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Exclusive! Forensic actor Vikrant Massey: I absolutely despise being categorised

Vikrant Massey also spoke about the dearth of original content being made, nowadays.

  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 07.05 AM, Jun 23, 2022

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Exclusive! Forensic actor Vikrant Massey: I absolutely despise being categorised
Vikrant Massey/Instagram

One of the young actors who have created their fan base in the past few years is Vikrant Massey. The actor has been a part of different mediums, starting with television, and over the years, he has delivered incredible performances on the big screen as well as in his OTT outings. Now, Massey is all set to bring his upcoming film, Forensic, to the audience. Like his previous film, Love Hostel, this Vishal Furia directorial is also set to premiere directly on ZEE5.

Ahead of the release, in an exclusive video interview with OTTplay, Massey spoke at length about working with Radhika Apte for the first time and not being romantically paired opposite each other. The talented actor also shared his thoughts on the remake of films in Hindi, how he misses seeing himself in theatres and more.

Excerpts:

What is it about the thriller genre that excites you?

Whenever I read a script, I try to put myself as a viewer first as to whether I would like to see it or not. I love thrillers, watching them and reading them. They really stimulate me, both mentally and emotionally. It's because there's so much happening, you're kind of all the more vulnerable because you are anticipating something or the other. So it keeps me on the edge. And as an actor, I think it also gives you tremendous space to sort of explore yourself as an actor, if you can actually sort of hold the audience's attention for two hours and fifteen minutes or so. So I really liked that challenge. As an audience, I like watching it, I love reading it, and I love acting in it, because it sort of pushes me as an actor.

How refreshing was it to not have Radhika Apte and you romantically paired in Forensic?

If I can say this, these two characters are definitely involved with each other, which you will see in the film, but it's not a conventional pairing. But yes, these guys, somewhere down the line, share a common history. But yeah, it's not conventionally arranged, at least, and not even executed in a lot of ways.

The film is the Hindi adaptation of the Malayalam film of the same name. How did you make sure to not make a similar template and bring your perception to this film?

The entire perspective is different, and it's very easy to get carried away or get influenced by an adaptation, or if it's a remake, it's very normal to go through that. But it was a very conscious decision from our end, collectively, to have our own perspective, to have that template, but yet to give it a very different approach. Vishal Furia, who's the director of this film, is someone who really specialises in this particular genre. All of us were really excited to follow his vision. So when you're conscious about not wanting to be better or even imitate someone, I think then you slowly and steadily find your own ground and give it your own flesh and skin.

Do you think it's better for a few films to skip the theatrical release and instead premiere on OTT?

It totally depends. I think you've said it very beautifully that, of course, yes, they can coexist. But yes, some things can fare better if they are on OTT. Let's also understand one thing: ZEE5 is going to cater to more than 190 countries, and you really do not get that opportunity in a theater. whereas you do not face the same box office pressure. I think there are a lot of permutations and combinations. Consumption patterns in the last four or five years have changed drastically. People actually want to sit back in the comfort of their homes or in the comfort of their headphones while on a moving bus. It's a very private viewing. Also, it's a very nascent stage right now. I think we should not really start or want to have immediate quick conclusions because these changes take time. If we are to sit back and analyse something, we need to give it its fair share of time to form its own shape, so that we can look back and then come to a conclusion. But I think that's not the stage right now. I think we need to give it a few more years to analyse what is happening on OTT in theatres or how our consumption patterns have changed or our narratives have changed.

Do you miss seeing your movies on the big screens?

I definitely do. My last film in theatres was Chhapaak, and then COVID happened. I definitely do miss watching myself and I definitely want people to watch me on the big screen. But there are priorities right now, and I would rather focus on them. As I've said earlier, my idea is to be consistent, come out regularly, and communicate with my audiences through my stories. If there is an opportune moment or the right script that needs to come out in theaters, it will come out in theaters.

Nowadays, people talk about "OTT stars" and "movie stars". Do you get affected by these terms?

I absolutely despise being categorized. For one sole reason, and I speak on behalf of a lot of like-minded people. An actor is an actor. It's been happening to me since my television days; TV actor, film actor, OTT actor, theatre actor; an actor is an actor. I think we are the only industry that I know of that actually categorises or brackets people. Whatever medium they are working on, a director is a director; he's not a TV director, a film director, or a theatre director.

What do you have to say about the people talking about the "trend" of Hindi movies remaking content from other languages?

A lot of it is also politicized, you see, and a lot of these voices that we hear do not belong to either industry. They're there, they're just voices, which most of them are. Most of these voices are from beyond the boundary or from the periphery, and this is their version of reality. whereas in reality, it's a different thing and adaptations have been going on for years and years. Some people are adapting Shakespeare and some have been adapting our Indian mythology for years. There have been about 100 different versions of the Mahabharata and even the Ramayana. There are so many adaptations based on our culture and history, so you can never stop. Yes, there is a definite dearth of good original content. But there is original content available too. You pick and choose whatever you want to watch.

Do your current projects affect the way you choose your upcoming films?

I would not want to do similar genres in one calendar year, probably. You want to cater to different things for your audience. For example, if I've done a Forensic right now, at least for a year, I would not consciously, or if there's something really exciting, I would do it. If I really cannot stop myself from being a part of it, then it's a different thing altogether. But the idea is to offer different things to your audiences in one calendar year. So I try to do whatever I can within the limited opportunities that are available to me.

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