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Vikrant Massey: He makes you go through the grind for one shot

Updated on: 24 October,2023 07:03 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hiren Kotwani |

Vikrant on Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s perfectionist streak and zero tolerance for compromises, as he teams up with director on 12th Fail

Vikrant Massey: He makes you go through the grind for one shot

Vikrant Massey

Take a look at his filmography, and you’ll notice that Vikrant Massey is drawn to human stories. His upcoming release, 12th Fail, based on Anurag Pathak’s book of the same name, is no different. “Before the script, I was given the book. I was so overwhelmed reading it that I wanted to be a part of this movie immediately,” recalls the actor. What sealed the deal was that Vidhu Vinod Chopra was not only producing and scripting it, but also helming it.  

Vidhu Vinod ChopraVidhu Vinod Chopra

Chopra’s directorial venture tells the true story of Manoj Kumar Sharma, who came from a humble background and realised his dream of becoming an IPS officer. Through the protagonist’s journey, the film also examines the divide between the haves and have-nots, and the cut-throat nature of the UPSC exams. Massey shares, “I was moved by the character’s persistence. Despite so many struggles, to rise and restart, to not compromise on one’s principles [is admirable].” The actor’s prep involved not only interacting with Sharma, but also with IPS aspirants. “I wanted to understand Manoj-ji and how he views life. He is such an honest and sincere person. My idea was to be true to the role as it also represents millions of people who share similar experiences.”

A still from the filmA still from the film

Shooting for 12th Fail in Delhi transported Massey back to his student days. Was he a brilliant student? “I’d play cricket throughout the year and would begin studying two-three weeks before the exams. I was lazy. I never tackled the entire question paper, writing a little more than I thought was necessary to pass,” he smiles. 

But now, he has shed that laziness to become one of the most honest actors of the current crop. That Chopra chose him for the project speaks volumes about Massey’s talent. “Vidhu-ji is such a perfectionist. He has zero tolerance for compromises or anything fake. He makes you go through the grind for a single shot. Working with a director like him is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Have any of his previous directors been a taskmaster like Chopra? “Meghna Gulzar is very tough and precise, so is Konkona [Sensharma]. There is also Zoya Akhtar. I’m lucky to have worked with directors who motivate me to constantly push the envelope.” 

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