Who’d Have Thought a Roadie Would Make It to Time’s Most Influential List? Way to Go, Ayushmann Khurrana

Bollywood

Who’d Have Thought a Roadie Would Make It to Time’s Most Influential List? Way to Go, Ayushmann Khurrana

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Ayushmann Khurrana has come a really long long way, from winning MTV Roadies, to now being the only Indian actor on the Time Magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People of 2020”. He shares the honour with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shaheen Bagh’s Protester Dadi Bilkis, the other Indians who appear on the list.

Khurrana took to Instagram to announce the news. “I’m honored to be a part of this group: time.com/time100 @TIME #TIME100.” The post gained over 1.50 lakh likes in a couple of hours, with congratulatory messages pouring in from Bollywood peers and fans alike.

 

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TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world is out, I’m honored to be a part of this group: time.com/time100 @TIME #TIME100

A post shared by Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) on

The prestigious list of 2020’s most influential artists also features filmmaker Bong Joon Ho of the Parasite fame, singer Selena Gomez, Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. That is quite some company, Ayushmann! The actor said, “I’m truly humbled with the recognition that TIME has bestowed on me. As an artist, I have only looked to contribute toward bringing a positive change in society through cinema and this moment is a huge validation of my belief system and my journey.”

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone wrote a fitting tribute for Khurrana, recollecting memories from his Vicky Donor days. “He had, of course, been a part of the entertainment industry in various other ways for several years before that, but the reason you and I talk about him today is because of the impact he has been able to create through memorable films and iconic characters. Where male protagonist roles often fall into the trap of stereotypical masculinity, Ayushmann has successfully and convincingly transformed into characters who challenge those very stereotypes,” she said.

The sentiment shared by Padukone is one that millions of Bollywood fans share about Khurrana. Never the one to play the macho-hero who breaks through wooden doors and jumps on helicopters or romances women in the Swiss Alps, the actor has introduced Hindi cinema to relatable, quirky, boy-next door and vulnerable male characters. Whether it is playing a sperm donor in Vicky Donor, a visually impaired man in Andhadhun, a man suffering from erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, a bald man with insecurities in Bala, or a small-town homosexual lover in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, one thing that Ayushmann Khuranna cannot be accused of his predictability.

“If you had to pick one actor from the entire industry who could give you a 9/10 performance regardless of the demands of the role, the one who would top the list is Ayushmann Khurrana. As an actor, he is as bankable as they come. A Rahul Dravid of Bollywood, if you will,” we wrote after the actor’s latest outing Gulabo Sitabo in which he starts opposite Amitabh Bachchan and holds his own.

While the debate in Bollywood rages on about drugs, power and nepotism, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that if there’s someone in the industry who deserves all the accolades he gets, including a mention on Time’s Influential List, it’s Ayushmann Khurrana. Congratulations, and more power to him!

 

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