After Raazi, Vicky Kaushal has once again impressed the audience with his performance in Sanju. In an exclusive conversation with Indianexpress.com, Vicky talks about playing Kamlesh Kanhaiyalal Kapasi aka Kamli and sharing screen space with Ranbir Kapoor.
Would you like to share who you are playing in the Sanjay Dutt biopic?
I play a Gujarati fellow Kamlesh Kanhaiyalal Kapasi. The character is an amalgamation of three or four of Sanjay Dutt’s closest friends in real life but primarily the character is based on Paresh Ghelani who is based in the US. He lives and works there.
Did you meet the real person to get tips on how to imbibe the personality traits?
I have met him. He was in Mumbai for a while when we were shooting for the film. So, we hung out a bit. I have spoken to him many times but met him once, but I didn’t have to imbibe his personality traits because the personality is fictionalised but the incidents that happened between Paresh and Sanju are depicted in the film.
How was the shooting for Sanju?
Shooting for Sanju was an incredible process. Firstly, for me, it was a dream come true to be working with Rajkumar Hirani and Ranbir Kapoor in the same film. These are the two people I admire, respect and adore. Also, while working I realised they are beautiful human beings. So, it was an amazing and a learning experience. Also, it was amazing to know Sanju sir’s life so personally by being a part of the film.
Did you know Sanjay Dutt’s life story before?
His life story I kind of knew in broad strokes as in his jail term, TADA case, his life as a star and all. But I didn’t know about his relationship with his father, his best friend and the struggle he had to face or what actually happened, all of that I didn’t know.
Overwhelmed, humbled and feel truly blessed. Thank You for all the love! Feel so lucky to have got the chance to work with legends in this beautiful film. Learnt a lot, grew a lot… not only as an artist but as a human being as well. So grateful. Love- Kamli. #Sanju ❤️🙏🤗 pic.twitter.com/dJrO6NFHKo
— Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09) July 1, 2018
When I heard the narration from Raju sir, many times I would kept on going “really! This really happened?”. So, many things in the film were quite a revelation for me.
You said your father was the body double of Sanjay Dutt in one of his films. Was there any story you heard from your father?
Before becoming an action director in 1990, my father was a stunt man for about 8 years. During that time he was body double to many actors in that era. One of them being Sanjay Dutt. I still have their photo in similar clothes between shots, almost looking similar.
It’s a special experience now for the next generation to kind of be a part of Sanju’s sir life journey. That was special for me. Otherwise, I’ve only heard good stuff about Sanju sir as a professional.
How was it working with Paresh Rawal?
I have been a huge a fan of Pareshji. He is one of the most versatile actors. He is phenomenal. On the sets too, he was a thorough professional. He was an inspiration for both me and Ranbir. And the kind of bonding we all had was very nice. I used to keep pinching myself that I am standing between these two fantastic actors and doing a scene with them.
We are impressed by Ranbir Kapoor’s transformation. You were among the few who saw it closely. What was your reaction? What do you think it says about him as an actor?
The kind of person you are from inside, it always shows in your performance and that’s what is the most striking thing about Ranbir as an actor because he is such a gem of a human being that you see in his performance the honesty, the kindness and calmness. He is fantastic. I remember the first time I saw him for Sanju look test, I was like ‘wow’. It was pleasantly scary to see someone becoming someone that you know and who exists. It was unreal, different and jaw dropping. We have worked together so I can say he was magic. Working with him was a learning experience for me.
Love Per Square Foot, Raazi and now Sanju, how have you been choosing your scripts? Do you now believe you add to the hit factor of a film?
I don’t know if I add to a film’s hit factor or not. All I know is that I intend to do films which are different from each other, work with good directors and on great stories so that I get to grow as an actor. That’s my only attempt.
Everyone in the film feels they were meant to be part of it. Do you feel the same?
I guess so. But it surely is surreal. It was a special feeling to be part of a Rajkumar Hirani film. I will always crave to be part of his film in any capacity.
You have been behind the camera too. So, tell us what did you notice about Rajkumar Hirani’s approach to each scene?
Rajkumar sir has already shared his LCD formula. When he is writing a scene, a scene has to make people laugh or cry or there has to be immense drama in it. That was something new to hear. As a director, he is amazing. Such a modest and lovely human being. When he directs, you feel like it is somebody who is making his first and last film at the same time. He has got that passion and the honesty. Being an editor himself, he clearly knows what kind of film he is making. He sees his edit while he is making the film which makes the process faster. I can’t say how he is as a director but he for sure is an amazing human being. You meet, you talk to him, you don’t feel like leaving him. You feel like being around him because of his vibes which is full of goodness and kindness, which shows in his films.
Are there new films that you’ve added to your list after Uri, Lust Stories and Manmarziyaan?
There are a few. The announcements would be made soon hopefully. So far, everything is going in the right direction by God’s grace and I am really happy living my dream.
Your social updates give us an insight on how you are prepping up for Uri. How is the shoot of Uri? Would you tag it the most difficult schedule so far?
Uri is turning out to be amazing. We are shooting in Serbia. It’s an action film. So we are shooting the sequences every night. It is physically exhausting but that is the fun of being an actor and exploring new territories. It’s new for me. I have never done an action film before. It’s a first for me. I am really looking forward to it and excited for it.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines