Dhruv Vikram: It's my ambition to continue my father's legacy
The two-film-old young actor—Dhruv Vikram—talks about his adulation for father Vikram, getting to share screen space with him in Mahaan, and the roles he hopes to play
Legacy is a double-edged sword for a young actor. It helps, but it can also hurt. Dhruv Vikram is fortunate to be the son of Vikram, but he also has the difficult task of living up to the name of the illustrious, National Award-winning actor. It’s going to be hard to ignore the comparisons. Parallels will be drawn. The youngster, however, seems confident in his ability, and while there has been some criticism about his performance in Mahaan, there has also been much praise for taking on the onerous challenge of sharing screen space with his father, Vikram. Here’s Dhruv Vikram speaking about having a dream be realised:
Dad, the hero
"It is a lifelong dream to work with my dad. I have been his huge fan from childhood. Even as an actor, I've studied him closely. I never imagined I would get to act alongside him so early in my career. I used to keep asking him when we would act together and whether he would ever act in a film if I directed. He would simply ask me to come up with a good story and more importantly, to gain some experience. All this felt like a distant dream, and Mahaan happened out of the blue. Director Karthik Subbaraj originally narrated a 20-minute-long description of the story, and I was immediately excited. I felt it would be perfect for dad's 60th film and also saw it as a great opportunity to share the screen with him."
The demands of Dada
"Dada was a hard role to pull off. After Aditya Varma, I wanted to do something relatable. But Dada turned out to be the opposite. It was unrelatable and extremely challenging, both physically and mentally. I had to put in a lot of homework. At times, it took a toll on me, yes, but I was willing to go to any extent as this is my dad's 60th film. And it's not always that you get to work with an accomplished director like Karthik Subbaraj."
"I know that Mahaan getting released directly on OTT is a choice that hurts dad's fans. It felt disappointing for me too, but given the pandemic and all the restrictions, we understand. Mahaan has strong content, and so, it is suitable for television too. The film has now had the opportunity of being played in over 200 countries, which is an added advantage to reach out to a wider audience."
Lessons from father
"My dad believes that an actor needs to give everything to a character. I know I can never put in as much hard work as he does, but I will never want to disappoint him. His journey and struggles started way before I was born and it's still continuing. It is that struggle that has made things easier for me. So, I'll never waste that opportunity. It's my ambition to continue his legacy."
The inevitable comparisons
"I don't see a point in making comparisons between us. I'm well aware that I can never compete with him. It's impossible. I'm sure that even at my age, he would have played Dada better than I have. So, I try not to think along those lines. I simply focus on improving my performance. Even in the future, I'm not sure I can ever become as versatile as him, but I'll try."
Emerging from the shadows
"My father played a crucial part in developing my interest in acting. I feel proud when people say, 'Vikram's son acts well'. I just hope I can continue to earn that praise. There’s definite pressure, yes, but on the positive side, there are plenty of advantages too. I will try to make the most of the opportunities I get and be part of good cinema.
As much as I enjoyed working with dad, I will also excel individually. After Aditya Varma, Mahaan was the most interesting script to come my way. I hope this film results in more interesting offers for me."
Plans for the future
"I grew up watching Tamil cinema. I hope to do strong content-oriented films and take the industry to new heights. For now, I don't have any plans to do 'commercial' films and mass entertainers. I like doing heavy, intense roles, but I'm also looking forward to doing a variety of roles like maybe a love story or say, playing a teenager. I'm up for challenges."