Confident to the core

Actors corner

Confident to the core

Vivek Oberoi is the proud father of a baby boy now. The actor is busy wrapping up the promotion of his new film, Jayantabhai Ki Love Story, which releases on February 15. Even during his wife’s pregnancy, Vivek had made sure that they shopped together for their bundle of joy. “We did all our baby shopping abroad so that I could go around with her. We bought maternity products and shopped for neutral garments for the baby as we did not know its gender. I am super thrilled to be a father,” the actor gushes.

Vivek is in a happy zone, unmindful of flops and hits — and is gung-ho about the set of films he is doing. “Happiness can never be conditional, as in ‘If this happened…’ or ‘If I have this much money…’ or ‘If my film is a hit’ and so on,” he says, adding, “Above all, happiness has nothing to do with material things or with success. I have been asked whether I am happy to have reached where I am as an actor
and a star. My answer is that I am happy working. Real happiness lies in one’s attitude.”

He adds, “Two years ago, I helped a girl who had lost both legs in a railway accident get prosthetic limbs. She called up a fortnight ago to tell me she was now leading a normal life and thanked me. That kind of happiness cannot be described.”
A closet social worker for years now, the actor rues the fact that “we do not forget to charge our cell phones and laptops, but miss out on recharging our souls.”

For the last many years, Vivek has been seen very scarcely on screen, and his last appearances, Rakth Charitra I and Rakth Charitra II (2010) and Kismat Love Paisa Dilli (2012) have not exactly been hits at the box-office.

He admits both to being selective as well as not getting the best of films. However, the actor is now offering a buffet to his fans, with two releases in this month itself. “While Jayantibai Ki Love Story is a light romantic film, my action film, Zilla Ghaziabad, will release a week later. Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi are in the cast, and though the film is delayed, I am very confident about the outcome.”

What is even more gratifying for the actor are the roles he has in all his forthcoming movies. “I play an idealistic small-town teacher who realises that his principles and ideals cannot get him anywhere, and picks up the gun,” he says about Zilla Ghaziabad, and adds that while Jayantabhai… is a love story, it has him essay the title role of a gangster. “Whether it is Company or Shootout at Lokhandwala, gangster roles have proved lucky for me, though as a film, this one is more like Rangeela,” he grins.

Jayantabhai is the saga of a girl who comes to the city of dreams — Mumbai — dazzles in the corporate world, and then loses both her job and luxuries due to a retrenchment exercise. “From a posh apartment, she moves into a small room as a standby, and I am her neighbour there. At first, she does not even know what I do, but even after she comes to realise that I am a gangster, she is not scared of me. And I, a complete toughie in my profession, get tongue-tied in front of her,” the actor explains.

Vivek remarks that the film is a story of two people as dissimilar as they can be. “I am not good enough for her, but she feels safest with me, a criminal, because in her corporate world, people are out to manipulate or victimise her and even want to sleep with her.”

Apart from this, Grand Masti, Indra Kumar’s sequel to the 2004 naughty comedy Masti, is also in the pipeline. “The same three characters are placed in a different story, and the film gets bigger and funnier,” he promises.

Last but not the least, the actor has even bagged a negative role in Rakesh Roshan’s Krrish 3. “I am not a villain, but a super-villain,” says Vivek excitedly adding, “There are some scripts you fall in love with straightaway. Hrithik Roshan has gone on record to say that he wanted to play my role. The scale of the film and the effort that has gone into the action scenes is something that has never been done before on the Indian screen.”

The actor had earlier done extensive action sequences in his 2010 film Prince, and was well-prepared in modern stunts and work with cables and training, but the canvas of this film is much bigger, he says.

Like this negative role, Vivek prefers challenges to safe bets. “In Kismet…, my last film, I had this rape scene where Bobby Vats, playing a gay man, tied me to a tree and attempted to rape me, and Mallika Sherawat rescued me. Leaving the fun element aside, that sequence took a lot out of Bobby and me. It needed discipline, calmness, patience and also efficiency, so that we didn’t need too many retakes.”
But he also adds that movies should be like bridges between creators and audiences. “It is not necessary that they should be mirrors of society. Primarily, they should be entertaining stress busters,” says the actor.

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