EXCLUSIVE: “I get SHOCKED when I read some of the scripts. I feel like asking the makers, ‘Tum log India ke hi ho na?’. It feels like it’s inspired by the setting in America or Korea” – Vivek Oberoi : Bollywood News

The talented Vivek Oberoi was all smiles as he sat down at his lovely Juhu residence for an exclusive chat Bollywood Hungama on his recently released web series, Dharavi Bank, starring Suniel Shetty. The actor, who completed 20 years earlier this year, also shared his journey and much more.

EXCLUSIVE: “I get SHOCKED when I read some scripts. I feel like asking the makers: ‘Tum log India ke hi ho na?’. It feels like it was inspired by the setting in America or Korea” – Vivek Oberoi

You will surely get a lot of offers. And you’ve been very picky. What did you draw Dharavi Bank?
Since the success of Inside rim, I was lucky enough to receive an offer once every 10 days. People come tell me’Yes package Hi. Iss show ko hum aise banayenge’! I never chased that. I have too much respect for this medium, which I think is the most democratic. Only talent flourishes here. Even the biggest stars can be rejected if the content isn’t strong. Also, the most unknown actors can get huge appreciation for doing a good job. I was the first mainstream actor to jump to OTT 6 years ago and yes I have been picky. After Inside rimI just gave my nod Dharavi Bank and Indian police. The reason is that I have been waiting for a script with a lot of layers, graininess, honesty, rawness etc. I get shocked when I read some scripts. I feel like asking the makers: ‘Tum log India ho ho na?’. They set their scripts in a world that exists here, but it feels like it was inspired by America or Korea somewhere! This is one of the main reasons I chose to do Dharavi Bank.

This is the third time you play an agent. Previously you were seen as a police officer in Bank Chor (2017) and the Kannada movie Rustum (2019). How do you ensure that your police role does not resemble the other?
Yeah, the idea is I played a cop and I don’t want to repeat the act. Second, we’ve seen iconic actors play cops. You don’t want to repeat that either. So it will be difficult. The idea with Jayant, my character in Dharavi Bank, was to look good first. So I had to make sure he looks like he’s in his 40s and works 15-16 hours a day. He’s a tough guy but not a fit guy and not one to spend 4 hours a day in a gym. He’s not a six pack ab cop! There is something more real. The second was to mentally understand Jayant Gavaskar. For all my layered characters I write their backstories. I did the same with Vikrant Dhawan, my character in Inside edge. What I mean is that I write the autobiographies of the characters before their first scene in the series! It’s for my own reference. I try to understand my character, what his life would have been like, how he met his wife, how he fell in love etc. Then I sit with my director and tell me: ‘Yes maine Homework kiya hai. Isme se aapko cough to use karna hai toh kar lo’. Often they have taken certain points from my notes.

EXCLUSIVE I get SHOCKED when I read some of the scripts. I feel like asking the makers ‘Tum log India ke hi ho na. It feels like its inspired by the setting in America or Korea – Vivek Oberoi 2

Coming back to Dharavi Bank, I think Jayant is a chess player. He is one of the great tough, honest officers. He has learned over time that the system will not allow him to prosper and achieve justice unless he manipulates the system. So he continues to manipulate for the end goal, which is the truth, without limits. Therefore, he can take on the man who practically owns the state, not just the city. Thalaivan has thousands of crores of money and a lot of muscle. He is untouched in his fort in Dharavi where no cop can come. And this one crazy man decides that I’m going to take him down. What he does to attack Thalaivan is the fun part.

So in the first episode you see Thalaivan and his samraja. As for Jayant, he doesn’t really have an “entrance.” He comes across as a simple boy having a conversation with the cadets. At the end of the first episode, you can see that there is something much deeper and layered about this calm and numb man. And as you keep watching, you really understand what Gavaskar really is.

You completed 20 years this year. It was heartbreaking to read quotes from you like “I am the man whose professional obituaries have been popping up since 2004.” But given the pace at which you’re progressing, it looks like you’re set for another 20 years!
(Smiles) Thank you! I am very blessed thanks to my family and fans who have stood by me through thick and thin. I also want to thank my great team. Everyone you see here has been with me for 20 years! Sometimes good karma will do things for you. Without shying away from publicity purposes, what worked for me is the blessings and prayers of the people. The divine being also takes care of you. I am very happy with my family, life and the person I have grown and matured into. The opportunities are coming and I feel blessed to be able to choose. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big production house or a very famous person. I only watch good content and real talent. I want to use my commitment and integrity for that.

I feel like some of your movies didn’t do it justice. You worked in a fun movie called Naksha (2006). It just didn’t work Karthikeya 2which was released this year and was quite similar was a hit…
That’s what I was told Naksha is one of the highest rated films on television. It gets great TRPs every time it comes on TV. I don’t know why it didn’t go well. But ha image ki kismat hoti hai. Unfortunately it flopped. We had put a lot of effort into it Naksha. The beauty of the movies is that they live on. With OTT coming up, it’s just there. You don’t even have to wait for the movie to come on TV.

EXCLUSIVE I get SHOCKED when I read some of the scripts. I feel like asking the makers ‘Tum log India ke hi ho na. It feels like its inspired by the setting in America or Korea – Vivek Oberoi 1

You’re all set to play a cop for the fourth time Indian police. How different is it and how did it work with Rohit Shetty?
It’s been a very different experience. I have known Rohit for almost 20 years. He is an incredibly kind hearted person. I ran an association for cancer patients; it targets poor children suffering from the disease. Whenever I would call Rohit not just for his movie release or for promotion he will be there. He would attend the functions and inspire the kids. And one day he called me to meet him. He told me, ‘I’ve been writing this script for four years. A lot of work went into writing it. The first time I wrote this character, I thought of you.” I said to him, ‘Rohit, I can’t tell you how honored I am’. It’s heartwarming when someone loves you and respects your talent so much. Shoot every day Indian police was an absolute delight. I didn’t feel like he is Rohit Shetty, the star director. He was the first to arrive and the last to leave. He works very hard and is dedicated.

Have your son Vivaan Veer and daughter Ameya Nirvana seen your films? What do they think?
They haven’t seen most of my work. They’ve seen non-violent and non-naughty movies! They also watched video songs from my movies. And they loved everything they saw. They are very proud of me. We have tried to raise them very normally. Sometimes 10-15 people would surround me and ask for pictures. He got confused and asked Kedar from my team, “Why do people click pictures with my dad?”! Now they realize that I am famous and that I work in films.

EXCLUSIVE I get SHOCKED when I read some of the scripts. I feel like asking the makers ‘Tum log India ke hi ho na. It feels like its inspired by the setting in America or Korea – Vivek Oberoi 1

Recently, Sanjay Gupta has announced that he is going to take Shoot 3 on floors in 2023. You rocked like Maya Dolas Shooting at Lokhandwala (2007). Would you be interested in joining Shoot 3?
I do believe there is a two-way relationship and two-way responsibilities. If an actor has performed, then it is the responsibility of the producer and director to give work to that actor. I fulfill my responsibility. Now it’s up to them to fulfill theirs!

Read also: Dharavi Bank: Vivek Oberoi as the honest cop who tries to take down Thalaivan aka Suniel Shetty’s solo empire in this trailer


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