Actor Vicky Kaushal, who assisted Anurag Kashyap before bagging his breakthrough role in 'Masaan', says he considers the filmmaker as his mentor as he learnt all about acting and cinema from him.
Vicky assisted the 'Dev D' director on the two parts of 'Gangs of Wasseypur' in 2010, which the actor says was like a "film school" to him.
"Anurag Kashyap is my guru, my mentor. Whatever I have learnt about cinema and acting is through him. Working on 'Gangs of Wasseypur' was like a film school experience," Vicky told PTI.
"I got to know how a film is made, the technicalities of it - lights, camera, sound... how actors function. I am thankful I had that experience because that has helped me immensely," he said.
The actor will be next seen in the musical drama "Zubaan", written and directed by debutant Mozez Singh.
Vicky says he bagged the film much before "Masaan" happened, and the feeling took time to sink-in.
"The feeling didn't sink in for sometime. I called my dad and told him, he started jumping. I thought wow, that is how I should be reacting. I went home, told my mom and she was so happy, for the first time I saw her dancing. That night I called Mozez again and met him. It then finally hit me. It took a whole day to sink-in."
The actor, who had previously appeared in minor roles in films like 'Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana' and 'Bombay Velvet', was initially scared about his first solo lead.
"I knew I had a big responsibility. A debutant director was depending and trusting a new guy, for a film he wanted to make since 7-9 years. I was scared but very excited.
I had been struggling for work, auditioning, doing theatre. I knew when I got the role I had to surrender myself. I started understanding his vision."
"Zubaan", which also stars Sarah Jane Dias, is a coming-of-age story of a young boy, played by Vicky, who loses his faith and develops a fear of music. It is his journey in fighting that fear and eventually finding himself.
Vicky is aware there would be comparisons with his performance in "Masaan", where he earned special praise for his portrayal of a low caste boy in love with higher caste girl. The actor, however, does not feel any pressure to deliver again.
"No, I don't have any pressure. I treat every film as my debut. Nobody knew me, or expected anything from me before.
'Masaan' is history now. The only thing which matters to me is the process of playing a character and then the need to let go of it once it's done. I can't be attached to it," he said.
Even though he was appreciated in "Masaan", Vicky says he has "no complaints" of not getting an award for it.
"The response that I've received has been overwhelming. There is no space for cribbing, no resentment that 'oh I didn't get any award.' The acceptance that I got from the industry is beautiful.
"I feel very blessed. This is what I always wanted. I've no complaints of not getting an award," he said.