Cinema is evolving and so is the quintessential Indian ‘hero’. Leading among this pack of gen next actors is current heartthrob Vicky Kaushal, who through his hard work, talent and choice of scripts, has managed to win the love of the audiences and critics alike
Tall, dark and handsome— one look at Vicky Kaushal is all it takes to understand what the fuss surrounding Bollywood’s latest dreamboat is all about. While his easy-going boy-next door charm bedazzles you, the commitment and dedication he’s shown to his craft make you fall in love with him a little more. A string of critically lauded performances marked his arrival. Journeying from Masaan(2015) to Raazi(2018), Sanju(2018) to Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), Vicky has metamorphosed into one of B-towns most sought-after talents; a powerhouse performer who effortlessly connects with his audience. The essence of his success has been a combination of hard work and his faith in the right scripts.
Rings: Amrapali Jaipur, Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Reflecting on how good scripts found their way to him, he shares, “The unique opportunities that come my way are only so because the audience—like the cinematic storytellers—have evolved. It’s a beautiful time in the age of cinema to be a creative force.” It has become second nature for an actor to jump at the opportunity of being a part of a good script supported by a reputable team—and Vicky is no different.
Shoes: Manish Malhotra
With his name linked to some illustrious upcoming projects— Bhoot: Part One – The Haunted Ship(2019), Sardar Udham Singh (2020) and Takht (2020)—Vicky is all set to fill the screens and your hearts with his magic. “Horror is a category that I haven’t experimented with; as an artist, it is my constant endeavour to cover the broad spectrum of cinema. The idea is to not only grow as a performer, but also as a human being. As for the script of my upcoming horror flick, Bhoot: Part One – The Haunted Ship, I experienced chills just while reading it. The film is part of a franchise by Dharma Productions and it’s the first time they are experimenting with horror.” For Vicky, establishing a connection with his audience has been significant to his ethos as a celebrity. “The more authentic you are, the better you connect with people. The moviegoer today wants to relate to you and only then does he accept you.”
Necklace (wrapped around the left hand): Jaipur Jewels, Shoes: Manish Malhotra
While Vicky is constantly seeking ways to cater to his audience, his movie selection process involves a more instinctive approach. “I don’t make intense calculations when choosing a script. After a narration, if the story or characters continue to play on my mind, for me, that’s a big green light. Of course, this is a director’s medium, so the person helming the project is of cardinal importance to the process. Then, of course, the production house and crew add value to the decision-making process. It’s also important to ensure that you’re not repeating the characters you’ve played; nevertheless, it is the soul of the film that should connect with you,” he feels. Perhaps this is why the moviegoer is so awed by him. In Sanju, he was the best friend everyone wanted, while the catchphrase ‘How’s the josh? ’ further fuelled the Vicky mania. “It is an incredible validation for an actor when the words he has spoken in a film resonate with the audience. It’s a victory for the actor, writer and the entire team! It really motivates you,” he shares of these surreal reminders of his fame. In less than five years of his movie career, Vicky has played to his strengths and worked with some of Indian cinema’s most recognised names.
Brooch: Outhouse, Shoes: Manish Malhotra
Soon, he’ll find himself vying for the audience’s attention in Karan Johar’s multistarrer period drama Takht, which will feature Ranveer Singh, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Alia Bhatt, Bhumi Pednekar, Anil Kapoor and Janhvi Kapoor. Of this upcoming magnum opus, he reveals, “For starters, it’s surreal that Karan thought that I would be suitable for the role. I remember asking him repeatedly, ‘Are you sure? Should I believe that I’m on board?’ I’m overwhelmed, but I couldn’t be happier!” Today, Vicky has everything he could ever dream of, with the promise of more coming along the way. It has been a dreamlike story of struggle and triumph—one that he wouldn’t pen any other way. “You see, if I could go back in time to my days of struggle, I wouldn’t reveal to myself this success that was due to come. The Vicky from three years ago would have become complacent if he knew how his career would shape up. I try not to focus on what was and what is to come; instead, I want to live in the now. I want to give my best to every movie and follow my heart.”
Photographs: Rohan Shrestha, Outfits & Styling: Manish Malhotra, Hair: Team Hakim’s Aalim, Make-Up: Anil Sable, Creative/ Art Direction: Gopalika Virmani