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‘My autobiography will be a roller-coaster ride’

| | in Sunday Pioneer
‘My autobiography will be a roller-coaster ride’

Talktime | Vivek Oberoi

He made a dhamakedaar entry in Bollywood with Company and went on to surprise everyone with Saathiya and Shootout At Lokhandwala. Oberoi is now taking things slow and prefers to do interesting films. He talks to Sangeeta Yadav about his web series Inside Edge and working for a social cause with Bharat Yatra

Your web series Inside Edge has got a great response…

Being Amazon India’s first original series, we are going to the next level by creating a series out of India of an international standard and quality. It is three times bigger than a film project and released in 200-plus countries and territories. Though a lot of people questioned me if I was sure to take up this project, I’m really glad that I did. The overwhelming response the show has got is just amazing.

Was it difficult to play Vikrant?

Vikrant is a master gamer in the cricketing world. He plans the games and decides the result. There is another game that is being played once the on-field game is over, that of match fixing and spot fixing, betting, and scandals. He seduces the player with money, lures them to sex and or intimidates them with blackmail. Vikrant  is everything that I am not in real life.

Tell us about your research for this?

The kind of things that I found out especially about cricket league, it had stumped me. The show is a complete work of fiction but the world is real. By watching this show, even if somebody doesn’t know about cricket and match fixing, they will be able to understand how it unfolds.

What prompted you to be a part of Bharat Yatra?

Bharat Yatra is a nation-wide campaign started by Kailash Satyarthi to sensitise the citizens about the issues of rape, sexual abuse and trafficking related to children. The campaign will start from September 11 and cover 11,000 km and culminate in Delhi on October 15. I have always believed in using my celebrity status to do something good for the society and influence people for a greater good. By being a part of this campaign, I would like to urge all the people to join us.

How do you look at your career graph?

I merely look back. I feel nothing can be achieved by looking back. For me, life is like a river flowing. You have to keep moving forward. If you stop somewhere you are going to drown. You have to move to the next step. If I end up writing my autobiography, it will be a roller-coaster ride.

What was the biggest turning point?

When I felt like a celebrity for the first time. I remember we were shooting for Saathiya in Mumbai. Since nobody knew me, I used to hang out freely on the sets and never thought myself as a star. Two days after my debut movie — Company — was released, we were shooting at a railway crossing for scene. People started recognising me and calling me by my character name Chandu in Company. Some people took my autograph and pictures on their camera. I was enjoying all this till around a thousand people had gathered to see me. Because of security issues, I was inside the make-up van and thinking how we will finish shooting? Then director Shaad Ali walked in, pulled the curtains, gave me a big hug and said: ‘Bhai tu toh starban gaya’. From that day, my life changed and the crowd got bigger.

Did you feel pressurised to outdo yourself?

If you start taking that kind of pressure on yourself, it becomes very difficult for an actor to give his best. You start getting dictated by the market and think what people will say. For instance, during Saathiya, a lot of people told me that I am good as an action hero and after doing Company I should not be doing films like Saathiya. When this film was released, people wanted me to do only romantic films and not action. As an actor you should do what you feel like doing and is best for you. One should not get swayed by what people say or want you to do.

Philanthropic activities have always been an integral part of your life…

I like to lead by example. I have never been on the wrong side of the law and always respect women. During the start of my career in 2003, I started my NGO Devi and got associated with Cancer Patients Aid Association to raise funds to help children suffering from cancer from poor families who can’t afford the expensive treatment that comes with cancer. Over the years, we have helped over two lakh children in their fight against cancer. The smile one gets to see on their faces is so heart-warming.




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