Vivan Bhatena has always charmed the audience with his rough and tough looks on screen. With films like ‘Hero’, ‘Dangal’ and ‘Judwaa 2’ to his credit, Vivan is now all set to experiment with different genres. He will be playing the role of Hanuman in his next venture, set to release next year.
In an interview with Surupasree Sarmmah, Vivan talks about his journey in the industry.
When and how did it start?
I attended an inter-collegiate event where Levis Jeans was looking for models. I got selected by them. During that time, the casting director of a video (that directors Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru were doing for Falguni Pathak) asked me if I was interested, I agreed even though I didn’t even know what the video was about. It became a massive hit.
After working in a few more music videos, I participated in Mr India in 2001 and I won the title. Post which, I started doing theatre.
Someone working for Balaji noticed my work and my first television project came my way. Unfortunately, that show never took off. Finally, Ekta Kapoor approached me for ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and I did the show. While I was working in television, I also did movies like ‘Chak De! India and ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. Slowly, I started involving myself in other Bollywood projects like ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’, ‘Talaash’, ‘Hero’ and ‘Dangal’ and since then there has been no looking back.
You have been part of some big banner movies like ‘Judwaa 2’ and ‘Dangal’. How was it working with established actors?
It is amazing. From Salman Khan, who opened the doors for me and welcomed me into the family, to Aamir Khan, who is such a down-to-earth person — they are all very humble people. This is one of the reasons for their success.
If not an actor, what profession would you be in?
I would be an entrepreneur. There are many things that I do apart from acting. I am a trained DOP and photographer, I am also into fitness consultation and am currently working on launching my own YouTube channel for fitness.
Your stint in Falguni Pathak’s video — ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’ (1999) — will always be admired...
I was too young to even realise what I was doing. I was just enjoying the experience of filming. As of then, we were just busy flirting with the girls; at 17, you only think about that and not about making a career. Getting Rs 4,000 for a video was more than enough.
An actor you would like to share screen space with?
I would love to work with Amitabh Bachchan under the direction of Karan Johar or Vikramaditya Motwane. I would love to do a David Dhawan film again.
Your other interests...
I love travelling, photography, food and I am very enthusiastic about cars.
Any projects in the pipeline?
I am doing a movie called ‘Ramayan’ which is directed and produced by Kunal Kohli.