Abhishek Kapoor: Ayushmann Khurrana is bridging the gap between tentpole and parallel cinema

Abhishek Kapoor: Ayushmann Khurrana is bridging the gap between tentpole and parallel cinema
© Provided by Radio City

When writer-director Abhishek Kapoor was developing the script of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, he was certain that Ayushmann Khurrana would be the perfect choice to headline the film. His conviction, in part, could be attributed to the actor’s ability to seamlessly become a character, no matter how divorced it is from his real-life persona. “Ayushmann walked in like a breeze and made Manu [his character] his own in no time. He fit the part like a glove,” says the director.

But Kapoor, having followed the actor’s body of work closely, had a bigger reason to approach him for the unusual love story. He believed that only Khurrana could give the subject, otherwise considered niche, the mainstream attention it deserved. The director elaborates, “We’ve been led to believe that there’s conventional tentpole cinema, and then there’s parallel cinema. But thanks to actors like Ayushmann, that gap is being bridged, giving rise to a new wave of ‘content-pole’ cinema. Right since his debut, he has championed the art of taking the road less travelled. This has not only given him the credibility of his fans, but also the scope to experiment.”

The filmmaker was hardly surprised when he formed a deep friendship with his leading man, based on their shared love for cinema that goes beyond entertaining audiences. As they are set to explore a different facet of queer love with the December 10 release, Kapoor says, “We connected mentally and emotionally because we have the same passion to present something fresh and new to our audiences. I’m glad to collaborate with an actor who is sensitive, genuine and deeply opinionated.”

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