Vicky Kaushal's latest release 'Uri: The Surgical Strike' has kick-started the year 2019 with a bang and set the cash registers ringing at the box office. Not to forget, the applause and cheers from all nooks and corners! The actor is touted as one of Bollywood's most promising actors and has the ladies go weak in their knees with his handsome looks. (The thirsty comments on his Instagram posts is a proof to that)
Post Uri's success, Filmibeat caught up with Vicky for a quick chat where the young lad got candid about how plans to take things forward from hereon on the film front, the pressure of success and much more.
Q. Were you expecting the kind of response that Uri has been getting from all corners?
A. We are pleasantly surprised with the kind of response the film has been getting. We were hoping to get a good response, but we never imagined that the numbers would be so good and we would hear claps, whistles and chants of 'Jai Hind' in theatres. This came as a surprise to us as well.
Q. What was the best compliment that you received for the film?
A. For me, the claps are the biggest compliment from the audience. You hear them in theatres only when the audience feels connected to the film. We wanted to instill the feeling of patriotism in everyone and make them feel proud about the country and we have achieved that with Uri.
Q. There is a funeral scene in the film where your character is devastated but he has to hold back his tears. What was your head-space like when you filmed that sequence which was devoid of any dialogue?
A. As an actor, I get excited when I do not have the luxury of words to express my feelings, but still have to express myself. I believe, as an actor, that gives you a lot of scope to prove yourself and it's a self-test period as well.
When were were shooting that scene, the first shot was that of the little girl giving the war-cry. The minute we heard her giving that cry for the first time, it pierced our hearts and gave us goosebumps. I think that energy has been reflected on what you watch on screen.
Q. Vicky, now that you are being termed as a bankable actor in the industry, how do you plan to encash this success?
A. I don't think I need to encash it. I will continue the same process of my work as I have been doing. I want to be truthful to my work and that's very important for me.
But now is the time when I cannot lose focus, I cannot take this success for granted. I have to put a lot more hard work and not take things lightly. I will not take success or failure very seriously.
I am in a good phase where I am getting to work with good directors and good scripts. I will never take this for granted. I will continue to focus and work hard.
Q. Are you selective when it comes to choosing your films?
A. But that's how I have been right from the beginning. After Masaan, I was offered a lot of roles which were based in UP or Bihar, which I tried to stay away from. Instead, I wanted for a film like Raman Raghav, where I knew, it is not for the masses, but at least I will get to show that I can do a lot more.
No actor wants to get stereotyped. I always believe that the industry or audience doesn't stereotype you; it's you who do that to yourself. That choice is in your hands.
I have always tried to take up different characters. I never want to repeat myself. Even now I am shooting for a horror film, so that's my agenda, that I do everything, rest is destiny.
Q. Which film do you believe was a major game-changer for you?
A. My first film Masaan gave me a lot of credibility, because it was such an underdog film that nobody had any expectation from it. But when it released, people were surprised and everyone associated with the film got the credibility.
Masaan opened a lot of doors for me, but with Sanju, I could reach every audience's house, I got a bigger base and spread with that film.
Q. You have been a part of both, multistarrer and solo films. How do you feel when both of them work well at the box office?
A. You always feel happy when your film does well because there's a lot of team efforts involved in making it. These days, the audience is looking out for good stories.
Of course, the cast may help you in achieving a certain box office number and occupancy in theatres, but the film makes its way into the audience's heart only if it has a good story.
It isn't important for me whether I am playing the main hero or supporting hero. Rather I am interested in being a part of films where the script is the hero.
Thankfully, I have got to work with some good scripts and directors and hope to continue to do so in the future as well.
Q. Vicky, your choice of films have always been very different where you don't repeat yourself. When you pick up scripts, do you have a certain template in your mind or just follow your instinct?
A. I always make a conscious effort not to repeat myself in films. If I have attempted a certain kind of role or genre before, I try not to immediately follow it with the same thing. I try to take up something else in between instead.
Another thing is when I read a film's script or hear a narration for the first time, I don't react as an actor. Instead, I see through the audience's perspective and think in my mind that I have paid 300 rupees for this film. So after the reading, if I feel that I should tell about this story to more people, and I get excited by the character, then I will do it or else I won't do it.
The story has to work on me as an audience. After that, I focus on my character, the director and the producer. The first step is that the film's story has to touch my heart.
Q. Before Uri, you did Sanju which was a Ranbir Kapoor film, but you still carve your own place in the audience's heart as Kamli. With the kind of expectations the audience has from a film when you are a part of a film, does that add to the pressure now?
A. There is a pressure but of a good kind. That will bring the best work out of me. And I have worked very hard to get that pressure on me, because being pressured by the audience is a privilege because if there is no pressure means they don't love you care about you.
I have knocked a lot of doors to get this pressure. Now that I have it, I am not letting this go.