Earthy Charmer | Verve Magazine
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Verve People
June 10, 2012

Earthy Charmer

Text by Nasrin Modak. Photograph by Poulomi Dey.

He started with theatre, won the reality show Roadies 2, became a RJ, then a VJ and finally acted in a film (Vicky Donor) that made him an overnight star. For Ayushmann Khurrana, life’s indeed looking good

During his college days in Chandigarh, Vicky Donor lead player Ayushmann Khurrana formed two theatre groups Aghaz and Manch Tantra. Both are active in a city that’s “extremely shallow, a place where no one takes you seriously when you say you want to be an actor. It’s all about muscle power there”.

After winning Roadies 2 while most of his co-contestants “shifted to Mumbai thinking they have arrived,” Ayushmann went back to complete his graduation in Mass Communication. “I wanted to be a journalist. I interned with a few publications too,” before becoming a radio jockey in Delhi and later an MTV VJ.  “I thought I was too earthy to be a VJ but that became my USP.” By then, Ayushmann could crack every audition. “There is no dearth of opportunities in Mumbai, you just have to be well prepared.”

“I always wanted to be an actor,” says the boy who played Shylock from The Merchant of Venice in the fifth grade. He is most passionate about music. “Pani da was one of the many songs composed during my college theatre days. I could have sung it at reality shows but it would have been lost. With Vicky Donor, it was perfect timing.”

In his free time, Ayushmann plays cricket with his building kids and travels around India. Next is a movie called Hamara Bajaj. “I’d like to do subject driven films. People went to watch Vicky Donor because of the quirkiness of the subject, not because of me. I am not a star. I am happy in my own space.”

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