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Ayushmann brings a different sort of realism to acting: Nushrat Bharucha

As a young, innocent girl from an orthodox family who is murdered for eloping with her lover, Nushrat Bharucha left quite an impression when she starred in Dibakar Banerjee’s Love, Sex Aur Dhokha in 2010. Nearly a decade later, the commercial success of Pyaar Ka Punchnama films, followed by the tongue-twister Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, have been added to her CV. With her romantic comedy Dream Girl releasing tomorrow, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that she has found a niche in the slapstick genre. The actress chats with City Times about her journey thus far.

From starting out with a film like Love, Sex Aur Dhokha to moving to more commercial, mainstream cinema, how do you see your journey?
When I look back, I don’t even think I was shooting for a film when I did LSD. It felt like a workshop that I was doing with some really talented people. I was acting, but I didn’t know what it meant. I was raw, nobody told me how to polish it or channelise it. If I was to be offered that film today, I probably will not be able to do it because there is a certain vulnerability when you are new and the role required that. What a lot of people forget is that in LSD, camera was the first character of the film. What they saw was what was being captured on the camera. From then to now, it has been a completely different journey – there have been some incredible highs, some deep lows.

Dream Girl pairs you with Ayushmann Khurrana. How was the experience of working with him?
Ayushmann brings a different sort of realism to acting. When you see him on screen it doesn’t feel as though he is slipping in and out of it – he brings an ease. I felt like a child around him, wanting to imbibe those qualities. The man has a great humour. I think we shared a great camaraderie.

With the success of Pyaar Ka Punchnama films and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety, would it suffice to say you have found a niche in comedies?
Yes. That has come with people accepting Pyaar Ka Punchnama films. It was a conversational comedy, which was based on banter. The audiences found it relatable.

There is often a conversation around outsiders being treated differently in Bollywood. Have you found truth in that claim?
It is not particular to Bollywood; it’s a human trait. In schools and colleges, we have cliques. Bollywood has a set of friend circles who come together because they vibe well or connect better. Either you become a part of it or you don’t and that has got nothing to do with being an insider or an outsider.

You have worked in Southern cinema. How is the culture of filmmaking different there?
It is an alien experience for me to work on a set of 100 or more people whose language I do not understand. Plus, to say dialogues in a language you do not understand further disconnects me from acting, the character arc, nuances and expression. It did take me a while to adjust. But what underlies in both film industries is the passion and fervor for cinema.

You’re being typified as the girl-next-door in romantic comedies. As an actor, do you feel the need to break out of that mould?
You know, even if I am being stereotyped as the girl-next-door, the same film features songs where I am required to become this hot, glamorous chick, who is dancing to party numbers. That look change is enough to prove otherwise to someone who has a keen eye. Today, you cannot get typecast easily because there is so much more an audience gets from an actor. Even if you don’t do it in films, there is social media, photoshoots for magazines that capture a different side of you. So, I don’t feel the need to break out of anything.

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