Vicky Kaushal: Being a Punjabi, grew up on Udham Singh's story

Updated: Mar 03, 2020, 08:27 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

Having wrapped up Udham Singh shoot in Russia, Vicky Kaushal says biopic helped him understand his childhood hero's patriotic streak and 'delve into his psyche.'

Vicky Kaushal in the still from the film Sardar Udham Singh
Vicky Kaushal in the still from the film Sardar Udham Singh

Right after the release of Bhoot — Part One: The Haunted Ship, Vicky Kaushal had headed to Russia to shoot for Sardar Udham Singh. Almost 10 days since, the actor wears a look of pride as he discusses the recently wrapped-up biopic on the revolutionary who shot down General Michael O'Dwyer to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Kaushal admits that he feels emotionally close to his muse because it's a story that is lost in the pages of history.

"Being a Punjabi, I have grown up hearing Udham Singh's story. He is not as widely known [as the other freedom fighters], but being a Punjabi boy rooted in the culture, I was ecstatic about doing the movie," smiles the actor. Bringing the story of a national hero to celluloid is as much a responsibility as a matter of pride. Kaushal stresses that under the watchful eyes of director Shoojit Sircar, the film has decoded the enigma that was Udham Singh. "People know of him in broad strokes, but this film delves into his psyche. I used to get emotional on set every day as I kept discovering the character. It moved me to think of this young man and his hunger for freedom."

Shoojit Sircar
Shoojit Sircar

After Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), Kaushal's name has become synonymous with patriotic films. Soon after the raging success of Uri, he released his look as Sam Maneckshaw for Meghna Gulzar's next, thus furthering this brand of cinema. Ask him if Sardar Udham Singh follows the same vein, and he reasons, "I don't want to have an image. I hope to be a damn good actor first, who is honest to his movies. Once on board, I am 100 per cent devoted to the film, be it Takht or Ashwathama or Sardar Udham Singh. I don't think about how these movies will position me as an actor."

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