Vicky Kaushal who is a heartthrob of Bollywood is coming back on screens with his next, Bhoot Part one: The Haunted Ship. This movie is the actor’s first horror movie and people are looking forward to get chills down their spine! The film is set to release in theatres on 21st February 2020.
Q. You are doing a movie called Bhoot but do you personally believe in ghosts?
Vicky: Nothing has happened with me personally to believe in ghosts but when somebody says something has happened with them then I trust them and I get scared. Then I can’t sleep alone.
Q. Has something like this happened to you?
Vicky: I have experienced sleep paralysis. Before knowing the scientific reasoning behind it that your mind doesn’t sleep but your body does, I used to think that there is a ghost on top of me. It is a very scary experience. So once maybe I hallucinated but I saw a shadow passing so that time I got very scared.
Q. Did you experience anything spooky on the sets while shooting the film?
Vicky: Once a ladder fell down but it did not fell completely so we felt weird about it. So we thought if there was someone on the sets who is not letting us shoot their own biopic. Nothing serious other than that. But we started the shoot everyday by praying to god.
Q. This is the part 1 of the movie so will you be there in every part?
Vicky: That depends on many factors. Part 2 will only be made if this part 1 earns money. And they will only keep me in part 2 if they like me in part 1. So it depends on the response.
Q. How was it performing in this genre alone?
Vicky: It was very tricky. I also as an actor, enjoy exchanging energy with co-actors which creates a scene so you keep the thrill alive. But here when I was in the ship shooting haunting moments, I was wondering how would I do this with because even the ghosts would be put in later. Even on a very basic level, while we are shooting, I am supposed to react as if it is very dark and I can’t see much but while shooting it was well lit. So that in itself to act like there is darkness is very tricky. So where you had to react where there is no ghost or sound is difficult. I like to be in a flow when I am performing but I can’t do that here, I had to comply here according to what the camera and scene wants.
Q. Do you watch horror films?
Vicky: Very rarely. I am very scared. I have seen Conjuring, Paranormal Activity and Annabelle. But I prefer watching it with a set of friends who are more scared than me.
Q. How scary is Bhoot?
Vicky: I personally think it is very scary. I want everybody to come together, it is a community viewing experience and get scared together.
Q. For an actor, how do you get into that space of creating the atmosphere based on the scene with so many people around you?
Vicky: It requires a lot of understanding about what we are trying to create by all the teams coming together. Sometimes you are okay with moment happening around your set even while you are performing but in this film, it would bother me. There is a scene in the film in a ship where I walk in silence and one particular sound would get my attention but if something on the set would distracts me then it would destroy by concentration. So it is very important that the same atmosphere is created on the sets also. So that discipline was very important on the set where it is a narrow space. My behavior of feeling lonely should get transferred to the audience.
Q. You saw the rough cut of the film, did you watch the CGI?
Vicky: CGI wasn’t added, not even sound was added when I saw it, and those are very important part of a horror film and I was only watching the offline cut from the dubbing point of view. I will watch it one day before it releases.
Q. This is a very different movie concept that will happen in India so was that the main reason you are doing this after the super success of Uri?
Vicky: That was one of the primary reasons actually. This film was offered to me when Raazi was releasing. So it was before Sanju had come out and Uri was not even shot. It got offered to me and when I read the script, the geography was very fascinating to me. So it reminded me of The Shinning, how in an empty hotel with hundreds of room, anything can happen anywhere. So even this was like that where there is a big ship. There were many textures in the geography, anything could happen. So once you are in a huge ship, it gets hard for you to reach up and call for help especially when there are paranormal presence. The conflict was too rich so it attracted me to the script.
Q. It is very ironic that you are scared but you are doing a horror movie?
Vicky: Yes, because you know it is a film and as soon as the director says cut, you are going to drink tea with the ghost! So I thought to myself that I could do this and probably my fear would decrease too. I get jealous of people who enjoy horror movies so I would like to overcome my fear. Raat was one Hindi movie which scared me a lot when I was a kid in school. But now I think I won’t be that scared because I know that it is staged. But if it is a great horror movie then maybe I will still feel scared. I am a very indulgent viewer in general, I cry quickly, I find it difficult to not like a film. I get sold very easily so I am a very good audience.
