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Vicky Kaushal: From Engineering to Acting

Learn English with Vicky Kaushal’s speech. Vicky Kaushal is an Indian actor known for his work in Bollywood films. He made his acting debut in 2012 with the film “Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana” and gained recognition with his performance in the critically acclaimed movie “Masaan” in 2015. Since then, he has appeared in several successful films such as “Raazi,” “Sanju,” and “Uri: The Surgical Strike,” which earned him a National Film Award for Best Actor. Kaushal is considered one of the most talented actors of his generation, and his performances are often praised for their depth and intensity.

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Vicky Kaushal | Quote

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“Live in the present, go with the flow, and be honest in everything you do.” Vicky Kaushal

Vicky Kaushal | FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Host: Okay, first of all, I must thank you so much for agreeing to do this. We have absolutely enraptured audience who are all looking forward to this. They want to decode this enigma called Vicky Kaushal. It seems like a mysterious and yet such a draw that you have over especially the youngsters. It’s something absolutely breathtaking.

So the theme of the event is the stories we tell also tell us. So we want to know your story. Was it an unlikely one? I mean, could you take us back to your days of engineering and then how you journeyed, how it all started off? Because I know that it all started with an industrial event, if I’m not wrong. A lightning struck.

Vicky Kaushal: I would actually like to take the story a little further back.

Host: Oh, lovely.

Vicky Kaushal: For two years of my life, I have stood at the bus stop right here. I was a RGIT student.

Host: Oh, wow.

Vicky Kaushal: For two years of my life, I have stood at this bus stop. I was a science student. So my classes used to be from 7, 7:30 to one o’clock in the afternoon. And I used to stand at the bus stop over here, wait for 79, 33, 38. These are the three buses that used to take me home. And I want to know how much does the Vada Pav cost over here now?

Host: It’s pretty steep now. It’s pretty steep.

Vicky Kaushal: 30? 20? So when I was doing my junior college in Mithibai, this was 2001 to 2003.

Host: By the way, when was the last time you had a Vada Pav?

Vicky Kaushal: I keep having Vada Pav on set. Yeah, I call for Vada Pavs. But in 2001 to 2003, I was in Mithibai. And that time the Vada Pav used to be of 5 rupees.

5 rupees. So I started from here. And then of course I did my engineering from Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology. Till that time, I’m still that guy, but I’ve always believed in living in the present, going with the flow and just being completely honest to what I’m doing now. The plan was to do post-graduation.

I was good in studies, but I was very active on stage since childhood, but never really thought that I want to make it a career choice. So when I was doing my engineering in the second year, the college faculty took us to an industrial visit to show us, this is your future. When you pass out, you complete your graduation.

This is how an MNC looks. This is how the work the floor looks and how people work. So that was the first time I started introspecting as to what do you want to do. So the answer was performing, performing for the audience. The rule was in the family that first you have to finish graduation. You have to finish it well.

I had a blast doing my engineering. I finished that, and then in 2009 is when I started my journey as an actor.

Host: Okay. So that’s how it all began. As audience, we always like to look at the glory days of an actor, of how he’s doing well and all the success and fanfare that he’s enjoying. But failures are something that we don’t talk about.

Everyone has a good share of it. Was it a straightforward journey? Because if I’m not wrong, you started off with assisting Anurag and then your first break. So was it a straightforward journey? How did you take failures?

Vicky Kaushal: It was a straightforward journey, but of course I wanted to learn acting. Of course I wanted to learn the skills.

But more than that, I just wanted to be sure that if I’m made to act every day, am I a happier soul or am I cribbing about it? That’s what I really wanted to know. So I did that, and by the end of it, I got my answer that I really, really love doing this. After that, I was also sure, I remember I was 22 back then, right after engineering, I was 22. I was in no hurry to be in front of the camera.

Host: Right.

Vicky Kaushal: Because I knew that, firstly, camera captures everything. You’re a good actor, bad actor, fantastic actor, worst actor. It will present you the way you are because in acting, your eyes have to be honest and the camera captures everything. The audience, in two seconds of sitting in that cinema hall, in that first shot you give, in that first scene that you do, they know that if you can act or no.

