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Exclusive: Vicky Kaushal spent a few days in Gujarat to prep for Sanju, reveals dad Sham Kaushal

The veteran action director shares his thoughts on his son’s performance in the Sanjay Dutt biopic.

Source: Shutterugs images

Mayur Lookhar

It is not often that a supporting character makes as big an impact as the protagonist in a biopic. But that is what has happened with director Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju, which has collected over Rs300 crore nett at the domestic box office.

While Ranbir Kapoor has been hailed for his performance as Sanjay Dutt, Vicky Kaushal has won hearts playing Kamlesh Kanhaiyalal Kapasi alias Kamli, a character said to be loosely based on Dutt’s friend Paresh Ghelani.

Speaking about the 30-year-old's performance, Vicky's father, veteran action director Sham Kaushal, credited writer Abhijat Joshi and director Hirani for his success.

"Credit the writer here," Sham Kaushal said. "A Sanjay Dutt story may not pique interest, but telling the story as a father-son relationship, and a relationship between friends, that has struck a chord with the people.

"The director and writer chose to tell Dutt’s story through these relationships. Vicky is lucky that a director like Rajkumar Hirani trusted him and gave him the opportunity to play such an important role. I think Vicky was able to carry this character well. I really enjoyed his performance."

The senior Kaushal praised his son for the hard work he put into the role and shed some light on the kind of preparation he underwent for Masaan (2015), his first film as the male lead, and for Sanju (2018).

"Vicky has a way of preparing,” said the pleased father. “Before he shot for Masaan, he went and stayed in the [burning] ghats for a couple of weeks. He lived among the people who light the pyres. He observed their mannerisms, their body language. Similarly, for Sanju, he went to Surat, stayed in lodges, mingled with the local Gujaratis and even secretly filmed some.”

Sham Kaushal, who has spent close to three decades in the film industry, also credited writer Joshi for the way the character shaped up. "Abhijat Joshi is also Gujarati," he said. "Vicky had a good tutor. You have to be careful that such characters don’t become caricatures. Here is a Punjabi playing a Gujarati so well. Vicky has been honest to his characters."

While Vicky Kaushal has had a good start to his career so far, with films like Masaan, Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), Raazi (2018) and Sanju (2018) under his belt, younger brother Sunny is yet to find his feet in Hindi cinema. But Vicky's professionalism and work ethic have rubbed off on him, according to their father.

"An older brother is always an inspiration for the younger one," said Sham Kaushal. "Sunny looks up to Vicky. Sunny got Gold (2018) last year, and all through the filming, he grew his hair and lived as a Sikh."