Q. Do you have any phobia?
Vicky: I was very scared of the water but now it has decreased to many levels because of this film. I enjoyed shooting in water. But I still am not confident enough to go down to swim in middle of an ocean.
Q. Any superstitions?
Vicky: No, not at all.
Q. Does emoting things in such a film become challenging for it to be believable?
Vicky: When you are performing a drama scene, you know whether or not that scene came out emotionally and honestly or not so I didn’t check it on the monitor that much but here it was required for me to check on the monitor if I was getting that expression of fear right or not. Because when we are shooting we don’t have that background music or the actual visual, it is juts the expression. It should not be unnatural or too subtle. So I used to keep jamming with the director and talk about edit or background. I had to understand it beforehand so I was discovering it while I was shooting.
Q. Did you take a lot of retakes?
Vicky: I did, for some of the scenes because at such scare moments, the camera team, sound team, performance, lighting, production designer, everything had to come together and that timing should be correct. We shot options also so that it is easier during editing.
Q. What is special in terms of Bhoot as this genre is now being explored in India?
Vicky: It is sticking to the genre in the first place. There is so comic relief or songs or any side track. It is just a horror film and people should watch it. Like Bhanu has mentioned, where they have reached with horror films, they are playing with human’s emotions. This is a psycho thriller and a pure horror also. As you have seen in the poster and the trailer that there is a paranormal entity. We are sticking true to that then if people like this then we will keep evolving.
Q. How much of a strategist are you as an actor?
Vicky: I don’t plan. As an artist I won’t justify my work if I am planning and sticking to it, I would feel very rigid. Being a part of good films made by good filmmakers is more important to me. People want to watch good stories, they will never complain if you are giving them 5 romantic films together back to back. But as an actor it is fun to work in every genre and experience it. Before Uri, I hadn’t explored action so in Uri it was new for me. Even for Bhoot, I had this hunger to learn new things because I am also a new audience to this genre. I don’t want one thing to become my home ground, I want to try different territories.
Q. Do you think the industry has changed its take on you after Uri? How has your year been after Uri?
Vicky: It’s been a beautiful year. When you get so much love and trust from producers and filmmakers, you feel good. Your confidence boosts and you feel that you are on the right track so you just follow your gut. You must go for it if you like what you read and if it touches your heart. I never had that pressure of being solo before Uri so I had a lot of responsibility. So it made the crack and people liked it. If your film is great then it will make people watch it. My year went amazing after Uri, we got a lot of love from people and that was more special for us than the box office numbers. It is special when you get called by dialogues and you see that success reflecting in your parent’s eyes so you feel very happy about it.
Q. Now that you are gaining success, there were reports that you have increased your rates also, is it true?
Vicky: I need to buy food and cook also! Not that I have increased the fee but there are few films which gets done in few days but some take a lot of time so I feel it should be accordingly because you put so much into it. At the end of the day, you are selling your services and you don’t have a fixed pay check. And it is not only because of success, there are other logistical reasons also which fluctuates it up and down.
Q. You are doing films back to back but do you want any particular type of film now?
Vicky: I want to be on sets every day. The things I have signed up for now are going till 2022.
Q. What kind of challenge you as an actor are facing as far is Takth is concerned because it has great writers and it should have proper facts?
Vicky: I have always wanted to be a part of periodic drama and this one is as far as it gets. The cast is great, there is pressure for history but even the actors have a similar pressure to perform it truly with the director’s vision. At the end of the day, the honesty of emotions is the same. Our Bible becomes the script. I have signed up for that script so my loyalties are towards the role and the script. And we are trying to be as sensitive as possible to history. Film’s shooting is done.
BY RUJUTA THETE