tv & movies

Vikrant Massey on filming intimate scenes with Bhumi Pednekar: ‘Only concern was my beard scratching her face’

Actor Vikrant Massey has been enjoying a good time at the movies with wide variety of roles coming his way. In his latest, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitaare, Vikrant plays a hospice nurse, Pradeep, who whiles away his time and ‘energies’ on a hotline every night. One night, he dials up the story’s protagonist, Kitty, played by Bhumi Pednekar. Cupid strikes through the telephone and it’s a meet cute for the millennial ages.

However, Pradeep turns out to be a man named Chattrassar Singh and a liar. A married father of one, he lies to Kitty about his name and his virginity among other things. Unlike many of Vikrant’s other wholesome, righteous characters so far, Pradeep is not a man who want to make friends with. But Vikrant feels there’s a Pradeep in everyone’s closet.

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Speaking to Hindustan Times, Vikrant talked about finding relatability with the characters he plays. “All of us have been Pradeep in some way or the other, somewhere down the line. I know I have been. I have had a very generic upbringing like any other, regular middle class guy. I believe that in life, not everyone looks at you the same way. Will I say there aren’t people I have hurt in life? That would be wrong. I think I have. For some I might be a great guy, for some I might be the worst guy on earth. There are many people like Pradeep around you. The beauty of it is that they aren’t so on your face but deep inside, there is a Pradeep in everyone, I think,” he said.

Vikrant added that he creates back stories for his characters. About Pradeep, he thinks that perhaps he was married too early. “He is a male nurse, has a monotonous and mundane life, probably got married very early in his life. Like those very regular middle class guys who get married at 22-24. Talking about back stories, do we think he would have stopped after Kitty? Probably not. After a couple of days he got back to the app and probably got chatting with someone else. There are indeed people like these,” he said.

As Pradeep and Kitty, Vikrant and Bhumi had to share a few intimate scenes in the film. The scenes unfold without any flair and with a screeching, uncomfortable closeness to reality. She gets nervous, changes her mind the first time, gathers courage for a second round, winces with pain and after the act, washes bedsheets stained with her blood. Nothing about these scenes can seem romantic to the viewer and Vikrant says it was all made possible with the clear guidance of director Alankrita Shrivastava.

“The beauty of working on Alankrita’s sets is that she knows what she wants. As an actor you are hired to enact those things and if you can enhance it then great. My priority is to make sure that the woman on the opposite side is comfortable. There are 7-8 people on sets who are watching you. These are very intimate, private moments, you are entering into someone’s private space,” he said. “The only thing I was concerned about was my beard scratching her face. Trim karke I would get close to her, it would happen that she would have rashes on her neck and on her cheeks. So that’s good. Physical comfort was not an issue. These were the little things, which is a great sign,” he added.

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