IIFA 2023: 'AB and I have great chemistry', Vicky Kaushal on hosting Bollywood's 'biggest party' and his bond with Abhishek Bachchan

Bollywood actor, who's all set to host IIFA Awards 2023 in Abu Dhabi, talks about his camaraderie with the co-host, his upcoming romantic comedy Zara Hatke Zara Bachke and how being married has evolved him as a human being


Somya Mehta

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Indian Actor Vicky Kushal at photographed during a media interaction ahead of IIFA in Dubai on Friday, Photo by Neeraj Murali.
Indian Actor Vicky Kushal at photographed during a media interaction ahead of IIFA in Dubai on Friday, Photo by Neeraj Murali.

Published: Sat 27 May 2023, 3:53 PM

Touted as one of Bollywood’s most promising newcomers after his debut in Masaan (2015), very few actors have been able to achieve what Vicky Kaushal has managed to over the years. Breaking away from the stereotypical mould of a mainstream hero, the adulation he’s garnered has also signalled a shift in the wider Hindi film industry, with young actors choosing authenticity over glamour.

The actor, who rose to stardom post the success of Uri (2019), continues to win audiences’ accolades, and there has been no looking back. Khaleej Times caught up with the actor during his whirlwind Dubai trip before he heads back to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, to host the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) taking place tonight. All set to return to the silver screen with his family entertainer Zara Hatke Zara Bachke alongside Sara Ali Khan, the Masaan actor spoke about the thrill of hosting Bollywood’s biggest extravaganza, his camaraderie with co-host Abhishek Bachchan, and how being a married man has changed him as a human being.

Indian Actor Vicky Kushal at photographed during a media interaction ahead of IIFA in Dubai on Friday, Photo by Neeraj Murali.
Indian Actor Vicky Kushal at photographed during a media interaction ahead of IIFA in Dubai on Friday, Photo by Neeraj Murali.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Q) How has your experience been in the UAE so far?

I’m always looking forward to come to Yas Island and the UAE. I remember last year was the first time I came to Yas Island for IIFA and they were kind enough to award me the title of ‘Best Actor’. And now, I’m here to celebrate Indian cinema again, with everybody in the UAE. The UAE is a place where you get to live the best life and have the best experiences. Just in one day, when I was on Yas island, I got to be at the circuit, the racing track and so much more. It’s a place full of experiences.

Q) You’re also co-hosting the IIFA Awards this year with Abhishek Bachchan. How are you anticipating the experience and response? Are you getting the pre-show jitters?

No, in fact, I’m very excited. It almost feels like a party. So, AB (Abhishek Bachchan) and I have great chemistry. We’ve done a film together in the past (Manmarziyaan), so we bonded really well and have this amazing energy when we come together. We’re going to take this as one big party and enjoy ourselves. If we’re enjoying, it becomes much easier to translate that feeling to the audiences. We have a very good script at hand and we can’t wait to get the party started with everybody in Abu Dhabi.

Q) Can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect from the night?

Oh, lots of music, lots of drama, lots of action, and lots of celebration. It’s going to be everything that fans of Indian cinema would want to experience and we just want everyone to come and enjoy the night with us. It’s going to be unforgettable.

Q) You started out playing small-town boy-next-door in Masaan. From then to now, a lot has changed for you — you’ve emerged as a mainstream Bollywood star. How do you reflect back on this journey?

I feel immensely grateful. I feel that God has really been kind to me. I’m just another man who’s just trying his best to do good work. There are so many talented people out there, working hard but for some reason, God has just chosen me for all these beautiful experiences that are coming my way, and I feel deeply humbled and honoured to receive so much love.

Q) Can you share your most favourite memory from the sets of your upcoming film Zara Hatke Zara Bachke with Sara Ali Khan?

I had the most wonderful time shooting for the movie. It’s releasing on June 2. We shot in Indore and it was my first time there. It’s also very special because I got married in the middle of the shoot schedule for Zara Hatke Zara Bachke. So, the course of filming saw me as a bachelor as well as a married man. That was fun. It’s a beautiful story and it’s the first time I get to work with Sara Ali Khan, who’s a fantastic actor. The film revolves around bringing families together, so I hope families will go out and watch the film. You’ll want to hug your family immediately after watching this film.

Still from a teaser of 'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke'
Still from a teaser of 'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke'

Q) How has being married changed you as a person?

It has changed me a lot as a person. It has evolved me in the best possible way, and helped me become a much better human being. There is so much to learn every day of my life. There’s so much patience and maturity that comes into your life. I’m really enjoying my married life.


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