It takes only one look at his career-graph to determine his versatility but new dad Vivek Oberoi has always found the most recognition in his gangster roles – with the exception of his loverboy portrayal in ‘Saathiya’ (2012) a decade ago. The month of February sees two film releases for the 36-year-old; ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’ (JKLS) and ‘Zilla Ghaziabad’ (ZG). Both movies will see him playing the thug, with the inevitable love angle thrown in. This month is also a special one personally for the actor what with the birth of his son just a few days ago. BizAsia exclusively caught up with Oberoi to talk about his forthcoming films, his stepping into unknown territory with fatherhood and, of course, the film that’s keeping even the best of us on tenterhooks; ‘Krrish 3’.
The much-loved and appreciated gangster of Vivek Oberoi returns in two films almostsimultaneously. How are you feeling now that the releases are fast approaching?
As excited as one could expect! I have five movies releasing this year, two of them this month from completely different genres. JKLS is a feel-good romantic story about a gangster with a heart. ZG is very different. My character Satbir Gujjar was actually a teacher who became a gang leader. ZG is an action thriller based on the true story of a gang war between two powerful rival groups.
Tell us about your experience for your character, Jayanta. He is obviously a gangster who falls in love, how did you find him to play?
You know it’s funny, for years my female fans have asked me to do another role like the romantic boy-next-door Aditya (Adi) Sehgal from ‘Saathiya’ whilst my male fans asked for more gangster roles like Chandu. Jayanta is a combination of both. It was a lot of fun playing Jayantabhai, different to any other role so I had a bit to learn, like learning a new style of delivery. Working with Tips Films is like working with family, a wonderful experience as always.
What was your experience working with Neha Sharma?
Working with ‘bhadhotri’ was a blast! She has a very warm and friendly personality. She plays the role of Simran aka Bhadhotri with ease. I think we shared great chemistry on-screen, which made filming a lot of fun.
What do you hope people will take away from the film (JKLS)?
It’s a fun film with something in it for everyone. Watch it with your parents, kids, girlfriend. It’s a Tips film that guarantees entertainment.
What was it like working on ‘Zilla Ghaziabad’, a multi- starcast film?
It’s not the first time in my career that I’ve worked on a multi starcast film, it was the first time I’ve worked on a film with Arshad Warsi and it was such a great experience. The dynamics between our two characters who are gang rivals and the complexity of their rivalry is something to be seen. It is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sanju baba after ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ (2007) (we’re doing another film together too) and like always to star in a film with an actor of his calibre, it’s a phenomenal experience.
Similarly to ‘Rakht Charitra’ (2010), ZG is based on a true story. What is your experience of portraying a real-life story/character?
It’s not always easy. With Paritala Ravi, I visited the place where he lived, his supporters, his enemies, I did a lot of research about him – not just his life story, but what made him change. Similarly for Satbir Gujjar, my character in ‘Zilla Ghaziabad’, he was a teacher. I did a lot of research on him, his town, the people, I visited Tihar jail as well.
For me, when it comes to portraying real-life characters like Paritala and Satbir, the essence is in identifying what exactly the turning point is, what made them change, what made them opt for violence.
‘Krrish 3’ will be releasing later this year. How much is your anticipation?
We’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years on ‘Krrish 3’. It’s the first time I’m playing a role like this, Indian cinema’s first super-villain! I’m really looking forward to its release this year, importantly I’m looking forward to the audience’s response!
What has it been like working with the Roshans?
Hrithik and I go back a long way, we’re childhood friends. The first thing you notice about Hrithik is his professionalism. When he gives a shot, he gives it his all. He’s put so much hard work and dedication into ‘Krrish 3’ from his delivery on-set to his training off-sets. Working with Rakesh uncle has been an amazing experience, I’m so humbled by the faith he has in me to perform such a huge role.
It is also a very important and exciting month for you personally. How is VO, the new father, taking to this new real-life role?
Our most precious gift from God is here! Words cannot begin to describe how I’m feeling, holding my son for the very first time was the most beautiful moment of my life. Priyanka and I are elated to be parents. I’mloving every minute I have with my son… life is beautiful!
Oberoi very much seems to be taking it all in and looking forward to the future. BizAsia thank him for taking the time out to speak to us and wish him well both on the professional and personal fronts.
‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’ releases on 15th February and ‘Zilla Ghaziabad’ is slated for release just a week later, on the 22nd.