Being an outsider, Vikas Gupta has been able to carve a niche for himself in the television industry. His Lost Boy Productions has given a lot of newcomers (especially guys) to the television industry. Mostly episodics, the shows from his stable have a new feel to them and appeal mostly to the youngsters. Taking his controversial past into consideration, the makers of controversial reality show have roped in the producer for Bigg Boss 11.
Before he packed his bags and left for the show, Vikas Gupta spoke to at length, over a cup of coffee. Amid the conversation we gauged the various shades Gupta has, which would soon be seen on national TV. The youngest programming head of MTV in the world, Vikas has been working out extensively to get his body in shape for the show.
It was pouring heavily when sipping a hot cuppa in the posh JW Marriott Hotel in Juhu (a Mumbai suburb), Vikas spoke at length to a reporter about his life, his viewpoints and a lot of other things . Excerpts from the interview:
“Never wanted to be an actor!”
If you know Vikas Gupta well, one thing that would be noticeable is his love for theatre. While working for his maiden production house, Gupta used to visit Prithivi Theatre on daily basis. His awe for dramatics left us wondering if the creative head cum producer was ever interested to be an actor. He blatantly refused negated the doubt and revealed, “I never wanted to become an actor. When I was a kid I had much insecurity, I could not have even dreamed of becoming an actor. I continue stage acting.” Does that mean, the stage excites him? He affirmed, “I’m an artist, I tell stories. How I do them cannot be slotted. As a scriptwriter, voiceover artist, as a producer or a director, how I do that doesn’t matter. We love to slot each other but an artist cannot be slotted ever. So, I do whatever I feel like doing.”
“Tony D’Souza is directing a show for me”
His baby, Lost Boy Productions has been doing great with their shows. Whether it is Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan or Gumrah, Vikas has always managed to garner a good audience for his shows. Ask him to shed light on the forthcoming projects of his production house and with a tone sounding like that of a protective and a rather proud father, quipped he “Lost Boy is doing a lot of things. We’ve just finished with Ragini MMS. After this, we are working for a show on MTV. This one, is yet again going to be a youth based show and I think it is really going to be good. We are also collaborating with Tony D’souza for our new show on Star Plus.”
“Bad Company, a talk show I did, initially had no buyers eventually made more money than Warrior High”
As a curator it is always a tough decision to understand what the audience would like and dislike. The creative director has a better perspective regarding this skepticism, “Good content will always find audience. We are not vegetable vendors, we can’t just offer anything. Many times you have to go with your guts and passion. I did a chat show called Bad Company, initially there were no buyers for it, and then I invested my money it. That show was born out of passion. And honestly, I made more money from Bad Company than I did from Warrior High. It’s all about passion.”
“I wish someone gave me the same suggestion, to keep things private”
Being in this tantalizing industry and being open about your scars, leaves you weak as a prey. Talking about his past Vikas explained, “The industry we are in, it (issues) should be private and I wish someone gave me the same suggestion when such things were happening in my life. Now, I have understood that I should keep things in confidence. I’m not that person anymore to cry out loud in open. Understand, when a person is hurt by someone and that someone doesn’t care, that is when one wants to shout. They want to shout that the person they have cared for so much has negatively affected them to what extent. The reason it comes out in public is because it has been so much inside them. As you grow you realize if one doesn’t care about you they were never worthy. Parth (Samthaan) said something, I said something, so people will surely talk about us.”
“I was the channel head, Parth was a small time actor, that’s why people would think I’m the wrong one”
Usually it happens so that the one who comes out in the open and talks abot issues are perceived to be the wrong ones. The one who remains silent are perceived to be the victims. In Vikas’s case he was the one who spoke his heart out in public, while Parth remained silent. “The one who is more popular looks like a victim and the public will be with them. If you are at a powerful position, most of the time people will think, how can anything wrong happen with them. People’s perception is such that if someone is in an authoritative position nothing wrong can happen. In my and Parth’s case, I was the channel head, he was some small time actor (without sounding pompous) and people would think I’m the wrong one. ‘How could a channel head be disturbed by an actor? That is what the public assumed.” A dead silence faded in for moment, taking a deep breath he continued, “You do not know the complexities of a relationship. People will always comment, it is our fault that we made it (personal life) public. If you put a painting on display, someone will call it shit while some will like it.
“Every day I get nude pictures on my phone”
Embroiled in the hullabaloo of casting couch, the affects are still after him. Vikas added, “I lost some work, but that wasn’t Parth’s fault or mine. Today, I get shit messages from random people who send me nude pictures. Everyday I get nude pictures on my phone, people think that this is how it works. It was because of the perception people formed post the news.” Post the whole fiasco, people’s perception changed but the industry didn’t. Conjectures about him still boil pots however Vikas is unstirred by them. “In terms of work no one can take that away from you. If some producer walks into a room with a guy, speculations begin. But these things don’t bother me. This is what the industry is. It’s a part of your life and job. You just learn to take it with a pinch of salt.”
“Being ambitious is a good thing”
Swiftly moving back to his untapped life zone, we tried to analyze him and his quest. If one has a brief look into his life, it will be easy to conclude his pursuit for the limelight. By that time the rains doubled up but the enthusiasm of the cove didn’t disappear. He confessed, “Ekta is the only producer who is in limelight and then it’s me. It’s because of the way we function. It is important to be a strong voice and be heard. I say things I believe in and if you want your voice to be heard then you need to be in limelight. People in India teach you that being ambitious is a bad thing; I have learnt this a long time ago that being ambitious is a good thing, only then we grow.”