Mumbai: Vicky Kaushal, son of action director Shyam Kaushal, had no acting ambition despite having a dad who spent most of his time on a film set. But now, after appearing in a handful of movies, Vicky is already a part of a 100 crore film. His last movie Raazi, with Alia Bhatt, turned out to be not only critically acclaimed but a blockbuster. And his next one is the much-awaited Sanjay Dutt biopic, titled Sanju and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Vicky Kaushal plays Sanjay Dutt's best friend, starring opposite Ranbir Kapoor in the title role. In this interview, Vicky talks about his fruitful acting career and his future plans.
- "I never had an acting career planned," said Vicky Kaushal
- Vicky on 100 crore film: "It's a new feeling for me"
- "I just want to say thank you to everyone," he added
Q: When you were young you had no interest in acting. And here you are today doing successful films, working nonstop and getting the numbers. How did it come to this?
Vicky Kaushal: "Actually, consciously I never had an acting career planned. Subconsciously, inside my head, I had it. I was acting on stage in school and college but I didn't have this ambition of becoming an actor. I did engineering and when people asked me my career plans, I used to say I would do an MBA. Then during college, I had to decide on what I have to do. That's where I told myself acting it is. I loved it. Once I finished graduation, I took this journey of becoming an actor and here I am."
Q: When you made up your mind and decided you want to become an actor what kind of roles did you have in mind?
Vicky Kaushal: "None in particular. I knew that I need to learn a lot. I was 22; I was not desperate to come in front of the camera. I very well knew it could not be a trial and error once I am in front of the camera. It's a test you either pass or you fail. So I was ready to give time for training, about five years. I assisted Anurag Kashyap in Gangs Of Waaseypur after that I did theatre. And side-by-side, I gave a lot of auditions. Giving auditions is a great exercise, they will provide you with a script, and you prepare in 10 minutes. And you perform in front of 100 other people."
Q: Is that tough?
Vicky Kaushal: "It's very tough. The productive thing is that you are fighting your inferiority complex. When you know, 100 people are watching you, and they also will be doing the same scenes after you. You get to see where you stand when you do auditions. It's a reality check."
Q: Raazi is your first 100-crore film, how is that different?
Vicky Kaushal: "It's a new feeling for me as it's my first time. I have never experienced something like this. Have got lots of love from the audience and critics. Even now the shows are going full, so that feels great. I just want to say thank you to everyone for giving us so much love."
Q: Is it important to be a part of this prestigious 100-crore club? How does it help career-wise?
Vicky Kaushal: "It's a prestigious club, it's an elite club, I would say. What difference will it make when it comes to working? I yet have to discover that. Am sure something positive will come out of it, at least it's a step in the right direction."
Q: Coming to your next release Sanju. You play Sanjay Dutt's friend, tell us about this guy. Who is he?
Vicky Kaushal: "Primarily there is a guy whose name is Paresh. He lives in the US. They have been friends for 30-40 years, they are more like brothers. For the film, this character is an amalgamation of three or four other friends of Sanju sir. People who know Sanju sir, they would know this is Pariya - they call him Pariya. So it's a fictionalized character but much closer to Pariya."
Q: Was there anything that you learned about Sanjay Dutt that you didn't know?
Vicky Kaushal: "Every little detail in the film is something that I didn't know. It was one of the best narrations that Raju sir (Rajkumar Hirani) gave. I stopped him so many times in the middle of narrations and asked him if this actually happened. He was like, yes it did! There is a line of normalcy that everyone wants to live on as humans. Sanju sir has lived way above or way below it. He has seen the best and the worst."
Q: Tell the readers about Rajkumar Hirani. What's he like when he is on a set?
Vicky Kaushal: "Raju sir is an editor himself. His film is running inside his mind when he is shooting. He knows the sound, he knows the shot. So there is no wastage of time, he knows how many retakes are needed. The most important is that he gives us great freedom. If I want to say something else instead of what's written and if he feels that works too then he just lets me do it. He knows his boundaries."
Q: You have done a Netflix film (Love Per Square Foot) and you have done big screens movies as well. Are big-screen movies a priority right now? Or are you open to different platforms?
Vicky Kaushal: "As a kid, I grew up watching movies in the cinema, so that dream and charm will never die. That has its own place. There will be new mediums, every five years the road bends and people start questioning if this new medium and the old medium complement each other or come in each other's way. So right now, we are going through that phase where we are trying to figure out all this. It's a beautiful phase, and we have a new medium. I'm happy I have explored this medium."