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‘I fought for 18 months, went door to door’: Vivek Oberoi says newcomers should succeed on ‘own merit’ – News


Still from Saathiya (2002)

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 4:18 p.m.

Last update: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 4:21 p.m.

Since his memorable debut in Company to his versatile roles in Saathiya and Lokhandwala shooting, Vivek Oberoi has etched his name in the annals of Hindi cinema with a sudden rise to fame in the early 2000s. However, beyond the glitz and glamor of the silver screen, Oberoi embodies a multifaceted personality: a astute businessman, a philanthropist and a devoted family man. In a conversation with City Times, the actor delves into the depths of his Bollywood career, his determination to make it on his own and his move to Dubai, which led to the launch of many businesses, the latest being his flagship jewellery. , Solitary, in the heart of the bustling city.

Edited excerpts from an interview:

Q. Your father Suresh Oberoi is also an acclaimed actor. Was it always a given that you would go into show business?

My family never raised me having the right to it. They never told us that ‘yeh baap dada ki jagir hai, isko le chalo’ (here is a property inherited from your father and grandfather, you can take it forward). I remember that my father decided that he was going to throw me into a film project and I had a crisis of conscience about it. In fact, I chose not to see the movie. I gave up my last name so as not to embarrass my father, I struggled for 18 months, went door to door, did interviews and auditions and finally got the opportunity to audition with Ram Gopal Varma.

The first time it didn’t work. Twelve months later, I had another opportunity to audition with him and Company happened. It took a lot to win that audition. I remember when I received the film I went and said to the director, “Sir, I have something to share. I am Oberoi sir’s son.” He replied in shock, “Suresh’s son? Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I told him I wanted to make the movie on my own merits, and he actually slapped me on the back proudly and said, “Great spirit. Proud of you.”

Company Still (2002)

Company Still (2002)

Q. Why did you want to enter in a hurry?

Absolutely. There should be no easy way. That’s what I tell all the young people who come to me and ask me how to break into the industry. You must make an effort, you must overcome routine, be the owner of your failures and your success. This is what I have always believed in.

Q. Has it become easier for newcomers to find an entry point now than in the past?

It’s much more democratic now. Today you have access to let your talent shine on social networks. Before you needed an opportunity; If you didn’t have the opportunity to shine on a television platform or in a movie, you didn’t have growth. Now you can be on social media and a casting director can see you there and say, ‘Oh, who is this sensation?’ Now it’s all about how good you are and a little bit about how lucky you are.

Q. The OTT disruption has also helped democratize the Hindi film industry to some extent. What excites you most about this new wave?

I just completed the OTT program Indian police force and God has been very kind because it has been a great success. I think it’s my most successful OTT show in terms of viewership or number of views of all time. I am also shooting something that is an action film with someone I love very much, Tiger Shroff. At the same time, I am also gearing up for an action film with one of my favorite producers, Madhu Mantena. I’m doing a historical film that I just signed. A film that is not historical but has 20 years of history is Masti. We are all ready for its fourth edition.

Q. Why do you think we lack good Bollywood comedies?

Define well. For example, my wife doesn’t really like Masti; It makes her shudder. But I, for one, am one of the many who adore him. There are a million people who love him. Everyone keeps asking me, “When are you doing the next one?” So our position is to cater to the right PG, who are you making the film for? Indian police force It’s not meant to be edgy or harsh. It’s supposed to be dough. And then there is the daring content, which excites you more as an actor, like inner edge. Therefore, you must be clear about what you want from a particular project.

Q. A notable aspect of your career is how you managed to not allow the industry to dictate the terms and pace of your work, taking time for your projects. Many people, especially Generation Z, seem to struggle with this pressure to constantly keep up and aggressively pursue success. How did you navigate this pressure?

Pressure can be applied not only in movies, but in everything you do in life. I have made these mistakes and I have learned from them. You may feel pressured by someone and stop listening to your inner voice. You stop listening to what motivated you to choose that career in the first place and it starts to become transactional. You kill the joy of it. The moment you do that, 50 percent of the battle is lost. You are destined to lose your inner compass; Your soul is going to start saying: “I’m lost at sea. I don’t enjoy this anymore.”

Oberoi with his wife Priyanka

Oberoi with his wife Priyanka

That joy I feel when I’m in front of the camera, the joy I feel when I make a character come to life; If I feel like it’s a chore, I no longer enjoy it, I should stop doing it. The same applies to anything you do in life. You should take a break or a sabbatical, or do something totally different because if it’s not feeding your soul, what’s the point? Whatever you choose to do, it should feed your bank account, yes, but also your soul.

Q. You also moved to Dubai 3 years ago, how has your journey been in the city?

I love the city. Dubai makes me feel safe, it makes me feel welcome. It makes me feel loved. The people here respect us a lot as Indians. The kind of love we have for our culture, for our film, especially the older people, they talk to me in their Arabic-Urdu, which is very sweet. They talk about my father’s films or my films. And then there is the diaspora. There are so many nationalities here. My son’s class has 23 children of 17 nationalities. This way you can grow as a global citizen. For business, Dubai has been a great luck for me. Our real estate company is flying right now, Solitario is doing well and I will be launching my F&B Coffee Company very soon.

Vivek Oberoi in Dubai

Vivek Oberoi in Dubai

Q. Congratulations on your recently opened Solitario store at Dubai Hills Mall. What made you want to move from the silver screen business to the diamond business?

The most interesting thing to me was that lab-created jewelry has grown exponentially. I love technology; I love the fact that the quality of lab created jewelry is becoming so incredible that today they are indistinguishable from natural stones. Not even a machine, much less a human being, can distinguish between natural and laboratory-grown. It’s also great for the environment, great for ESG-related ethical issues, and at the same time modern and fun. So you have the whole spectrum. Big diamonds, good karma: that was my slogan. I literally wrote that on the back of a piece of paper and said, “This is it. This is the company.” And today, we imagined it and made it a reality in just two years, with our own installation and design. It is already in 25 cities, with Dubai being our most recent launch.


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