It’s 2018 and the world is just waking up to the incredible charm and talent of a younger Vicky Kaushal, still making his rounds as a dependable indie actor and a supporting actor in mainstream affairs. Fast forward to 2022, and Kaushal is easily one of the country’s biggest stars with big box office hits and prestigious awards in his corner. Whether it’s his performances or his disarmingly ‘regular’-seeming relationship with Katrina Kaif, the actor is all anyone can talk about these days and for good reason!
On his birthday, we decided to take a look at his impressive filmography and celebrity persona and figure out just why there is nobody like him in Bollywood…
When he managed to outshine in supporting performances
Two of the actor’s most iconic roles are actually supporting characters in hit movies starring big stars like Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in the lead. In Sanjay Dutt’s biographical movie Sanju (2018), starring Kapoor in the leading role, Kaushal played the role of his best friend Kamli. The actor managed to make the relatively unremarkable, comic relief role into something memorable and at par with Kapoor’s performance. In Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi (2018), opposite Bhatt, the actor delivered an understated yet powerful performance as the ‘enemy’ that managed to leave a deeper impact on the audience despite him having fewer lines and screentime.
When he wasn’t afraid to play characters that weren’t exactly likeable
While it’s not unheard of, leading men in Bollywood tend to stay away from roles that are outright negative or have grey shades in them. Kaushal faced this head on early in his career when he took on the role of a drug-addicted cop who, spoiler alert, is the actual worst and the real villain, in the movie Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016). The actor also played the role of an immature and commitment-phobic DJ in Anurag KAshyap’s romantic-drama Manmarziyaan (2018), proving that he is not afraid to play characters that don’t get their happy endings.
When he proved he could give big commercial hits as well
After establishing himself as an actor of caliber in the indie movie scene, Kaushal starred in the big, Bollywood, action-drama Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019). The movie grossed over INR 200 crores in India alone along with critical acclaim across the board with critics lauding Kaushal’s turn as an action star in the movie and noting the inspired casting. The actor even went on to receive a National Award for his performance in the movie.
When he set the bar sky high for portraying real-life people in movies
You can throw a stone in any direction and hit a biography in Bollywood. Every actor has at least one biographical drama in their filmography at the moment. Kaushal is no different but with his portrayal of Sardar Udham Singh in the eponymous movie by Shoojit Sircar, the actor set a whole new bar for biographical roles. Based on the life of the freedom fighter who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer in London to avenge the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar, the 2021 movie was appreciated for the perfromances, especially Kaushal’s, and the technical details that it got right for the pre-independence era.
When he managed to keep his relationship with one of the biggest stars on a, relative, downlow
Kaushal has firmly entrenched himself into the list of one of the biggest Bollywood celebrities over the past few years. It’s natural that people become curious about his personal life, especially who he is dating or not, as his star rises. Rumours of him dating Katrina Kaif started much before the couple snuck away and got married. But nothing was confirmed by the actors, with the two preferring to keep it as private as they can and focusing the attention that got them on their work. Their wedding, too, was an equal mix of a low-key affair and a romantic and picturesque wedding because they’re big Bollywood celebrities after all.
Video Shot & Edited By: Shreepad Gaonkar ; Creative Direction: Avantikka Kilachand ; Fashion Editor: Sonam Poladia ; Assisted By: Anushree Sardesai & Vidula Rane ; Make-Up: Anil Sable; Hair: Shuaib Salmani From Team Hakim Aalim
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s May 2022 issue. To read the full interview, get your hands on the latest issue right here!