On the heels of a coveted International Emmys nomination, the Aarya team is excited to be back with the second season of the show. While fans cannot wait to see what Sushmita Sen’s Aarya has up her sleeve this time, eyes will also be on Vikas Kumar, who plays ACP Khan in the crime thriller on Disney Plus Hotstar. Speaking exclusively to indianexpress.com, the actor shared that while the first season focused on Khan’s job, this time, the story will revolve around who he is as a person.
The show had previously hinted at Khan’s sexual orientation. While Vikas did not want to reveal much about Khan, he said that he did get an opportunity to explore other facets of the character in the new season. “Audiences will get to see more about his relationship. Also, like the last time, the makers have been very sensitive about the kind of treatment it got. The character was never built for sensationalism or to create a buzz. And from the feedback that we got, we did manage to make a mark,” he shared.
Vikas Kumar added that even though ACP Khan is a strong policeman, his personal life shows that he also has a very humane and vulnerable side to him. While he wasn’t curious to know how his character evolves, he said he trusted creator Ram Madhvani’s larger idea for Khan’s journey.
However, when we asked him if he ever wondered why ACP Khan’s sexual orientation came into the picture at all, the actor made a big revelation. “It’s interesting, but there was no such personal angle to him when I first read the script. Not trying to be ‘punny’, but Khan was quite a straightforward role on paper. Suddenly, one day I received a call from the production saying that they have decided to bring this change, as that would give more layers to him. It was actually very thoughtful of them to call and discuss this. When I heard about the kind of treatment they had planned, I immediately said yes,” he shared.
Given that the show received so much love and appreciation from all quarters, we asked Vikas Kumar if he ever expected it to blow up to such a degree. He said that never in his wildest dreams did he think that Aarya would go on to win so much acclaim. “There was a lot of love and respect for each other on set. And when you are in such a good space, you automatically deliver the best work. However, the web space is still growing and there are no benchmarks. So, you never know what you are competing with. I would like to thus believe that Madhvani ji has the knack to create such iconic projects. As for me, I did hear in hushed tones that something good has emerged, but I didn’t know people would love it so much. Now, I just hope that it continues to resonate with the audience and critics and we manage to deliver beyond expectation.”
We quizzed Vikas about what it is like working on a project with a big star in the central role. The supporting performances in Aarya might have been lauded, but it’s primarily remembered as Sushmita Sen’s acting comeback. With a smile, the actor replied, “I have no such hassles and totally accept it. Sushmita Sen was also one of the reasons why I said yes to the project. I knew if she said yes, it will have credibility. Also, it’s always a plus as an actor to be able to become a part of her comeback project. What matters to me is that apart from her and other senior actors, do I manage to make an impression. If I get noticed, that itself is immensely satisfying. I am nowhere close to her and there’s no comparison. This is her project and I happy taking a share of the pie.”
While the digital medium has given rise to strong ‘character roles’, Vikas, too, hopes to lead a project someday. He said, “The fact is, especially in films, the time is limited and thus only the protagonist will have the arc. Also, once you start headlining projects, or as they say carry it on your shoulder, it ensures that you continue to get better parts. It is art for sure, but it’s also an industry, market, or commerce and you want all the meaty parts that you have desired for yourself. The web space, fortunately, gives ample time for all important characters to be fleshed out, and there is indeed an arc for them too.”
The actor said that while he wants to be a part of commercial films, his career trajectory needs to be logical. Agreeing that he gets bracketed in the ‘indie-space’, he hopes things will change. “There is still a bridge to be crossed. I want to do commercial films… But I don’t think I want to be a part of typical masala films. At the end of the day, I want to have the choice of commercial aspects, job satisfaction, and be a part of sensible stories and formats,” Vikas Kumar concluded.
Also starring Sikandar Kher, Ankur Bhatia, and Vishwajeet Pradhan, among others, Aarya is streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.