Interview: Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurana believes Chinese movies will do well in India

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by Zhang Xingjun

MUMBAI, May 24 (Xinhua) -- India's popular film actor Ayushmann Khurana said Chinese movies would also do well in India, while more and more Indian movies are tasting success in the Chinese market.

"You just have to have good content. India is full of Chinese goods, most of India's imports come from China, Chinese mobile phones, cars are doing well in India, so movies will also do well," he told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Khurana's latest film "Andhadhun", one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time, produced on a budget of 4.6 million U.S. dollars, has grossed 64 million U.S. dollars at the worldwide box offices, including 48 million dollars in China.

Speaking about the response of Chinese market to "Andhadhun", Khurana admitted that "it was quite a surprise."

"The kind of number was unbelievable, I had no idea that we will get this kind of reception in China, it was overwhelming for sure," he said.

"Andhadhun" is a 2018 Indian black comedy crime thriller film, telling a story of a piano player who unwillingly becomes embroiled in the murder of a former film actor.

At the Screen Awards ceremony, the film won four awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay. It also won five Filmfare Awards, including Best Film(Critics) and Best Actor (Critics) for Khurana.

On the success of "Andhadhun", he believed that the film was beyond the barriers of borders, culture and language.

"I have realized that content will always rule in China," he explained. "Some concepts like that will appeal any culture any region."

Referring to preparations for his role as a blind pianist in the story, Khurana told Xinhua he had spent almost three months on observations.

"I went to a blind school and I had a teacher, who was partially blind. He taught me how to walk, how to use the stick, how to take care of the objects around me. Then I knew a blind pianist. I used to watch him every day. The way he used to touch the piano, mark his centre and then play ...Acting is all about observation,"he said.

Born in 1984, Khurana, who made his film debut in 2012, has established a career in Bollywood and is the recipient of several awards, including three Filmfare Awards.

Speaking of his belief about good films, Khurana noted, a good movie should resonate with the people.

"Mark of good film is that it should be value creating and bring some change in entertaining way. Underlying part is entertaining part. So I think it is important to carry your message with entertainment, " the Bollywood actor added.

Khurana believes that his upcoming two films, one based on gay love story and another on receding hairline or balding will resonate with the audience from India and China too.

"I would always like to do unique films. Content will never go out of fashion. Masala films may go out fashion one day, but content will never go out of fashion. So you have to stick with content, and uniqueness is key in every film," he said.

However, he admitted that it had never been easy to try something new in Bollywood industry.

"It is always difficult. You hardly get good scripts. It is always a risk to take a subject which is a taboo which people are slightly uncomfortable talking about. So, it is very difficult to make script rounded and make it more palatable for people and make it more accessible for the audience. It is not easy for sure. But what is life without risks. "

Following the great success of the film "Andhadhun", Khurana is keen to visit China for his forthcoming films.

He noted that he would like to visit Chinese mainland, such as Beijing and other places.

"They (Chinese) are similar to Indians, as they are rooted to their culture and tradition at the same time. And that is the congruent part between Indian and Chinese," Khurana appeared excited.

Khurana also appreciated the support of Chinese audience.

"I just want to thank them for liking and loving 'Andhadhun'. The kind of reception was unbelievable. It is beyond our expectation and it also make us believe that we must stick to our ground and only do content films. "

He paused, and asked Xinhua reporter to teach him to say "thank you" in Chinese. "Xie xie, " with his palms putting together, he said. Enditem

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