Working With Ranbir Kapoor & Alia Bhatt Is A Big Deal For Me, Says Vicky Kaushal

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 changed?
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 superlative.

You have carved a niche with offbeat, small-budget films. Did you consciously pick these roles or were these the only kinds offered to you
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.

vicky kaushal

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 emotionally.

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.

alia bhatt

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