Box office is important to Ayushmann Khurrana, but progressive films are more important. The popularity of his most recent film, Dream Girl 2, has not only served as a tremendous validation, but it has also taught him a valuable lesson: it is time to dream big. Since his 2012 acting debut Vicky Donor, Ayushmann has served as the face of small, highly regarded films. Over time, the actor successfully established himself as a leading man in forward-thinking movies that did well at the box office. before the pandemic, that is.
In just two years, Ayushmann experienced the failure of four straight movies, starting with the romantic drama Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui in 2021 and continuing with Anek by Anubhav Sinha, Doctor G, and An Action Hero. The dry spell was broken by Dream Girl 2, which had the biggest opening of his career (Rs 10.69 cr) and eventually made more than Rs 100 cr at the box office. According to Ayushmann, “Post pandemic this is my biggest hit; it is a great sense of validation coming from people.” The actor claims that with Dream Girl 2, his “motivation” was to appeal to a wider audience. He also points out that, among his contemporaries, he was the only one who had to “shift gears” in terms of the tonality of the movies.
“My movies have always received favorable reviews from both the critics and the general public. However, I had to add more mass. Out of all my peers at the time, I was the only one who had to change gears. I had to do it for this (the movie). The numbers make you a bankable star, giving you the power to choose scripts that are to your taste, and there was no other way for me to do my kind of cinema again. Do your brand of cinema, but do it in a more expansive way. It is difficult. But I’m happy to see that movies are once again evolving; audiences are returning to theaters, and low- and medium-budget productions are succeeding. I’m hoping this era lasts,” he says.