Interview: Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal on learning new things for Karan Johar's Takht
After almost a year’s absence from the big screen since his last release, Uri: The Surgical Strike, on January 11, 2019, Vicky Kaushal is back with Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship, which released last week.
The horror thriller, which earned praises for its sophisticated visual graphics, has Vicky playing Prithvi, a shipping officer who tries to solve the mystery of a haunted ship. We had a candid chat with the humble National Award-winning actor, who was in Kolkata last week for the film’s promotions. Excerpts:
We are seeing you on the big screen after over a year. Are you becoming choosy with your work?
No, it happened very organically. There was no plan to release a film every year. This film was supposed to come out last year, but the VFX in a horror film is very important, and you have to get it right. So, it took a bit of time. Half the film was shot before Uri was released and the other half after Uri’s release, but the graphics and post-production work took some time.
I still follow my gut when it comes to choosing films. If I read a script and it impacts me, if I am sold on the vision of the director and it appeals to me, then I follow my gut, and dive into it.
How are you tackling stardom?
You don’t need to tackle stardom, you need to embrace it, and let it flow in whatever capacity it comes to you. You shouldn’t be desperate to hold on to it. Life is full of highs and lows. So, I feel, if I am having a successful phase, I should embrace it and evolve. It’s a beautiful phase and it motivates me, encourages me, and I am looking forward to the coming times.
Has the National Award placed any pressure on you, as an artiste?
Yes, it has increased the pressure, but it’s a beautiful pressure that I really craved for, and worked hard to have.
Have you overcome your fear of ghosts and water after Bhoot Part One?
To a great extent. It’s because of those two fears that this film will be my most natural performance so far. The fear was so evident on my face. I have overcome my fear of ghosts a bit, and I have got over hydrophobia to a great extent. I do know how to swim and I can swim now.
How was it working with Bhumi — you both debuted in 2015...
She’s amazing. We have been wanting to collaborate, and we are happy to be finally sharing screen space. With her, there’s no barrier and no need to break the ice. We are very frank with each other. She is extremely lively, and it has been good fun working with her.
We will see you playing Aurangzeb in Takht as well. How are the preparations going on?
The preparations are on in full swing, and we are going to dive into Takht from next month. I have been training rigorously for the past two months for my role and bulking up for the film. I need to learn horseriding, take lessons on sword fighting, prepare my Urdu diction, and also learn a musical instrument.
You will be sharing screen space with Ranveer Singh in Takht.
I really can’t wait to share screen space with an actor whom I admire, respect and love.
How was it working with Shoojit Sircar for Sardar Udham Singh?
He is fantastic, and I have been waiting to work with him for a long time. Because of Shoojit, I have started to understand Bengali, and I have picked up a few very common words like ‘bhalo’ (good).
Any other films that you are working on?
There’s this superhero film Immortal Ashwathama by the makers of Uri, and a biopic on Field Marshal Sam Mankeshaw by Meghna Gulzar.
Actor-filmmaker Rajat Kapoor was in town, and he told us that he wrote a script long back with you in mind, but he rues that now you are busy.
Yes, it was a gangster movie, Baavla, and had a fantastic script. I told him to let me know whenever he planned to make the film, but yes, I am committed to a few films right now and I can do it only once those projects are over.
Rumours are that you are seeing Katrina Kaif. Would you confirm?
(Laughs) I would still like to guard my personal life and not comment on the same.