My goal is to be as honest as I can be to my character ”“ actor Vicky Kaushal

By Neeru Saluja

With his boy next door looks and versatile acting, this Lokhandwala lad has won the hearts of the masses. It’s his deep rooted sense of reality that makes him Bollywood’s most promising actor.

Actor Vicky Kaushal was first noticed in his cinematic debut ”˜Masaan’ and since then has been on a rollercoaster with consecutive super hits in ”˜Uri: The Surgical Strike’, ”˜Raazi’ and ”˜Sanju’.

The National Film Award winning actor is now ready to experiment with the horror genre in ”˜Bhoot ”“ Part 1: The Haunted Ship’. Directed by Bhanu Pratap Singh and produced by Dharma Productions, the film also starts Bhumi Pednekar and Ashutosh Rana.

The critically acclaimed actor chats to us about the film, his relationship with horror, overcoming his phobia, his goals and what genre he enjoys the most in this interesting conversation.

Bhoot Part One: The Haunted Ship is based on a true incident. How close did you feel to the character in terms of spookiness  knowing this is based on a true story?  

The incident happened in 2011 where a big container ship had parked itself on the shores of Juhu beach. The director Bhanu had experienced it being in Mumbai and that was where the story was born. The ferment of imagination he had applied was that what if there was a presence on the ship. That is where the story was derived from and he started writing about it.

I’m playing the character of Prithvi, a surveyor officer on the ship. This ship weirdly passes on the shores of Gujarat and he is given the task to find about the history of the ship and unfortunately he discovers many more answers. Things start getting spooky. I feel scared while watching horror films but somehow managed to shoot this film!

The audience has high expectation from horror films. What does this film have that other horror films don’t?

In the past especially in Bollywood, horror films have had a certain template where they have tried to lure the audience with an extra layer. That layer could be romance, erotica, comedy, music but this promises to be a true horror film sticking to the genre, what people enjoy in Hollywood films. The geography of the film is quite fresh which is a haunted ship and makes it even more exciting.

What was the most difficult and memorable part while shooting this challenging film?

A lot of technical knowledge was required for this film. It was not the usual grammar that I’m used to for drama or comic films. All the departments had to come together and the timing is the most important thing to achieve.

I also have a phobia of being underwater, therefore it was very challenging. On my first day of shooting I was panicking and couldn’t shoot. I was feeling very guilty as I knew the script. With the scuba team I had to get rid of the fear which was a big journey as I was an aqua phobic. This film has made me overcame that fear and it’s life changing for me.

The most memorable days were when we shot on the actual ship which was in Gujarat. It was a huge ship and this was the first time I was exploring a big container ship. We had to shoot on the upper deck and it was 10 floors above with no lifts. Every time we had to shoot it was 10 floors of climbing up and down. It was interesting to shoot on a real ship.

Do you believe in ghosts?  

I do believe in ghosts. Nothing has happened to me personally but if a friend is narrating a story to me that something has happened to her or him, I would not brush them off. I believe in both positive and negative energy, though I believe in positive energy a little more.

If you had to stay on an abandoned ship for 24 hours and could only bring three things with you, what would they be and why?

I would get a torch as I would be scared in the darkness, I would get my phone so I’m connected with the outside world and food as I would feel very hungry.

Your choice of films has always been unique and you play a different role each time. Which genre do you enjoy the most?

I have been fortunate enough to work with various genres during a short span of my career. I really enjoyed doing the action sequence in Uri. I am hungrier for action films hence forth.

What’s next from Vicky Kaushal in 2020 and what are your goals?  

My next film would be Shaheed Udham Singh that is a biopic on a lesser known freedom fighter. And it is directed by a director whom I have been wanting to work with since a long time, Shoojit Sircar. We have almost finished shooting the film and it’s due to release in the second half of the year. I also have Karan Johar’s Takht, a historical.

The goal is to be as honest as I can be to the character that I am playing. And also be honest to the film I am part of.


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