New Delhi: “Honesty isn’t enough for me. That becomes very boring. If you can convince people what you’re doing is real and it’s also bigger than life — that’s exciting,” said legendary actor Gene Hackman. This perhaps holds for the innately versatile and talented Vicky Kaushal.
He took on the daunting task of playing India’s Field Marshall, the iconic General Sam Maneckshaw on screens in Sam Bahadur. Though he may have confessed that he lacked the looks and aptitude to play the legend, he seems to have got under the skin of his character. His body language, voice modulation and expressions recreate the illustrious life of Sam Maneckshaw.
The actor is known for his varied yet brave choices on screen, none of which are those of a conventional mainstream hero. Rather an actor who is willing to break across every barrier and boundary which defines an actor.
He appeases with his vulnerability, there is a likability that translates on screen.
If he was the highly detestable substance-abusing police officer Raghavan in Raman Raghav 2.0, he endeared with his simplicity and innocence as Deepak in Masaan in 2015. A film which made audiences and critics notice this innocent and aspiring character, who wants to break through the barriers of caste and societal judgements.
He was the Punjabi DJ boyfriend in Manmarziyaan who did not want to commit to his girlfriend on the other he was the sensitive Pakistani army officer Iqbal Syed, who gets torn between love for a spy wife and his nation in Raazi.
He was a scene stealer as Kamli, playing best friend to Ranbir Kapoor’s Sanju.
Then he burst onto screens as Major Vihan Shergill who leads a covert operation against terrorists in Uri: The Surgical Strikes. His roar of “Hows The Josh”, became an anthem of sorts in Indian culture. The film a blockbuster also proved that Vicky Kaushal had it in him to carry a film effortlessly on his reliable soldiers.
His searing performance as revolutionary Udham Singh further proved that he was a usual talent.
A method actor who is known to go through the rigors of what his role demands, whether it was to dehydrate himself for Raman Raghav , add weight for Uri or shred for Sam Maneckshaw he gets the look and pulse on point.
Despite the string of successes, his humility comes to the fore when he says “I am living my dream”.
An actor who has been through his fair share of auditions and struggles didn’t have the so-called Ticket to Bollywood. His was a case of sheer grit, determination and talent.
Not the one to wear the mantle of success, he endears with his easygoing attitude offsets. There are no starry tantrums, no attitude but a regular Punjabi Munda who is happy vibing to Punjabi Songs, having his paranthas and making fun conversation.
Married to one of the most sought-after women Katrina Kaif, everyone remembers how he had expressed his astonishment when she had casually remarked on a talk show that perhaps she and Vicky would make a good pair.
Though married for two years, they have been keeping their private life as guarded as possible. Both are known to have a quirky sense of humour and come up with quirky captions for their life together. Though Vicky admits his wife has helped him become less stubborn, she says his clarity of thought helps her hyper moods.
So what makes Vicky notch up the popularity quotient? It’s the relatability factor. An actor who has made it entirely on his own also exemplifies hope and inspiration to the many who like him stand in line for auditions. Also his flexible approach, he had no qualms about playing a supporting actor until his big break as a leading man. Thirdly he is an actor who basks in being one, it was never the stardom that he courted.