#HowIMadeIt! Aparshakti Khurana: “People have mistaken me for my brother Ayushmann at times” – Times of India
Starting off with ‘Saat Uchakkey’, Aparshakti was soon sitting behind the steering wheel. ‘Dangal’ was in his lap in no time- a film which he knew in his heart that it wouldn’t bomb. He didn’t swell up but we bet that he was over the moon as Mr Perfectionist and talented filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari – were on top of their game out there. “Aamir Khan sir had given a brief for that role,” he tells ETimes.
But of course, there have been speed-breakers in Aparshakti’s journey. He did undergo some trials and tribulations, he admits, “I was considered for a role in ‘Raabta’ which did not happen for me. Then I did a film called ‘Babbu Ki Jawani’ that never got released.”However, Aparshakti’s share of auditions may not have been too many. “That’s because I wasn’t in Mumbai to undergo umpteen tests. But rejections to aaj bhi kabhi na kabhi hote hai. Success and acceptance doesn’t teach you what rejection and failure does; they teach you what areas or spheres of acting you need to still better.”
And mind you, Aparshakti does not mind his uncanny resemblance to his brother Ayushmann. Oh, they look so similar, err, same on screen. Don’t go by how Aparshakti is looking here- but in several scenes in many movies, many of us have felt they could pass off as identical twins. Have there been days when the public ran after him and asked him for autographs mistakenly thinking that he’s Ayushmann? Without batting an eyelid, Aparshakti replies, “Yes, that has happened. But I quite enjoy it. Just proves that Ayushmann and I are real brothers.”
And bet you didn’t know this! Ayushmann cautioned Aparshakti to not hurry his entry into films. “He told me that I haven’t done my homework when I first told him about it.” And then? Well, it was then that Aparshakti went on to do a lot of theatre and the rest as they say, is history. Another question is whether it is true that Ayushmann is the cooler one among the two brothers? Aparshakti says, “I am not hot headed.”
Rewind. Aparshakti is candid about his short stints as a lawyer and cricketer before ‘Saat Uchakkey’ happened to him. Yes, he wanted to become either of the two, soon after he finished his education. The first was like a given because he had graduated in law. But after a short training under a senior lawyer at Delhi High Court, he felt he wasn’t cut out to fight cases. “This isn’t my astitva, this wasn’t me, mujhe lag raha tha. I just wasn’t enjoying it; I was stiff. And so, I wasn’t my boss’s favourite at his office. It wasn’t a happy phase in my professional upbringing but it made me realise that I would be misfit as a lawyer. I won’t lie and say I quit because meri koi office mein sun nahi raha tha as most say when they leave a certain job. Lekin legal knowledge hamesha kaam aati hai.” And then he was reprimanded even when he attempted to become an all rounder. “I didn’t have the passion ki mujhe sirf middle stump hi dikhe. Kudos to those who make up their minds in their teens that it’s going be sports and nothing but sports for them. Again I don’t want to give excuses by saying things like meri injury ho gayi thi. Every 15-year old boy ko nahi pata hota that he should forget cars, clothes and girls. Those who can still focus deserve high praise. In any era, the most difficult thing is to become a sportsman. Aisa nahi tha ki mujhe actor hi banna tha aur kuch nahi. This journey was decided by destiny and I finally got the satisfaction I was looking for when I switched over to theatre.”
The clincher, or, the turning point? Perhaps the clincher was the manner in which he made the ‘Dangal’ audition pure, organic and very different from others. “I had auditioned for the scene where I am telling Aamir sir and Sakshi Tanwar ma’am ki ‘Commonwealth ka mamla hai chance nahi le sakte, medal yahin aana chahiye’. I happened to shed a tear (not in the script, apparently) while saying that line and it had happened naturally.Ho sakta hai because I was a failed sportsman.”
‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania‘, ‘Rajma Chawal’, ‘Happy Phirr Bhaag Jayegi’, ‘Stree’, ‘Luka Chuppi’, ‘Street Dancer’, ‘Jabariya Jodi’, ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’ and ‘Bala’ (in a cameo) followed, but yet Aparshakti has never got carried away, feeling that he’s here to stay. “There have been so many legends in 80s and 90s who might not be doing relevant work right now, or even some actors who came between 2000-2010 for that matter. It’s always your last two films that are often the yardstick for selection,” he points out. And the other important criterion of course is- substantial roles that got noticed- which this man has managed.
Aparshakti, when asked also says that he has a very understanding and non-complaining wife (Aakriti Ahuja) as his profession often requires him to shoot at odd hours. “She’s into a corporate job and has a busy lifestyle, she’s equally busy with her work. We both covered a substantial amount of this journey together and we both wanted it to happen this way.” Touchwood.