Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal, who has an enviable line-up of releases coming out in the next few months, says his mantra is to stay "hungry" for good roles but he does not always have a grand plan for his Bollywood career. The 33-year-old actor has Shoojit Sircar-directed “Sardar Udham” releasing on October 16 on Amazon Prime Video. He is also working on “Sam”, the biopic on 1971 War hero Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the comedy-thriller with Shashank Khaitan “Mr Lele”, a romantic-comedy with Laxman Utekar and a situational comedy with Vijay Krishna Acharya, among other films.
Vicky Kaushal said not much has changed in the way he selects his projects as he still follows his instincts as an audience rather than as an actor.
“As an actor, you try to do different things so that you can grow. You don’t want to do the same thing consecutively. I also don’t want to feel saturated as I want to go into a film feeling hungry for that. This is important for me. I don’t have a grand plan of things,” he told PTI in an interview.
“If I feel excited about a character or story as an audience, then I am kicked about it. I don’t go into a maze of calculations or looking at career graphs because you don’t know the destiny of a film today," he added.
Son of veteran action director Sham Kaushal, the actor joined the industry as an assistant director (AD) to Anurag Kashyap on "Gangs of Wasseypur" series before making his lead role debut with the 2015 “Masaan”, directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, who was also an AD on “Gangs of Wasseypur”.
Vicky Kaushal was praised for his role, which led to critically acclaimed parts in “Raman Raghav 2.0”, “Raazi”, “Sanju”, “Love Per Square Foot” and “Lust Stories”.
But it was his performance as the leading man in 2019's “Uri: The Surgical Strike” that made him a household name.
"I never knew ‘Uri’ would become ‘Uri...’ (this huge) or any other film... I follow what my first impulsive reaction from my heart was to that story and character, and then I just enjoy the process," he said.
Vicky Kaushal is currently busy promoting his next “Sardar Udham”, in which he plays the titular role of the revolutionary freedom fighter Sardar Udham Singh, who assassinated Michael O'Dwyer in London to avenge the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar.
The actor said while he grew up listening to stories about Udham Singh, playing the character on screen made the revolutionary appear more human to him.
“Through and post the project, he became more human to me, more of a friend. With each passing day, he became more real and was one of us eventually. We hope and pray that through the film this aspect reaches out (to the audience) that there is a revolutionary in all of us... They are one of us," he added.
Vicky Kaushal said he was fascinated by the fact that Udham Singh was a determined person right from his childhood.
“This story is of Sardar Udham, who witnessed something as a kid and it made him a different person and he grew by years in that one day. And that is what I wanted to tap into as an actor: 'How can somebody mature so much, stay with that pain, angst for so many years and get so driven about the freedom of the country?'”
The Mumbai-born actor said his portrayal was entirely dictated by the script and the vision of the film.
"Here I had Shoojit da who was so very clear about how he wanted me to portray Sardar Udham and his story. That was evident in the script, which is that we wanted to keep it as real and humane as we could.
“As it is not a character that is widely depicted in our documents or books, it became a very fascinating process. But (I was) also very driven to realise that responsibility and to play that part with as much earnestness as I could,” he added.
“Sardar Udham” is a Rising Sun Films Production in collaboration with Kino Works, backed by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar. The film also stars Amol Parashar as Bhagat Singh and Banita Sandhu.