The multi-talented Vikas Kumar, who will be seen as ACP Pathan in Aarya 3 was in an exclusive conversation with OTTplay
Even though the name ‘Vikas Kumar’ may or may not ring a bell, we are sure that, when we drop the name of ACP Khan from the Sushmita Sen lead ‘Aarya 3’, it will surely bring a smile on your face. Extremely soft spoken by nature, this man is a living testimony to the term ‘multi-talented’. Besides being an actor, he is also a ‘language coach’ to many of the celebrities all over, including the likes of Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin and many more. With the release of Aarya 3 happening soon, OTTplay caught up with Vikas Kumar in an exclusive conversation.
To me, the very name Aarya means…
Sushmita Sen… Period! Besides that, there’s mother, protector, warrior, criminal!
For me, ‘Aarya 3’ was obviously a natural progression
Fortunately, season one and two of Aarya were received very well. And we were all gung-ho about when Hotstar gave the green signal to season three. The script this time is better, tighter, more thrilling than the first two seasons. And since my character has been a constant, I was naturally there (in Aarya 3). And I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing it because, in season two, I was playing on the backfoot. There were many personal hassles in my character’s life, since Aarya had ditched me. But now, she's fully ‘out there’ kind of don! Since this is the season of the World Cup, let me draw an analogy here. With ‘Aarya 3’, I am batting on the front foot and I am going to make sure I hit it out of the park. Now how many times I miss the ball or how many times I managed to get out to the park is for the people to see.
After having trained the likes of Jacqueline Fernandez, Kalki Koechlin, Yana Gupta, Sahil Shroff, Lisa Hayden, Shehnaz Tresaurywala and many others, I think the fastest learner is …
I am not sounding diplomatic here. I think everyone whom I have taught so far has been great.
But, if I had to point out one person whom I would term as a fast learner, then, it has to be Kalki Koechlin, whom I had coached for ‘Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobaara’. I think her theatre background helped a lot. She's very disciplined. And I noticed that whenever I went to meet her, I'd go with a sheet of paper, which I would find in a crumpled state. For me, that was a testimony to the fact that she was practicing and had been working hard! Besides that, I have a very good equation with John Abraham (I trained him for ‘Pathaan’) and Vidya Balan. With Vidya Balan, I had worked with her Ishqiya and Shakuntala Devi. Besides that, I am also working with Katrina Kaif now, including Tiger 3 and Merry Christmas.
My journey from Welham Boys' School in Dehradun to being an MBA graduate to where I am today…
The entire journey has been very fulfilling and really very exciting. It has taken some time to get where I've gotten to, but… I think everyone has their own journey to travel, and, and so is mine. And there have been a lot of contributions to my profession right now. To me, being an actor or a dialogue coach, there is a lot of contribution to that from my education as well and also to my upbringing in Bihar.
No ‘obsession’ with the word ‘strictly’... it just happened, thanks to a friend!
Many think that I am obsessed with the term ‘strictly’ as ‘Strictly Speaking’ is my dialogue coaching firm’s name and ‘Strictly Vikas’ is my social media handle. I came up with the name after a lot of research. Let me also add here that I was not on social media for the longest time. So, when Aarya did very well (season one), Sushmita Sen told me that everyone's talking about me and that I needed to be on social media. But, my name ‘Vikas Kumar’ is so common that it was not easy for me to get that name on social media. That’s when my friend suggested using the term ‘Strictly’, which I got it easily. The rest, as they say, is history!