Home » I loved the Way South Film Industry Works : Vivek Oberoi

I loved the Way South Film Industry Works : Vivek Oberoi

Vivek Oberoi has given hope to the dreams of every small-town boy who wants to make it big

by Teamexpresspo
I loved the process of working in the South : Vivek Oberoi

By Jigar Shah

Not every actor gets a second chance to prove himself  unless he is God’s special child. Vivek Anand Oberoi is that special child. A journey that began with the film Company, Saathiya and Masti, somewhere lost its path with few resurgences in films like Shootout at Lokhandwala and Krrish. But from 2017 onwards, the man is on a mission. He was the first mainstream actor to sign a web show with Inside Edge. He followed up with movies in southern languages with names like Mohanlal, Ajith and Prithviraj. He is currently playing a significant role in Dharavi Bank alongside Suniel Shetty. He will also be seen in a prominent role in Rohit Shetty’s first web show titled Indian Police Force. The actor took a break from Rohit Shetty’s project for a bit. He will be heading back to Hyderabad soon to finish his portions.

What made you choose Dharavi Bank?

Vivek Oberoi : Ever since the success of Inside Edge Seasons 1, 2 and 3, I hadn’t signed anything in the web space. MX Player had sent me a couple of scripts and so had Amazon and Netflix. I decided to pass them on as it was uninspiring and I had done similar roles previously. But when Dharavi Bank was narrated, I loved the entire premise. Funnily, even before it was a script, Sarthak Dasgupta had told me about it over dinner at Sanjay Gupta’s house. I really liked the one-line narration. A couple of years later, when the script was completed, I was asked if I’d like to read it, I did and  liked it. I loved the weird world of these two characters in the web show. Both have their families loyalties and believe they are doing the right things. That’s when their worlds collides. This guy Thalaiva (Suniel Shetty) has built a legacy, an empire and then there is my character who says I’ll take you down. He’s not willing to stop or willing to be reasonable. But why? What is the motivation behind the passion? It was very fascinating for me; and I had never played a cop like that before.

You had to put on 10 kilos for the show. How’s the weight loss process going on?

Vivek Oberoi : It was painful. Putting on the weight was easy. You are just eating, drinking and having fun. Suddenly, you have to correct everything and get inspired by the likes of Suniel Shetty. Then sugar goes out of the diet and you eat only one meal a day. Then, you opt for a more sustainable weight loss process. When you put on weight, even simple things like taking a walk put a lot of pressure on your knees. But I’m glad I’m losing the weight. It’s an awesome feeling to fit into a pair of jeans that you couldn’t fit into for six months.

Anna (Suniel Shetty) is so impressive and he’s been constantly fit in an absolutely healthy way. We all have done stupid stuff; many people have used substances that damaged their kidneys and livers. I remember going on the sets of Gopi Kishen with my dad. Anna used to have a Dabba of a green powder, a mixture of 50-odd herbs (laughs). He used to mix it with water and drink it. He looked at me and graciously offered it to me. Seeing him have it, I was like, why not? One sip and I couldn’t even swallow it. Anna was having it like it was nimbu paani.

Is it true that you have seven projects lined up this and in the coming year?

Vivek Oberoi : (Smiles) No, I have seven offers on the table, but I’m in no rush. I have Dharavi Bank, Indian Police Force, another film and a series.

And what about Inside Edge Season 4?

Vivek Oberoi : We will see when it happens because that show works on a three-season arc. If another season is happening, I’ll do it as everyone attached to the project is amazing. Right now, it is one thing at a time.

What can you tell us about your role in Rohit Shetty’s Indian Police Force?

Vivek Oberoi : It’s a great role.

2017 was a breakthrough year for you. You ventured into the web space and even did films in South India. What made you take these decisions?

Vivek Oberoi : I realised that I respect my craft and any creative persons who come to me with an opportunity. The fans still respect me but the market started behaving weirdly. I refused to act like a commodity wherein people said Iska itna coverage hai, isko yahaan fit kar do. My only thing was izzat toh do. Role apne hisaab se do. So, wherever I received respect, I went. I loved the process of working in the south. I have a great standing there. Being celebrated, winning awards and being congratulated for working with people, I love and adore like Mohanlal Sir and Prithviraj.

With OTT, things are purely democratic. It doesn’t matter who you are. If your work is not liked, you are done. Like my director, Samit Kakkad, made Indori Ishq with fresh faces. It is one of the most-watched shows on MX Player. I’m not working for money. Now, I want respect. A lot of work is coming my way and I’m cautious about what I choose next. And, the result is in God’s hands. If things don’t work out, I will still have the respect that I didn’t do bad or shoddy work.

Not many are aware that you are also an entrepreneur. Does being a businessman help you in your acting career in any way?

Vivek Oberoi : I’ve just set up an international content fund over my experiences of building the ecosystem, startups, incubators and accelerators. I learnt a lot from all these things. I have also set up my university in Gujarat. I’m using all this knowledge and expertise for my creative field, also known as the content fund. It is structured to de-risk content (less return but return without risk). All of this has happened through my interactions with the younger generation. It was thrilling to be a part of four-five companies that individually crossed the valuation of 100 million USD. The journey from cash burn to being profitable, seeing the valuation jump multiple times and still being conservative was gratifying. It was a very self-disciplinary exercise. Every startup is a for-profit social enterprise, something I have always wanted to do. Philanthropy while being commercial, so I make money but still do good for people.

If your films are remade, which young actor can play your role?

Vivek Oberoi : Company: Vicky Kaushal.

Saathiya: Any of the young boys. The world and the film are so beautiful that any young boy will add his own touch and create magic.


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