From playing a young boy with responsibilities in popular TV show Balika Vadhu to doing TV commercials and finally bagging roles in movies and web series after a struggle of 14 years, Vikrant Massey has come a long way. But, unlike his contemporaries in the industry, the 32-year-old actor is not that big a fan of social media which has now become a platform to connect with fans. He believes his “primary job is that of an actor” and he would like to work with those who trust him with his craft instead of looking at the number of followers he has on Instagram or Twitter.
In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Massey talked about talented actors being denied work because of lesser number of social media followers and chances of him being a quintessential Bollywood ‘hero’. He also mentioned how working with female directors has brought the best out of him.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
Q. You are quite an introvert in real life and not very active on social media. Does that affect you professionally with most actors using social media to constantly connect with their fans?
I am active on social media but I am not active on all the platforms. I am active on Instagram as I believe that it is one platform that suits my personality. I find Twitter a little wild. Coming back to your question, I think it’s a catch 22 situation. Unfortunately, we are today hiring actors who are popular on Instagram. It has happened in front of me that a few talented actors have been rejected work because they don’t have the Instagram following. There are so many people who are brought into a project just because they have a certain amount of Instagram following. I hope it is just a phase and it fades away with time. My primary job is that of an actor. If there is someone who believes in what I offer in front of the camera rather than how much following I have on Instagram, I would rather work with them.
Q. While filmmakers are now aware of your talent, have they also started seeing you as a mainstream hero? Will you be okay playing a lead in a masala film?
Too soon to be talking about it. For me, the definition of a hero is fading away with time. I would rather call the parts that you are talking about as central parts or protagonists. I believe god is kind, people who are hiring me are kind, writers who are writing keeping me in mind are kind. They are giving me central parts and it is a huge responsibility. As I said, there is a very little margin for error for people like me and I just want to make sure that I get better with every project and people who are giving me their valuable time and hard-earned money, I hope I make it worth it for them.
So far, I haven’t been offered anything lucrative which has made me say yes to it. I have always said that my inspiration is society, the world we live in. I want to stick to reality and my observations about society as much as possible.
Q. We are seeing female directors taking over the screens. What will you say about the change? Do you think female directors bring a different perspective to the film?
Not just the directors, I would say, women, overall in society, have a different perspective. They are far more compassionate and empathetic. I think we need more women leaders in the country because there is a certain limit to their cunning if at all it is there.
When there are women writers and directors, they see the world in a different way. I believe a woman is the real pillar of the life you and I lead. I have been fortunately raised in a matriarchal society. I have always been around women who have taken the final call and have the final say. So, it’s a very natural process for me to be drawn towards women be it writers, directors or even if they have nothing to do with the kind of work I do. And, yes, they do bring out the best of me. I am very comfortable working with women directors. There is that advantage for me because I relate to the way they think, the way they see the world.
Vikrant Massey is currently seen in Hotstar’s original web series Criminal Justice. It also stars Pankaj Tripathi and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles.