Vicky enjoys cinema more than theatre

Vicky Kaushal

After four successful releases this year, Vicky Kaushal is all set to captivate his audience once again with Manmarziyaan. In an exclusive interview to Metrolife, he speaks about his journey and how his experience in theatre helps him with his films.

From your initial days of struggle to get a good film to doing five films in a year how has the journey been for you?

I feel god has been really kind. I have got some amazing opportunities to work with some of the most fantastic people in the film industry. I could have never imagined myself working with Rajkumar Hirani, Meghna Gulzar, Karan Johar, Anand Tiwari, Anurag Kashyap- all in the same year. It is so gratifying. Also, the audience reaction to the films and the characters I played feels surreal. Love is an emotion that gives the other person a lot of strength. So right now I feel much stronger and much more confident due to the love I have been receiving. I would really like to thank everyone for that love.

Now that you have done so many roles how do you choose your films now? Has it changed from the way when you started?

No, it’s the same. The first step is always the script and who the director is. The story should click with me as an audience, not as an actor who has been approached to play a part in the film. As an audience whenever I see a script or hear a narration the first thing is if I am reading or hearing it as an audience member who has paid this much money to watch this film how do I feel when the film is over? If it really clicks with me and the characters stay back with me when I am all alone on the bed at night then I know it is the right space. And also the fact that you do not want to repeat yourself as an actor. Because you know you want to explore different territories so that you also grow as an actor.

So far we have seen you steering clear of being typecast. How have you managed to stay away from being stereotyped so early in your career?

To be honest the credit goes to the filmmakers who have put their trust in me. Before every character that I have played, I was scared whether I will be able to pull it off. It is always an unknown territory for me but that is something that eventually gives me the confidence as an actor- you were scared for that one too but you managed to sail through. But kudos to the directors who in the first place can imagine me doing that. They probably sometimes have more trust in me than I have in myself.

How did you prepare for your role in Manmarziyaan?

To be very honest it was not like the ‘preparation’ part. It wasn’t like you had to do something to play that part. Firstly being a Punjabi myself who speaks fluent Punjabi and has his native village in Hoshiarpur in Punjab I am very well aware of the culture of Punjab. I am as Punjabi a Punjabi can get. In that way, I was already very close to Vicky Sandhu. But the journey for me as an actor to play Vicky Sandhu was to completely set myself free from the inside because he is a very uninhibited character. He lives his emotions to the fullest but in real life, you do not tend to do that. You can feel all that you want inside but you will not express it. You may want to dance right now. But you will not because ‘log kya kahenge’. But Vicky Sandhu does not care about ‘log kya kahenge’. It is a character I enjoyed playing the most because it was really a liberating experience for me.

How has your experience in theatre helped you in the films that you do today?

Oh, it has immensely. Because theatre is an actor’s medium while films are a director’s medium. In theatre when you are on stage playing a character, whatever the audience see you doing is what you are doing. If you forget something the director cannot come on stage and say ‘Cut!’- there are no retakes on stage. When you are on stage in front of 500 people you become aware of your own instincts. You realise things like how you breathe, how you stand- and these are very important for an actor. Your body becomes your medium to emote something which eventually helps in films. Although in films you have to take a very different approach in performing because when the camera is so close to you even the way you blink or the way you look at anybody means something. I really enjoy the cinema a lot more than the theatre because I like to feel the audience a lot closer to me and want them to know what I am thinking. I love it when I just have to emote without dialogues because then I feel like I allow them to read my mind. You feel like a magician and that’s a very different high. That is why I really enjoyed playing Iqbal Syed in Raazi because I did not have dialogues.

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Vicky enjoys cinema more than theatre

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