Uri: The surgical strike is without a doubt, one of the best patriotic movie India has ever produced. Vicky Kaushal is the shinning star in the movie. This movie is also a debut film for Mohit Raina, who is popularly known for his role as Mahadev. Uri is based on the surgical strike conducted by Indian Army in the year 2016, the movie is directed by Aditya Dhar.
Q. What kind of response are you getting from the audience on Uri?
Vicky: The response we’re getting is a pleasant surprise for us. We had hopes that the movie does well but didn’t expect the numbers we’ve collected and the applause that we’re getting. It was surprising for us as well.
Q. People in Qatar are also cheering for India after seeing Uri film there.
Vicky: That’s really awesome.
Q. What was the best compliment that you’ve got for your film?
Vicky: All these claps are very big compliment for us as people don’t usually do that in movie halls. Our motive was to bring a patriotic feeling in everyone and make them feel proud about Indian army and everyone after seeing the movie are having the same feelings. That’s a brilliant emotional connection which has happened successfully.
Q. What was your head space like when you were shooting for the funeral scene where you had to be strong and hold back your tears?
Vicky: As an actor these scenes excite me where I don’t have the luxury of words. I didn’t had any words nor could I make any body movements so as an actor, there’s a lot of scope where you can prove a lot of things, it’s a test for you as well. When we were shooting that scene of a small girl yelling, none of us were facing her and when she yelled, we all were so shocked and we could sense the emotion right away. We all had goosebumps and that effect was not only on the screen but also was behind screen. That energy is what is getting reflected on what you see on the big screen.
Q. Mohit, how do you feel that your debut film has become such a hit?
Mohit: I knew this was going to happen, it was a calculated move. Because I knew Vicky Kaushal is in the movie so it’s definitely going to be a great successful journey. As he always stands out with various types characters which he does. I’m being very serious and honest. But having said that, it will do so well in 24 hours, that wasn’t expected.
Q. Vicky now that you’ve become a bankable actor, how are you planning to encash this love and support?
Vicky: I’ll work in the same manner as I’ve been doing. It’s really important to being honest and truthful in the work that you do. But now is the time when I can’t take all this granted. I don’t want to take anything lightly and work harder. I don’t want to take success or failure too seriously. It’s a good phase where I am getting the opportunity to work with great directors and in great stories, so I won’t ever take it for granted.
Q. Have you been too selective in terms of the movies you work in?
Vicky: It’s been like this since the start. I waited for a story like Raman Raghav. I tried opening windows for the audience. They don’t make you stereotype, you make yourself a stereotype. I keep testing myself and try different roles. Now I’m shooting for a horror movie, this is the first time I’m trying horror.
Q. Which film was the game changer for you?
Vicky: My first film, Masaan had given me a lot credibility. And because it was such an underdog film, no one had any expectations from it but everyone who was associated with that film got credibility. So it opened a lot of doors for me. But Sanju gave me a chance to reach out to everyone worldwide. It gave me a great base.
Q. There was a time when patriotic films had a ongoing phase in India but then that faded away. Do you think that phase is again going to start now?
Vicky: I really hope that phase starts again. Because there are so many interesting stories to be told. When you talk with an army person, you get to know so many incredible stories that as a citizen of a country you feel that this story should reach people. Like Aditya Dhar thought about Uri. Now Dil Mange More is also coming out by Dharma, so films on army are coming out and that’s great.
Q. How do you feel when both multi-starrer and a solo starrer film works well?
Vicky: We always feel happy about any film’s success because every film is made with team efforts. Now a days great stories are made into films with great concepts and that’s what makes a way to audience’s heart. The casting also matters for numbers and occupancy in theatres but the concept is more important according to me. So it’s not important for me whether I’m the main hero or side hero, I want to be a part of script where the script is the hero. Thankfully I’ve got opportunities to work in such great scripts with great directors, hopefully this continues in the future.
Q. How was it meeting PM Modi?
Vicky: It was great. It was truly an honor. It was a half an hour meeting and it was great.
Q. The video you made with the fellow actors, went viral.
Vicky: Thanks to you media. They were all very sweet to me and said your film is releasing tomorrow so let’s make something. So in that excitement, the video was made. The entire team of Uri including me was very grateful to them.
