Even though my father is a known cinematographer, I had to struggle, face rejection, asked to compromise to get work
Vidyut Xavier as Dr. Abhay Sathe in Nilanjana Purkayasstha and Herumb Khot’s Dhadkan Zindaggi Kii has been garnering appreciation. Not many know much about his background and journey. Born and raised in Mumbai, his father, Thomas Xavier, is a cinematographer who has done over 70 films including Khiladi, Baazigar, Phool Aur Kaante, Yes Boss, Badshah, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, among others. His mother, the late Swati Xavier, is a homemaker.
Revealing more about his growing up years, he adds, “I did my schooling from Utpal Shanghvi School, Did my FYJC & SYJC from Mithibai College of Commerce, and then did my Bachelors in Mass Media from UPG College. Also, I was good in sports and wanted to be a professional cricketer. And I used to go to Shivaji Park every day during my school to take coaching from Late Sri Ramakant Archerekar sir (he also coached Sachin Tendulkar). I even went to South Africa to play cricket. But after I came back, I went to Jaipur where my dad was shooting for Tumko Na Bhool Payenge. After meeting Salman [Khan] sir and watching him perform I realized that I want to become an actor. I was 13 years old then, so I went and told my mom about my dream,” he says.
Vidyut shares that he didn’t want to be a cinematographer.
But he was never interested in it. “I wanted to be in front of the camera and one of the biggest reasons being how much I love entertaining people, I want to make them laugh, and cry with my performances,” he adds.
The actor had his share of struggles even though his father, Thomas Xavier was a famous DOP. He started working when he was 16, worked backstage for Ansh Theatre group for a few plays, served tea, mopped floors, polished shoes, etc during that time.
“But it was worth it. I learned so much there during that period. Immediately after that I started working as a background dancer in films and assisted famous choreographer Rekha Prakash for two years. I was an assistant director in Dabangg and Dabangg 2, grateful to Salman Sir for giving me that opportunity. Also, I acted in Dabangg. I wanted to learn everything behind the camera before I stepped in front of it. After Dabangg, I went for several auditions till I bagged teenage Karna in Mahabharat. Thought things would get easier after this but it wasn’t. Even a cameo in 24 seasons 2 didn’t help. I was also asked to compromise by a few casting directors, which I declined. So it was very difficult but I never quit and did ads, music videos became an event photographer to earn money. Every rejection in my life has only made me stronger. Finally now when I am doing Dhadkan, I couldn’t believe that I had got this part, I literally wept when I heard the news. I have worked hard every day for 16 years to be here today, and I feel grateful,” he sounds emotional.
A lot of people feel Vidyut resembles actor Anuj Saxena of Kusum fame, many also find a similarity with Yaariyan actor Himansh Kohli.
“To be honest I don’t know how to react to all these. Not only them, I have been told that I also look like Abhishek Bachchan, Vatsal Seth, Arjit Singh, etc. Obviously, it makes me happy because they are successful people who have done so well for themselves. But I am here to make my mark in the industry, make my name and I hope one-day people will tell others that they resemble Vidyut Xavier,” he ends.