After treating his fans in 2018 with five varied releases – Raazi, Lust Stories, Love Per Square Foot, Sanju and Manmarziyaan, Vicky Kaushal begins the new year with the action drama Uri: The Surgical Strike. The 30-year-old actor’s latest film Uri: The Surgical Strike will be out on January 11. The action-drama is based on the 2016 surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army in retaliation to an alleged terror attack in the Kashmir region of Uri. Kaushal, who is set to give yet another enthralling performance in Uri along with Yami Gautam who plays a challenging role of an Intelligence officer revealed some inside deets about their upcoming movie in an exclusive interview with News Nation.
Here’s the tell-all interview with Yami Gautam and Vicky Kaushal:
Q: Tell us about your personal opinions on Surgical Strike?
Vicky Kaushal: It was 29th of November when we got to know about the Surgical Strikes through a press conference. For me, it was a feeling of immense pride. We all had this question in our mind if terrorism will be given a retaliation? This question was put to an end by our Indian Army very covertly and efficiently. Our soldiers came back without a scratch on their body! For me, it was a moment of utmost pride.
Q: Movies based on defense and Army come with a lot of expectations. How big was it a challenge for you?
Vicky Kaushal: It’s always a challenge to portray an Army man. The uniform that you wear gives you pressure. It’s not a normal uniform since our soldiers earn it after going on various missions and after facing too many hardships. So, playing this role is a big responsibility in itself. A lot of physical and mental preparation goes into playing this role because you cannot take it frivolously. So, that constant pressure is always there.
Q: As you said, you underwent intense training for your role, tell us more about how you had to prep for this challenging role?
Vicky Kaushal: It was exhausting (sighs) very, very exhausting for me. I was undergoing boot camp training and military training every day. I had to train for almost 7-8 hours and along with that, I had to read a lot about Army and meet Army personnel to learn about their state of mind before they go on a mission and after they come back from the mission. All these factors make it a really stimulating and engaging prep time. So, for me, my prep time was nothing less than a full-time job. As an artist, you feel content to go through such a process.
Yami Gautam: I play an intelligence officer, my character’s name is Pallavi in the movie. For me, this role was something I have never played before. Forget playing, I wasn’t even aware of what it takes to be an intelligence officer. For me, what their work is like and how it is to step into their shoes is much more than one could imagine. For me, the most important thing to do was to understand the character I was playing and be absolutely unpretentious about portraying it. For example, if you, as a journalist, figure out my identity being an intelligence officer, I have failed. For me, it was a revelation of sorts in a lot of ways.
Q: Patriotism is more than a sentiment in India and you’ll agree to it. What pressure does it build upon you?
Vicky Kaushal: I don’t think I had to face any pressure revealing patriotism, it was an honor instead.
Yami Gautam: It’s instead a responsible role to play. Everybody felt that sense of responsibility right from our director Aditya Dhar to Ronnie for the kind of film he was banking on. It’s extremely disappointing and hurtful when a sentiment rather than a religion is called nationalism. We put a question on it and are afraid to show that emotion.
Q: What was your reaction to Surgical Strike when you got to know about it knowing the fact that some people started questioning Army and called it an ‘illusion’?
Yami Gautam: We all knew the reason behind the surgical strike. It happened after 10 days of Uri attacks. We were disappointed, sad, agonized and angry too because of the foul incident that took place. The surgical strike wasn’t just an answer for this event it was a massive step against terrorism. You cannot do anything to make it fair for the jawans who lost their lives during the Uri attacks. For people questioning Army, I have nothing to say to that section of the society. I felt really liberated as a citizen of this country. And I’m extremely proud of our Indian Army and I don’t think we can ever do anything to thank them enough for what they’ve done for us.
Q: In an action against the neighboring country, do you want Surgical Strike to happen again?
Vicky Kaushal: I would never want situations to go out of hand to a level that we end up carrying out Surgical Strike again. This is a sad thing when a human being has to kill another person. But under some circumstances, such incidents have to take place. I wish peace and brotherhood between both the nations and such things to never repeat again.
That’s all for today’s conversation, folks!
Vicky Kaushal’s first film as lead Uri: The Surgical Strike will also test his commercial viability as a Bollywood actor. How excited are you to watch Uri? Let us know in the comment section.