Q. Mohit, now that your debut film has gone hit. Does your TV platform will take a back seat?
Mohit: I’d like to focus on the digital platform and the film’s right now. Because TV requires a long commitment and I’ve already done a lot there. So now I’m trying to be a part of good scripts in films. Let’s see what happens.
Q. Mohit, do you think Uri will help you change people’s perspective of you as a God and you won’t be stereotyped?
Mohit: Yeah, that’s for sure will help me in that. Because the reach of cinema is very different. So in 24hours the kind of response on getting means that the audience is really changing so we’ve different sets of audience for TV and for cinema. The audience of cinema has reacted fabulously which I’m really happy for. I give 100% credit to the writer and the director for the film.
Q. Now Aamir Khan has said mythological films should be made. Would you like to be a part of such films?
Mohit: Yeah. If it will be made by the perfectionist, Aamir himself then who wouldn’t like to be a part of it.
Q. What kind of projects did you get before Uri?
Mohit: I got lots of them but like Vicky said, being part of a good script is very important. So that is what I was waiting for. I thought this was the script which would give me little bit of justice and of which I’d like to be a part of.
Q. Any great compliment you got from your fans on social media?
Mohit: Yeah, loads of them. I was expecting that people will like it but I didn’t thought that their reaction would be so massive. It’s very touching.
Q. Were there two screenings for Uri?
Vicky: Yes, one was kept specially for the Army. So we met them. And by the night, we planned a surgical strike and went on to see audience’s reaction. We heard that the shows were full. We went to PVR at 10:30pm. Seeing the whole show packed gives lots of happiness to us. When we sat with them and we saw their reactions, it was mind blowing. At the end when people gave standing ovation, our heart just sunk.
Q. How did your family react to the film?
Vicky: They all loved it, both my friends and family.
Q. What’s your criteria to choose a film, because you have never repeated any specific kind of role in any of your movies.
Vicky: I always make a conscious effort to not repeat anything in movies or the role that I do in the movie. Immediately I don’t follow up the same genre, I take up something different in the middle. Also when I read the script for any film for the first time, I don’t read it as an actor, I read it through audience’s point of view. I think that I have given 300rs to watch this and then I see what affect the script makes on my heart. Whether I feel the urge or excitement to tell more 4 people about how amazing the script is or not. So if the story makes its mark on me then I focus on my role, the director and the producer.
Q. What genres would you like to take up next?
Vicky: I have been craving to do period drama which finally I have got the opportunity to do so with the best team. I have been looking forward to that process to start. I really want to do out and out comedy.
Q. Now that you have made your space in the industry through your performances, is the pressure of you increased?
Vicky: There is pressure and this pressure helps to bring out great outcomes. Its also a privilege that the audience is giving you that pressure. They give you love and limelight and the pressure also flows in with it. I try to take that pressure gracefully.
Q. Mohit will you be doing web series now?
Mohit: Yes, I have already finished one. But the formal announcement still has to be made. After Uri lets see what happens, I haven’t started working on anything as of yet.
Q. Now after taking a first step into Bollywood, how do you feel to be addressed as TV star?
Mohit: As a human being, you cannot take away your childhood from your life, same way as an actor you can’t take away your base from where you belong. I am whatever I am today because of the TV platform, I belong from there. And I am proud of it.
Q. Vicky will you continue doing web series?
Vicky: Yes, if the story is good, that’s all that matters to me. I want to be a part of a good script, good director, good producer and a good team. The platform can be anything. If I get a chance to work in a great web series then why not, it reaches out to such a wide audience.
Q. What were the locations where you shot fighting scenes for Uri?
Vicky: It was impossible for us to shoot such huge fighting scenes in Kashmir so we shot in Serbia where there are dense forests similar to Kashmir. Other locations were in Mumbai.
Q. The scene where Paresh Rawal breaks the mobile phone, did that really happen?
Vicky: That you’ll have to ask to Aditya. He incorporated it and he has collected and researched about everything.
Q. Vicky what’s your dream role?
Vicky: for me every role is dream role. There’s no specific role. But like I said, I have been wanting to do period drama since a long time now.
BY: RUJUTA THETE