Entertainment Bollywood 01 Oct 2021 Vicky Kaushal on bec ...

Vicky Kaushal on becoming Sardar Udham

Published Oct 1, 2021, 6:53 pm IST
Updated Oct 1, 2021, 6:53 pm IST
During his upcoming biopic Sardar Udham’s promotion, Vicky Kaushal speaks about his role in it
Vicky Kaushal
 Vicky Kaushal

After a lacklustre 2020 in which he was seen as Prithvi Prakashan in Bhoot — Part One: The Haunted Ship, National-Award-winning actor Vicky Kaushal is back. He will be seen as the revolutionary freedom fighter Udham Singh in the latter’s biopic, called Sardar Udham.

The movie, which is directed by Shoojit Sarcar, revolves around Udham Singh’s assassination of Michael O Dwyer in 1940 to avenge the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919. The will release on  October 16 on OTT. Vicky spoke about the movie and his role in it.



Q Director Shoojit Sircar reportedly said that Udham Singh needed a global reach. What are your thoughts?

Not only Udham Singh but also many historical characters from our freedom struggle go missing in the text books, in a line, paragraph or a page. Sardar Udham Singh was one such. I remember listening to tales of Udham Singh from my grandparents during my childhood, so there was always this core connection, where I related to that man and his angst.

However, if you read books on him, the Jallianwala Bagh episode or even the Indian freedom struggle, you’ll find different stories about the same person. You'll find different names, identities and faces. So, how do you tap into the core of that person? The only way (I found) to do that was to completely surrender to Shoojit’s vision. The more I listened to him, the more I realised that he understood that era and had studied the freedom struggle and those involved in it, like Sardar Udham Singh and Shaheed Bhagat Singh, like no one else I’ve met.


Q So how do you feel about doing this film?

For me, Sardar Udham is a narrative of resilience, bravery and patience. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre hit home in the most brutal way. But Udham Singh decided he’d avenge that bloodshed, not in India but right in the heart of the British Empire by crossing the borders, and that about 100 years ago.

Q You had a cheek injury on the sets of Sardar Udham

I got injured on the sets of another film, not this one, but four days before we began shooting for Sardar Udham. The injury gave me 13 stitches on my cheek. I sent my first picture with the stitches on to Shoojit da given we were to start shooting Sardar Udham in the next four days. But he saw my picture and told me not to worry. ‘You come with the stitches. Sardar Udham will have stitches,’ he said. The scars on Udham in the film are real.


Q You have many looks in the film.

Indeed. There are different looks in the film, as is seen in the trailer. Udham Singh kept changing his identity and his passports as he travelled across the globe before he reached London. To keep up with those ‘movements’ I also had to lose and gain weight several times for the film. I had to look both 19 to 40 years convincingly.

Meanwhile...Udham Singh needs a huge global platform: Soojit

They’d started the whole process of Sardar Udham in March 2019. So we wonder why director Soojit couldn’t wait for its theatrical release given that theatres in Maharashtra would’ve been thrown open soon.


“When I shot the film, the situation was different and I’d shot it for cinemas. I don’t feel guilty that it’s now releasing on the OTT. In fact, I am happier about it because we decided this would go on the digital platform,” clarified Shoojit.

“I’m quite impatient in nature — when a film is done, I just want to quickly reach out to the people. Also, I thought the film needed a huge global platform, apart from our Indian territories. That was also a good reason for me to go ahead with the OTT.”


As for audiences missing out on the cinematic experience, Shoojit admits that will be sorely missed by many. “However, I’ve not compromised on the cinematic narrative, so it’s as cinematic on a big screen as it is on a small screen,” he adds.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad