TIME magazine has included actor Ayushmann Khurrana in its 2020 edition of Time’s 100 most influential people list, the publication’s annual listicle comprising individuals deemed to have had a positive effect on the world through their actions.
“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,” Deepika Padukone wrote in a note about the actor for TIME.
She added, “In India, with a population of more than 1.3 billion, only a tiny percentage of people see their dreams come alive, and Ayushmann Khurrana is one of them. You’re probably wondering, How? Talent and hard work. Sure, that goes without saying. But more important, patience, perseverance and fearlessness. A little insight for those who dare to dream.”
Stating that he is “truly humbled” by the honour, 36-year-old actor Khurrana said in a press release, “As an artist, I have only looked to contribute towards bringing a positive change in society through cinema and this moment is a huge validation of my belief system and my journey. I have always believed that cinema has the power to bring about change by triggering the right conversations among people and society. Hopefully, through my content choices, I have been able to contribute towards my country and countrymen.”
Other personalities from film and television included in the list are American comedian, actor, and writer Ali Wong (Always Be My Maybe), South Korean director Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), British writer-actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Killing Eve), and American actor Michael B Jordan (Creed, Black Panther).
Among Indians, the list includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, academic Ravindra Gupta and 82-year-old Bilkis, one of the women who protested at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area against the Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens.
Khurrana made his acting debut with the 2011 National Award-winning Hindi film Vicky Donor. He has gone on to play characters who examine the nuances of masculinity and question regressive cultural values, such as in Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (2017), Article 15 (2019) and Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (2020).
“I have always taken risks since my first film,” Khurrana explained his choices in a 2018 interview with Scroll.in. ‘You cannot play safe in the industry. Only risks will reap dividends for you. Apart from that, the script is king.”