And once they’ve made that judgment it’s a very uphill task to really prove your worth to the audience. So I wanted to do all of that before actually coming to the audience.

Host: You were very patient with…

Vicky Kaushal: So I had kept five years in my mind to learn the tropes, to meet people, learn from them, assist them, do backstage in theatre, do everything that is related to cinema and acting, learn all that I can before I’m fairly even confident to face the camera and come in front of the audience.

So it’s very strange because when I was doing that acting course in 2009, I still remember the date was 24th of July 2009. And it was the first day of my acting course and the teacher, it was a class of 20 students, and they just randomly asked, like, you know, okay, how have your last five years been like?

And we were all discussing that. And then they asked that, how do you want your next five years to be like? And where do you see yourself in the next five years? And I really am not a big fan of this question because I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next five minutes. And I really don’t want to know where I’m going to be.

Sometimes where you think you’re going to be in the next five years is much smaller than what God has planned for you. So I don’t want to limit myself in that thought process. But still…

So, but I was asked that, I’ll do theatre, I’ll assist somebody, I’ll do behind the scene work and I’ll be there. This was 24th July 2009. And 24th July 2015 was the day when Masaan released and my poster was there on the cinema hall. Exactly five years. And it’s just, sometimes things like these make me believe in belief.

Like, believe in belief that you just have to sometimes just give it out there. Just give it out and do it. Like, you know, sometimes it’s not necessary for you to know how it’s going to happen. But it’s very necessary for you to believe that it’s going to happen. If you believe that it’s going to happen is when the how takes care of itself.

So, I mean, you guys are going to start and do whatever you want to do in life but never, never lose that belief. That’s step one. Before skill, before talent, before everything else, that’s step one.

Host: Great. That’s…

Vicky Kaushal: And I also want to give a disclaimer that I tend to forget my questions. And I go on a different trip. So just get me back whenever you feel like it.

Host: More to do with the failure part.

Vicky Kaushal: Failure, yes, yes.

Host: That is very important because when you look at the youngsters now, they are very bad at accepting rejection. And failure is something that rattles them. So I think it’s equally important how you receive failure because that’s going to happen at some point of time. So how did you receive failure? Because there are a lot of people who look up to you and…

Vicky Kaushal: No, I feel failures must rattle you. I feel they must rattle you. They must shake you up because it’s only something good that comes out of it. Failure, I feel, is also one of the beginning stages for success. People say that persistence and perseverance are the two tricks for success. But I feel failure has also got to do a big part in that.

Host: Right. What kind of acting do you subscribe? Do you believe in that, that there is something called a classical acting style, there is method acting, or do you think it’s just these distinctions don’t…

Vicky Kaushal: I don’t really believe in one approach towards acting because I feel at the end of the day, between action and cut, I have to be honest.

My goal is to reach that honesty, no matter how I reach that. Different films, different characters, depending on how far or near that character is to you, you decide on your route. For me, it’s my world. It’s that character’s world. So I need to know my world in the film. So between takes, sometimes it’s just knowing…

Sometimes for me as an actor, it’s more of knowing the space. Most of the times, it’s bonding with your co-actors because it depends again on how your relationship in the film is. Like me and Taapsee from Manmarziyaan, we would… Like we were practically living together. Like it was almost like we were on set together the entire time because that had to come across in the film, or be it me and Ranbir and Sanju.

Our workshop for the film was for like 30 to 40 days before we started shooting. It was just me, Ranbir and Raju sir sitting at his office for hours at stretch and faffing. That’s it. Faffing. Just faffing. It was just faffing because the energy that we have while we faff, that is the energy that we wanted in the film between those two characters.

It is what the audience always remembers what’s between those lines. In real life, it’s not what we speak that matters. It’s what we not speak, what we hold back.

It makes me Vicky, makes you, you who you are. So I need to know what I said as that part and what are the things that I didn’t say as that part, but which was there in my head. So you need to bond with your co-actors, need to know them, gel with them. So all of that is going on with your team because at the end of the day, it’s a team effort.

The set has to be a happy set. It has to be nice. People should enjoy working together. The important thing is to just keep working, just keep working, just keep working, just keep working.

Host: Wonderful.

Vicky Kaushal