Vikrant Massey on Ginny Weds Sunny: I wanted to do an out-and-out commercial Bollywood film
Vikrant Massey discusses experimenting with a typical Bollywood script and how he cannot compromise on the quality of a story regardless of the medium.
Vikrant Massey is currently living the best phase of his career. In the recent past he has given memorable performances in intense dramas like Mirzapur and Criminal Justice. Massey has also been the vital part of several women-centric stories like Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak, Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha and the recent Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. Not to forget A Death In The Gunj where he stood out among a stellar slate of actors, or the more recent indie sci-fi Cargo.
Looks like now the actor is aiming for a shift in his image with Ginny Weds Sunny, a feel good rom-com, which released on Netflix on 9 October. Contrary to his image, Massey emulates a typical Bollywood hero — he wears a shiny jacket, woos the girl and dances in an item song with Mika Singh, Badshah and Neha Kakkar.
“I had seen this kind of content from far away but I always wished that I get to work in one film at least where I can do song and dance. In the last two to three years, post A Death In the Gunj, everything at home and work had become so intense. I was getting exhausted. I felt this was the right time to experiment and dabble in something that I haven’t done before. Somewhere down the line there was a plan to do an out-and-out commercial Bollywood film which also involves romance, heartbreaks, shaadi sequences, naach-gaana. It feels I am starting off all over again. Let’s see what response I get. I wanted to tap this area to see if I am able to do it and whether people like it or not remains to be seen. But I am quite comfortable dancing in front of the camera or on stage,” Massey explains why he decided to play Satnam Sethi aka Sunny opposite Yami Gautam's Ginny.
“But primarily,” Massey says, “I identified this to be the right script for me. I have done some light-hearted comedies in short films on television but I have not been able to do such films in cinema. I have played so many serious and sincere characters but the borderline buffoonery or when we call someone a cartoon, that character I had not played before, so as an actor it gave me so much of an opportunity to touch areas I haven’t even experimented. And then, only a fool would reject an opportunity to work with Yami Gautam. That was also the driving force.”
Massey started off his journey with television and while the actor starred in some popular soaps (Dharam Veer, Balika Vadhu, Qubool Hai), he decided to move to films, but the transition was no cakewalk. So, when the actor says he was surprised that Gautam agreed to work with him, one understands where he is coming from.
Someone, who has always been extremely vocal about the discrimination that the television actors face, says, “Unfortunately, the kind of bracketing that happens to television actors, it has happened to me as well. I won’t go into much detail on this because it is altogether another issue that we discuss all the time. But the fact is that the big stars don’t like working with television actors. Not everybody is a Deepika Padukone, or a Yami Gautam. Such people are rare because these actors have also come up the hard way that they look at things in a very rooted manner and with a lot of simplicity that they have retained. Even today, though I find it weird, there are many people who wouldn’t like to work with television actors. So that insecurity and hesitation is always there but when Yami said ‘yes’, somewhere I felt that there are good people who genuinely want to do good work and who are not concerned about other peripherals.”
Massey has often said that he does not differentiate between working in films, television or OTT content. His approach as an actor remains the same just that the quality and credibility are the key factors for him. The actor has many more leading parts coming his way. He will be seen with Taapsee Pannu in an edge-of-the-seat murder mystery Haseen Dillruba. Then, he’s paired with Kriti Kharbanda in 14 Phere, a social comedy, and he was recently announced as the leading man of Santosh Sivan's remake of the Tamil hit, Maanagaram (2017).
Massey says, “Quality is the key. That is a conscious decision and that is something I can’t compromise irrespective of the genre I do or the medium I am part of. I am getting that opportunity to have that thing concomitant with my name which is quality, which is credibility. I am making efforts for that only. Slowly and steadily things are getting better. Hope in the next three to four years from now I consistently keep delivering and my performances get noticed. I am what I am because of all the roles that I have done across mediums. I am grateful to all the makers who trusted a guy with no filmy background with such wonderful roles."
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