Actor Vikas Kumar who rose to fame as senior inspector Rajat in CID, and ACP Khan in Aarya stole the limelight for his stellar performance in the web series Kaala Paani. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Vikas reveals what it takes to survive in the entertainment industry, his success mantra, and more.
Vikas plays the role of Santosh Savla in Kaala Paani, a father who will go to extreme measures for the sake of his family. His character is shown to be in immense pain throughout the series. Vikas explains that while it was a role an actor yearns for, it was extremely challenging to perform. “My character goes through a lot of grief. You could cry on your own or you could use glycerine but if the emotion is not genuine, it will not affect the audience. To be able to connect with the viewer, one must be truthful and to do that scene after scene, it can be exhausting,” he says.
In Kaala Paani, Vikas’ character is a vegetarian, who eats a snake’s egg to survive when stuck in a pit, injured, sans food or water. He also ends up killing a person for his daughter. When asked what survival means to him, especially in showbiz, he states, “I do believe that you survive by being patient and resilient. 'Mehnat aur Sabr' are important. You do everything you can, and if the situation still doesn’t improve, you just let time pass and things will eventually get better. You need to give yourself time and while you wait for the right opportunity, you need to work hard – on yourself, on your craft. You may be talented, you may have contacts in the industry, you may have given very good auditions, yet you may not get the role that you’ve been waiting for. Hard work and talent are important, but somewhere, luck also plays its part.”
He adds, “While one waits for good acting opportunities, it’s important to keep yourself busy, perhaps even have some kind of a source of income to help you sustain in Mumbai. I was lucky, I regularly got work as a ‘Dialogue Coach’ which has paid me enough to keep my house running.”
Vikas is overwhelmed by the praise he’s been getting for his performance. He concludes by sharing his mantra to success, “Do an honest assessment of yourself. You must have at least minimum talent (you don’t need to be supremely gifted), be extremely passionate about what you do, be ready to work hard, and then stay patient. If you are relentless in your pursuit, there is enough that the world, this city, this industry has to offer.”