VICKY Kaushal is a man with a plan and looks like he has got his game sorted. Besides Zubaan, a coming-of-age movie by Mozez Singh which is releasing today, he also has Manmarziyan, a romantic musical and Raman Raghav 2.0, both by Anurag Kashyap, in his kitty. But what truly catapulted the actor into the spotlight was his debut leading role in Masaan, which won him critical acclaim at Cannes. The Punjabi lad followed his dreams of becoming an actor and after almost half a decade of struggling, landed the pivotal role in which he portrays a youngster from Benaras who is trying to break free from the restrictive shackles of the caste system.
While the 27-year-old owes his introduction to Bollywood to his father, a stunt coordinator, Kaushal was in fact pursuing his engineering when he decided to shift careers and become a performer. “I felt at that point of time that my life needed to be different and I did not want to spend it on a nine-to-five job.” Kaushal soon joined actor-author Kishore Namit Kapoor for a six-month acting course in Mumbai. “After my acting course, I had the opportunity to work with Anurag Kashyap, as an assistant director while he was shooting for Gangs of Wasseypur. This was my film school,” says the actor, of the association that also convinced him to join Mumbai’s theatre scene. It was during one of those days that Kaushal had a chance meeting with (screen writer and director) Neeraj Ghaywan, which lead to his role in Masaan. Kaushal spent almost a month on the ghats of Benaras absorbing the ethos of the place, to get into character.
Now the versatile actor hopes to make a mark with his latest outing, Zubaan, where the protagonist keeps chasing the wrong things in life till he ends up in Gurgaon and finds respite in music and love. Cast opposite Sarah Jane Dias, he says the film is about the journey of a young man trying to find his space in the world. “It was quite challenging to fit into the shoes of a Punjabi rockstar (character),” he says. While Kaushal looks cool in the promos and Ashutosh Phatak’s music sounds exciting, Zubaan has already won the Rising Director Asia Star award at the Busan Film festival.
Zubaan releases today.