with your choices.
How tough has been this entire journey for you because it definitely has been a struggle for you?
The charm of being Ayushmann Khurrana’s younger brother is lot more than losing an identity. It took me 7-8 years to get a project like Dangal. I was not in Mumbai; I was in Delhi doing theatre, radio lekin main usse apna struggle nahi bolta usse main apna homework bolta hoon. If I am not able to perform like I have performed in Dangal that is again my homework. Even if tomorrow I am not able to bag a big project, maybe agar main kisi chhote shehar mein jaake nukkad-naatak bhi kar raha hoon tab bhi main actor hoon and no one can take that away from me for life.
There have been several positive reviews; Salman Khan has praised your performance as well.
Dude aap khud dekho yaar, Aamir Khan ke saath kaam karr ahe hai, Salman Khan taareef kar rahe hai, is se achi baat zindagi mein kya ho sakti hai? It’s such a kick in life (Aamir Khan ki film mein Salman Khan ki film bhi promote ho gayi) that you can’t feel more blessed. Iske baad koi bhi film na ho farak nahi paddta, yeh film saal mein teen baar toh TV pe aani hi hai. January 26, August 15 and daughter’s day matlab TV pe sab log dekhenge. I am very happy Aamir sir ke saath Aparshati kaam kar raha hai. Sport is very close to my heart, and another honest statement I want to make “I am a failed sportsperson” and this guy (Omkar) did not have sports in him. Of course I want to ride on the success of this film.
Many people who have worked with Aamir, they have learned a lot from him. What is the takeaway from Aamir Khan for Aparshakti Khurrana?
Number one; never take your work for granted. Number two; never go unprepared. Number three; just be as honest as you can towards the script and people associated to it. Number four; the best of him is that he’s such a nice soul. Ek achche actor ko ek acha insaan hona zaroori hai yeh unko dekh ke seekha hai maine.
You must be having some sort of idea that where you see yourself that this is something I would like to do, maybe you can think of doing hero roles and must be having other sort of characters in mind as well?
I am not really looking to do the hero roles for sure. The hero word doesn’t fits into my dictionary. I earlier said an actor is an actor who will always be an actor. I am here to become a better actor, not a hero for sure.