Millennium Post (Kolkata)

‘Vidhu Vinod Chopra shot me WITHOUT MAKEUP’

Bollywood actor Vikrant Massey revealed that he burnt his skin prepping up to play IPS Manoj Kumar in ‘12th Fail’

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Vikrant Massey, who has been basking in the success of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's directoria­l ‘12th Fail', taking home numerous awards, revealed that preparing for his role as Manoj Kumar was not only challengin­g but also rewarding. The role demanded that he lose weight, look younger than his age and darken his skin.

In a recent interview with ‘GQ India', the 36-yearold actor, who plays a 19-yearold UPSC aspirant, said, “Vidhu Vinod Chopra is a perfection­ist.”

“I spent almost a year and a half preparing for the film and the three months before the shooting were filled with extensive workshops and reading sessions. I had to lose weight and tan my skin. While tanning, my skin actually got burnt and I freaked out, thinking we'd have to push our shoot by a couple of weeks,” said Vikrant. The film is based on the life of IPS officer Manoj Kumar and is inspired by a novel by Anurag Pathak, in which Vikrant plays a young boy from Chambal, determined to clear the competitiv­e exam.

Vikrant revealed that when he told Vinod about the skin burn, the director suggested that they could shoot ‘raw'. “He said that this was a boon and now we wouldn't need any makeup. We'd be going in raw,” the ‘Dil Dhadakne Do' star recalled.

However, he stressed that, more than the physical transforma­tion, it was the emotional journey of the character that was more difficult. “The toughest part of this journey for me, however, was the emotional weight that came with playing this character. Someone who represents the dreams of millions of Indians. To tell a real India story that would resonate with the masses,” he said.

‘12th Fail' is a heartwarmi­ng story of failure, success, persistenc­e and resilience that ends on a hopeful note, leaving many inspired to not get bogged down by failure. Manoj did odd jobs and survived on a meager salary to prepare for the exam. When asked what message the film gives to UPSC aspirants, like his on-screen character, Vikrant asserted that ‘success is incomplete without failure'. “Failure is imperative for anyone to taste success and that's why we rejoice so much when we hit a milestone. Also, there are no shortcuts to true success. You might have overnight success, but without substance, it will all collapse like a pack of cards,” he explained.

However, he stressed that, more than the physical transforma­tion, it was the emotional journey of the character that was more difficult

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