‘I do not have a fixed acting process,’ says Vikrant Massey

It is the bond between Deepika and me and Meghna Gulzar’s craft that makes ‘Chhapaak’ special, feels Vikrant Massey

‘I do not have a fixed acting process,’ says Vikrant Massey

Murtaza Ali Khan

After making his debut with Vikramaditya Motwane’s 2013 film ‘Lootera’, Vikrant Massey has gone on to deliver memorable performances in films like ‘A Death in The Gunj’, ‘Half Girlfriend’, and ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. He has also received critical acclaim for his work in web series such as ‘Mirzapur’, ‘Criminal Justice’, and ‘Made in Heaven’.

He stars opposite Deepika Padukone in Meghna Gulzar’s ‘Chhapaak’. In this interview, he talks about the second season of ‘Broken…But Beautiful’, his acting process, the rise of the web as an alternative entertainment consumption avenue and his chemistry with Deepika in ‘Chhapaak’.

What do you feel about Chhapaak? Also tell us about the chemistry you share with Deepika Padukone in the film.

I think Chhapaak is another wonderful film from Meghna Gulzar. She is one of my favourite directors. I consider myself really fortunate to have got anopportunity to work with her. I feel the film showcases interesting dynamics between the characters that Deepika and I play. And it is this bond thatbrings great hope to the story.

How would you like to describe your acting process?

There is no fixed mantra. My preparation differs from character to character. But if I have to sort of draw a commonality between all the parts that I have played or my method as you have asked, it is observation. I would like to believe that I am a keen observer. I admire people who have always given priority to observance. And also I have a sensitive nature; I try to sort of imbibe a lot of things. So there are a lot of things that I want to say which I try and channel through the parts I play. I think observation is the key. But I really don’t know how to sort of put this into one particular form or shape as to what my preparation is like. It involves a lot of things. To be frank, I have never ever thought of sitting back and analysing as to how I approach my work. But the only thing that I would like to say right now is that whatever I have observed from society, I bring it on screen because I want it relatable to the people who are coming to watch us. I want them to see themselves and the people they know in me. I think that’s one common goal.

Tell us about the second season of Broken…But Beautiful?

Well, there a lot more drama, a lot more romance, a lot more of everything but while sticking to the real essence given where we had left the story at the end of the first season. You can expect some great chemistry between the various characters. I say this because two new people who have joined the cast. Anuja Joshi has joined in as my love interest and Gaurav Arora has joined in as Harleen Sethi’s love interest. So there are two more people and as a result, there are new dynamics. A lot of people reached out to us last time around and the response was just overwhelming. We are hoping to repeat it this time around too.

How do you look at the web as an alternative avenue as far as the Indian entertainment scene is concerned?

I think the web is booming at an unprecedented pace. Five years ago the power of web wasn’t realised. Also, for creative artists like me and other people, it is a great medium to express ourselves. There are a lot more who are busier today and the most beautiful thing that stands out for me is that it reaches out to the whole world at once. I was fortunate to be a part of Mirzapur, Criminal Justice and a few other series. I realised that in one go, we reached out to more than 150 countries. Consumption of entertainment today, it seems, is far more private. In fact, 50 per cent of the total consumption is happening though portable devices. So it’s a great alternative for entertainment consumption as we move forward and I think it is only going to grow with time.

How does the series format differ from that of a movie from the point of view of an actor?

Well, the formats are poles apart because there are different priorities in the way you head into a particular film or you head into a web series which isfar more extensive. You end up shooting far more minutes than you do in a film. So it’s sort of far more spread out. It requires more of your time andenergy. But I really don’t think that as creative artists, the output differs. For example, the writer has to write more pages but the conviction doesn’t differ.

So the mediums are definitely different and the priorities are different but the ultimately priority is to entertain and to reach out to people. And especiallywith the web, you are reaching out to the world. You are not just creating specific content for a specific community. It’s for a global community andso that too sort of makes you pull up your socks and up your game and get the best out of everyone.

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