In a freewheeling chat, Vicky Kaushal opens up about Anurag Kashyap and his idiosyncrasies, his stint at Cannes Film Festival, working with Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt and lots more
Come 2018 and we will see a lot of Vicky Kaushal on the
silver screen. He has a pivotal role in Ranbir Kapoor's Sanjay Dutt biopic, he
will romance Alia Bhatt in Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, and then he will play an army
man in Ronnie Screwvala's film on the Uri attacks. He may have not had a
release after Raman Raghav 2.0 which hit theatres in 2016, but with so many
releases lined up, he has made up for lost time. In a candid conversation, the
actor spoke about his transition from an assistant director to an actor,
working with stars, his personal life and lots more. Excerpts:
You started off as Anurag Kashyap's assistant in Gangs Of
Wasseypur, and then starred in Raman Raghav 2.0. Has his attitude towards you
He is the same, always. When I was his AD, I would watch
him talk to his actors and explain the scenes and the shots. He still sees me
in the same light. Obviously he must have seen some growth in me because of
which he went ahead and offered me Raman Raghav 2.0. For me he is like a family
member. All my professional decisions, he is well aware of them, and we chat
about it whenever we are free.
So Anurag Kashyap never lost his cool on the sets?
Actually, there is one thing that angers him. While he is
explaining the scene to an actor, he does not want an AD to interrupt and ask
him questions. He gets really infuriated by that.
Do you have fond memories of shooting with Nawazuddin
Siddiqui in Gangs Of Wasseypur?
If you remember, there was this song, Womaniya in Gangs
Of Wasseypur. While shooting it, we were on busy streets looking for a shot. So
we’d ask Nawaz to wait and then we used to go ahead and find a spot to set up
the cameras. Once we were done, it used to be difficult to spot Nawaz. He is
such a simple person, he would be sitting at a tea stall nearby and sipping
tea. He looked so ordinary that it became difficult for us to find him at
times. He would never crib. He would just patiently wait.
You shot with him again for Raman Raghav 2.0? Did you
feel that success has changed Nawaz?
Nawazuddin is still the same guy I met on the sets of
Gangs Of Wasseypur. During Raman Raghav 2.0, we used to sit back and relax, and
then he used to tell us stories from his struggling days. When you listen to
him, you start thinking: ‘Thank God, this man has finally been able to do what
he came to Mumbai for.’ His stories are so inspiring.
You have been to Cannes Film Festival twice- first with
Masaan, and then with Raman Raghav 2.0. Did it feel different each time?
Both films were selected in different categories.
Obviously the excitement levels were always high. Having said that, during
Raman Raghav 2.0’s Cannes stint I was there with Anurag Kashyap, Nawazuddin
Siddiqui and the whole team is like family. I began with them in Gangs Of
Wasseypur, and then I was there with my own film. That experience was
You have carved a niche with offbeat, small-budget films.
Did you consciously pick these roles or were these the only kinds offered to
Small films, big films, different genres – everything is
being offered to me. But as I have always said, films are a director’s medium.
If the story and the director’s vision excites me, I would definitely want to
work on the film. The film’s budget, the production house, the release date –
all these things are secondary.
Now with films like the Sanjay Dutt biopic, Raazi and the
Ronnie Screwvala film on Uri attacks, you are shifting to commercial cinema.
Will the audience accept this change?
The line between commercial and offbeat cinema is
blurring, which is a very good thing. Audiences have changed and they are
giving a chance to everyone now. It’s a very good time for cinema altogether.
Tell us about the Ronnie Screwvala film you just signed?
I can't say much, but it's a story that everyone should
know because it's one of Indian army's best operations till date, conducted
with valour and efficiency. I have to bulk up for the role and study military
tactics. It's sure going to be one of my toughest parts, both physically and
How is Alia Bhatt as a co-star?
Getting a chance to work with Alia Bhatt is a big deal
for me. She is one the finest actresses in our industry at the moment. I am
really very excited to be a part of the film. The kind of work she has done is
fantastic. I am learning a lot from her and working with her is great fun.
Then there is the Dutt biopic...
That's a special film. It was a dream to work with Raju
sir (Rajkumar Hirani). So when I was approached for the role, I was more than
happy to take it up. He is one of the most humble people I have met. As an
actor, I have learnt so much while working with him. I can’t talk much about my
character except that my role is important to the plot.
And how was it working with Ranbir Kapoor?
Ranbir is a chilled out guy. He is a secure actor, who
knows what the director wants from him. He does his homework. When I see him
working, it becomes clear that he is a hardworking individual, who gives his
heart and soul to whatever he does, and you can see it on the screen.
Talking about your personal life, you are a private
person. You don’t attend parties and stay away from social media. Why?
That’s how I am. Even during my engineering college days,
I would keep to myself. Just because I am a star, I don’t want to change the
way I live my life. I prefer enjoying and partying in my own way.
Image Source: Instagram/vickykaushal09/aliaabhatt/ranbirkapoor