At the core of Dream Girl 2, the sequel to Ayushmann Khurrana’s 2019 film Dream Girl, is comedy and the actor says the movie is a pure entertainer that caters to all kinds of audiences.

The actor has tackled various social and taboo subjects in his cinema, be it sperm donation in Vicky Donor, fat shaming in Dum Laga Ke Haisha, erectile dysfunction in Shubh Mangal Saavdhan or premature baldness in Bala.

Dream Girl 2, however, tonally follows its predecessor. “It’s a slapstick film, a frontbencher, massy film. We are not really touching on any issue here. It’s a movie where you don’t have to take your brains to the cinema. It’s not a woke film,” Ayushmann told PTI in an interview.

“Dream Girl was something which gave me the highest box office of my career. It really set the tone right and we’ve taken that tonality forward. So this is a more tier-2 or tier-3, not just multiplexes but also single screen kind of cinema,” he added.

Directed by Raaj Shaandilyaa, Dream Girl featured Ayushmann Khurrana as Karam, a man known for making a living by impersonating a female voice known as Pooja. The film, which also featured Nushrratt Bharuccha, Annu Kapoor, Manjot Singh, Vijay Raaz and Abhishek Banerjee, had turned out to be one of the highest grossing movies of 2019.Four years later, Ayushmann and his gang return with the sequel but the question was how to make the follow-up better than the first part. “The biggest inspiration for this movie was that the love from the audience for Dream Girl. And, of course, that triggers you to do something else or maybe go to the next level with better and higher stakes. We were always thinking, how should we do this? And Raaj came up with this brilliant idea that Pooja should be revealed, like in the whole flesh and blood. And not just the sound, but also visuals in the film as Pooja. So that’s the next level we’ve cracked in Dream Girl 2,” he said.

In Dream Girl 2, scheduled to be released in theatres on August 25, Ayushmann reprises his role of Karam, who decides to cross dress as Pooja to make enough money to marry the love of his life, played by Ananya Panday.

Ayushmann Khurrana, 38, said he had to maintain a fine balance in playing the part as he didn’t want to come across as insensitive to the opposite gender with his crossdressing act. “The way I take a particular character, I try not to overdo it. I try to make it as real as possible, keeping in mind the sensitivities. In the end, it’s the entertainment that matters. We are not putting anyone down and that’s our aspiration with this film. But the real crux and core of this film is comedy.”

The Chandigarh-born actor joked that the women in his family found him “pretty” as Pooja.

“They found me really pretty and my mom always wanted a girl child. So, her wish has been fulfilled. Every boy has a photo in his childhood, especially mine where my mom dressed me in a frock. So, I have a picture like that. And I think I’ll share that on Instagram soon,” he said.