Actor Vikrant Massey, with his boy-next-door looks and image, has been scaling heights in Bollywood. Having begun his career by playing small roles, he has now established himself as a versatile performer through his work in TV serials and OTT shows.
Massey, who has worked with top film actors like Deepika Padukone, Tapsi Pannu and Sonakshi Sinha besides youngsters like Sara Ali Khan, first shot to fame through his performance as Shyam Madan Singh in Balika Vadhu in Colors TV channel.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength and benefitted immensely through the popularity of OTT platforms like Netflix, Eros Now and Zee5 over the last five years.
The 36-year-old, who has spent almost 19 years in the film industry, has featured in films like Lootera, Dil Dhadakne Do, A Death In the Gunj, Half Girlfriend, Lipstick Under my Burka and Chhapaak.
His latest movie 12th Fail was released in cinemas on October 27. Massey plays the role of a boy from a small town in Chambal, who aims to become an IPS officer but struggles to realise his dream until he lands in Delhi following a tragedy. He them fights to take the competitive exams and grinds for years until he becomes IPS Manoj Kumar Sharma.
The film, directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the man behind hit films like 1942: A Love Story, 3 Idiots, Mission Kashmir, Munna Bhai MBBS and its sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai as well as PK, has already been released in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada besides Hindi.
Massey spoke to Patriot on his new film and his career.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: How was the experience working with Vidhu Vinod Chopra?
A: I never thought that I would get a chance to play the role of a protagonist in a film directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. I like the way he directs films, has self-respect along with a lot of passion and commitment. He doesn’t compromise on any of those qualities under any circumstances. It is something I also want to carry throughout my career.
Q: How challenging was it to play the role of an IPS aspirant?
A: It was quite challenging and demanding. First of all, I had never done this kind of character although I have played a variety of roles in my Bollywood career. I had no idea about UPSC aspirants’ struggle and their interest in joining government job. It was very tough at one point because I had to learn their dialects and the manner of their conversations. Then I had to look dark without makeup; therefore, the director gave me some tips to follow like sitting on the terrace under the sun to get the tanned skin and dark look. I used to apply mustard oil on my body. But in the end, I am happy to get a good result.
Q. Tell us about your role…
A. Generally, when a student is unable to clear the UPSC exam, he loses interest. But through this film, my character suggests that students should not feel disheartened but restart their lives again. My director (Vidu Vinod Chopra) sent me to stay among students for a week so that I could get the real sense of students’ culture, their struggles. After I interacted with those students, I felt satisfied and understood various things.
Q: Tell us about your Bollywood journey…
A: I always wanted to get into films since childhood. Being in Mumbai was a plus point. I got to see many film shootings and also watched noted actor Sanjay Dutt. So, I got interested in joining films. I am overwhelmed by the response I got from the audience for 12th Fail and I request everyone to watch the film. This is a very interesting phase of my professional career. I try to give my best, spending 12-14 hours every day at work. I have played a variety of different roles but getting associated with Vidhu Vinod Chopra and getting to play a challenging role is a big achievement.
Q: Tell us about your upcoming projects…
A: I am working in Blackout with Jio cinema and Haseen Dilruba 2. I had worked in Haseen Dilruba (part one), which got a good response. These are the two movies in the pipeline.
Q: How do you like the Delhi audience?
A: I love Delhi and feel that Dilli Dil Waalon ki hai (Delhiites are large-hearted). I also love the vibe of this beautiful city and when I am here, I try to make the most of my day. I enjoy interacting with young audience and fans along with university students.