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Exclusive! Vicky Arora: I gave 6,210 auditions and faced double the rejections to get where I am today

The Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar star will also be seen in a pivotal role in the upcoming film Om: The Battle Within alongside Aditya Roy Kapoor and Sanjana Sanghi

Akhila Damodaran
Nov 17, 2021
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Vicky Arora

Actor Vicky Arora's phone has not stopped ringing since the release of the web series Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar on Amazon Prime Video. The actor, who plays the lead in the crime-thriller revolving around a bank scam in a small town, has been receiving hundreds of messages, calls and DMs every day since, appreciating his performance and the show.

In an interview with OTTplay, the actor says that he is glad that the audience has loved his performance and his introduction scene in the first episode. The show has, however, received mixed reviews and respecting the feedback of critics, he says, “Critics will always have something to tell. I respect that. Their feedback is important and that's how we get better.”

Vicky also appreciates the comparison of the series to the popular Netflix series Money Heist and says he feels proud about it. However, he clarifies, the series never intended to be like the Spanish drama and nor was it inspired by it. "Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar has a unique concept. It is not about robbing a bank like in Money Heist but a scam, inspired by true events," he says. He found the script of the series interesting and was excited to be part of something that has so many characters and ‘masala’ to it. "I got a call from Raj (director) sir in 2020 and he said in these exact words, 'I am making a show. My character’s name is Bhargav and you are doing it'. I could not say no to it as he believed in me so much. I read the script then and found it exciting," says the actor.

The series was filmed in January 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Vicky recalls, “It was not easy to shoot but we followed all precautions and all mandates. We were praying all the while that nobody falls sick. We shot 5 to 6 scenes a day and they were mostly group scenes. We put in a lot of hard work. But we had a lot of fun at the shoot too. The energy on the set was on a different level. It was like a big fat celebration every day.”

The series has interesting dialogues like, “Zindagi aur sapno ki zindagi mein sirf ek scam ka antar hota hai”, (The only difference between life and fantasy is a scam) and raises the question of how many scammers have been caught so far. Vicky clarifies that the show only intends to entertain and create awareness, and not promote scams. "The show is only for entertainment purposes. It is also a lesson for everyone to stay alert and shows there is so much at stake for a grifter - relationships, dignity. So, I request, please do not scam people," he says.

The actor also admits that he has watched the series several times since it released on the OTT platform. "I have seen it with my family and friends. It is a fun watch," he says.

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Vicky Arora in Akkad Bakkad Raafu Chakkar

However, it was not an easy ride for him to become Bhargav Sharma. "I am responsible but I am not as serious and boring as Bharghav. Many in the team felt that I am not the right fit for the character but the director believed in me. After shooting for a couple of days, others apologised to me and said that nobody else could have played Bharghav better than me," he says, adding that he would like to be remembered by his characters and not as Vicky Arora.

Even though he did not read a lot about other scams to prep for the role, he had to work on his physical appearance. He put on two pounds to fit the look of a serious small-town man. "I cannot look like a city boy. I play the role of a small-town boy with a future in banking which involves a desk job. So, I put on weight, indulging in samosas and jalebis. Let me tell you, Chanderi has the best samosa. My mouth is already watering talking about it," he says, laughing.

The look and appeal were not all it. He and the entire team did a lot of readings and participated in several workshops to get into the character. "Bhargav has a certain subtleness to his character. He is dead serious, angry but at the same time, polite and that makes him interesting. He is bold and confident when he says, 'Main guruji ko leke aaunga'. And to sink deep into the character, Raj sir helped me and pushed me to do better," he says.

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A still from Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar

The series Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar also marks the last directorial of Raj Kaushal. On working with the director, Vicky says, “He knows what works and what doesn't. That sets him apart from the directors I have worked with earlier. He is kind and warm. He used to say, ‘Om Namah Shivaay’, at the start and end of the shoot each day. He gave freedom to the artistes. He used to say, 'Is scene ka sur yeh hai and frame yeh hai. And now do whatever you want'. Working with him on the project has been one of the best experiences so far.”

But Vicky's journey in the industry has been a rollercoaster ride. "When I started my career in 2012, I used to record all auditions on an excel sheet. I have given 6,210 auditions and faced double the rejections so far. It took me nine years to get where I am today and I would like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey. It would not have been possible without them," he says.

Vicky has worked on short films, ads, OTT shows and done theatre. Ask him which is his favourite medium to work and he says, "I just want to act. Give me a challenging role, be it an OTT show, film or theatre, format does not matter. I would like to have fun playing the character, which is not me so that it helps me bring something more to the character. I love what I do. Acting is something I can die for. I would like to die on sets."

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Vicky Arora

The actor says he dreams big and would like to work with Christopher Nolan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. And on his criteria for choosing projects, he says that he prioritises the script, the director and his/her vision.

The actor is also part of Kapil Verma’s Om: The Battle Within alongside Aditya Roy Kapoor and Sanjana Sanghi. The film is currently in the post-production stage. Without revealing much, Vicky says he plays a prominent role in the drama. “It is the opposite of Bhargav Sharma of Akkad Bakkad Rafu Chakkar and we had a lot of fun shooting it," he says, before signing off.

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