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All set to go!

Model-turned-actor Vikramjeet Virk talks about his journey into Bollywood, international films and forthcoming web series

From modelling to daily soaps, from working in the South film industry to his big Bollywood break – Vikramjeet Virk’s career has been a colourful one. “It’s been such a wonderful journey!” he says.

Hailing from Haryana, Virk looks up to Aamir Khan as his role model. “He is wonderful, an amazing actor. Especially in Dangal, where he played a Haryanvi, he got the dialect perfectly. I am from Haryana, so I know it’s not an easy task to get the dialect right. Not only that, his body language and the way he talks in the film – everything was so on point. I love him like anything!” he shares.

Virk started off as a model, and then after few years ventured into acting. “It’s been seven years now that I’ve been working as an actor, before that I was a model. It was quite different from acting – it’s all about looking good in modelling, but while acting you have to look good as well as perform,” he says.

About working in South films, he says the language wasn’t a barrier. “If you talk about working in a different region, where the language is alien to us – the work is not different, only the dialogues. Of course, if I’m speaking in Punjabi in a film, then it is easier for me. It comes naturally to me because it’s my mother tongue and I don’t have to juggle with words. Such is not the case when I am doing a film in Telugu or so,” explains Virk.

Not only Telugu films, he also worked in Chinese film Buddies in India (2017). He said it had a huge budget, and was shot in India. It took about 60-70 days to finish the entire shoot. “I was playing an Indian guy in the film, so it was easy. It was very nice working with them. It was quite a different experience. The whole team was very cool. They did not know English and we didn’t know Chinese, so of course we had someone who can translate to help us communicate. But we had a lot of fun!”

His latest venture was Tarun Mansukhani’s Drive – under Dharma Productions which was released on Netflix recently. Starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez, Virk plays the second lead in the film. “I auditioned for Drive and got the role. I had a good time shooting with Dharma Productions. They have the best equipment, best team and best people to work with. Everybody was so good. Sushant is a very nice and hard-working guy. Karan Johar is a very experienced person in the film industry, so I got to learn a lot.”

Not a long while back, the nepotism debate was on a high. And it all started on Karan Johar’s own talk show. When asked his view on the whole debate, he said it’s nothing unusual. “If someone’s father is a farmer, then he will definitely give his land to his sons – he won’t give it to the neighbour’s son. That’s how everything works. It’s quite natural. I think if one is talented enough, then they will definitely get a chance. Like, I am not from the industry but still I got these opportunities. But there are many people out there struggling to get a chance, so they talk about nepotism. Which is okay from their point of view, but I feel if one is hardworking enough – one will get one’s due,” says Virk.

Talking about his upcoming ventures, he spoke about Rajkumar Santoshi’s Battle of Saragrahi – the film is based on the battle from the 19th century when 12,000 Afghans attacked a British Indian contingent which consisted of 21 Sikhs – who went on to become the heroes of the mission. But the film, he says, is on a hold owing to some financial reasons.

“I would really like the project to be out there. The concept is really good and the way Raj Sir (filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi) has written the story, it is wonderful. Few films have come out on the same subject, but I feel they are not even close to the way he has written it,” he claims.

This, however, is not holding him back in any way because he’s already got his hands on many other projects. He has finished shooting for a Punjabi film called Ik Sandhu Hunda Si, which will release the coming February. Also, he worked on a Telugu film called 22, which will release on December or January. “I am also in talks with few makers for two web series – one is with Nikkhil Advani’s Moghuls and it will be for Hotstar. There, I am playing Dia Mirza’s husband. Other is a series for Amazon Prime – the script of which I’m reading,” concludes Virk.