“Vicky Sandhu is my alter ego. Vicky Kaushal is Clark Kent, Vicky Sandhu is the Superman inside him. If you start playing Punjabi songs, the Vicky Sandhu in me will come out immediately,” Vicky Kaushal said as we settled down to talk about his next big film – Manmarziyaan.
Vicky is reuniting with director Anurag Kashyap, whom he calls his mentor, in the latest romantic drama. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the actor said it was Anurag’s conviction that made him take up the role of Sandhu. “Anurag knew that naughtiness is hidden inside me. He only wanted me to explore that. He knew I’m totally into Punjabi music, that I do a little bit of beat-boxing and all. So he said to incorporate all of that into the character. I was very excited that I finally got a role which has the flamboyance and eccentricity to live life to the fullest,” Vicky shared.
From pierced ears, blue streaks, hair tattoo and loud colours, 30-year-old actor Vicky is doing everything we’ve never seen him do in Manmarziyaan.
“So far, all the characters I’ve played had that one trait that they were reserved, restrained and subtle. This Vicky has not one drop of subtleness! We knew we can go mad about his look and create something really new. One day Anurag sir sent me a reference picture of a guy with blue hair, and said ‘that’s my Vicky Sandhu’. Imagine a guy like that roaming on the streets of Amritsar in full swag. He’ll be so impulsive and carefree. That day, I understood the character in more depth just by visualising that Vicky Sandhu’s hair is blue,” Vicky said.
The same actor, who once played the grief-stricken Deepak in Masaan, has matured enough to play the fiery Vicky Sandhu in Manmarziyaan. He, however, stated that both the characters are a reflection of his own self. “I am both of them! The Vicky Kaushal you are speaking with is probably close to Deepak. But I also have Vicky Sandhu inside me. And while playing the latter for two months, I had a blast. I used to yearn to do more of that even after wrap-up. I do become like that in real life too. I have my moments. So, it has been very satisfying and liberating for me as an actor to have both the experiences,” he asserted.
So, what was Anurag Kashyap’s brief for Manmarziyaan? “He gave only one brief, don’t stop yourself from anything. Flow like a river. ‘I won’t stop you, you don’t stop yourself either. I want to see to what extent you can play it.’ You’ll see me doing things which aren’t in the script. So, when you get such freedom, that empowers an actor. This, I always get to feel whenever I work with Anurag Kashyap,” Vicky revealed.
“Even he knew he was doing something different. But he didn’t think that this isn’t my style. My confidence in letting myself go into Vicky Sandhu came from him letting go into this new world which he was entering. I’ve been here only for 3 years. This guy, who has been working for 20 years in the industry as an acclaimed director, he still says ‘no, I’ll rediscover, I see a new world’. If he comes out and sees a new world with so much conviction, even I want to see that world,” he added.
Manmarziyaan is a love triangle, also starring Taapsee Pannu and Abhishek Bachchan. While Abhishek plays the quieter, more matured one in the trio, scenes from the trailer hint that Vicky and Taapsee are shown as fierce lovers. I asked Vicky whether he was as audacious in love in real life too, and pat came his reply, “No, I’m bit dull in real life! I think I need to be more colourful. I’m very close to Deepak in real life when it comes to romance, who stays bit shy, doesn’t know how to talk. I’m that and have even said some stupid things because of that. Vicky Sandhu is on a different tangent altogether.”
Elaborating on teaming up with both Abhishek and Taapsee for the first time, Vicky said, “It was like fire and ice where I didn’t know if I was melting or freezing! You don’t know in which direction the energy of one person will go (Taapsee), whose way of expressing love is – ‘I’ll kick you on the butt!’ This is the way she talks when she is in a happy state of mind. Then there is this amazing gentleman (Abhishek), who is so loving. He first looks at you as a human and not as a professional. That’s a beautiful trait to have. He takes care of people around him, he makes sure they are comfortable, they are happy, they are smiling, they aren’t in trouble. And he has the most amazing sense of humour. Sometimes, you’ll realise it after two days that he made fun of you! (laughs) He is amazing.”