Actor Ayushmann Khurrana believes his golden run at the box office, including back-to-back hits Andhadhun and Badhaai Ho, instilled the confidence in him to take up a hard-hitting project like "Article 15".
The film, directed by Anubhav Sinha of Mulk fame, touches upon the sensitive topic of casteism. Khurrana said he always wanted to be a part of gritty and socially-relevant films like Article 15.
"Last two years were very fortunate for me as my films clocked great numbers at the box office and it only gave courage to me to do a film like 'Article 15'. It was a part of my bucket list to do a film like this because I always wanted to do something on a social issue," he told PTI in an interview.
The film offers a realistic take on Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
Khurrana believes the presence of mainstream actors like him in such films helps the cause as it will help them connect with a wider audience.
"If you have a mainstream actor attached to a subject like this, it reaches out to a wider audience. We want to reach out to people who believe in caste discrimination and if we are able to change the mindset of one person that will be the true victory for us," he said.
The actor was set to collaborate with Sinha for a romantic film but destiny brought them together for Article 15. Khurrana said he became a fan of the director after watching his 2018 courtroom drama Mulk.
"I feel he discovered his true voice as a director after 'Mulk'. When I met him he had offered me a rom-com but I told him I am looking for a hard-hitting subject, something like 'Mulk'. He narrated a couple of concepts to me and 'Article 15' was one of them. Later he worked on the draft, which we both loved and we happened to be on the same page."
Responding to reports some Brahmins in UP are upset over the negative portrayal of the community in the film, Khurrana said such accusations against the film were untrue.
"They have to realise that what they are doing is redundant and a waste of time and energy, they need to see the film and then realise what is right and wrong. And in fact, 'Article 15' has already been certified by the CBFC, which is known to be strict with sensitive content," he added.
Also starring Sayani Gupta, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Article 15 is scheduled to be released on June 28.
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