‘I’m probably the actor who should have the Guinness Record for the maximum obituaries written for his career.’

Vivek Oberoi will complete 20 years in the film industry next year, and he’s quite surprised that he has survived for so long.

“It’s quite funny, as I keep saying I’m probably the actor who should have the Guinness Record for the maximum obituaries written for his career,” Vivek tells Subhash K Jha.

“I’m still standing here, enjoying myself and doing well for myself. For me, it’s about being in the now, not looking in the rear view mirror but driving forth and enjoying the view. I’m happy and that’s what matters to me.”

Vivek feels doing the third season of Amazon Prime Video’s Inside Edge is a homecoming.

“There is no place for complacency. You feel that you could just sleep through a character you have been doing since 2017, but it’s different because my character Vikrant Dhawan and the series have got all this love and so many fans.”

Vivek confesses the performance anxiety during shooting the third season of Inside Edge was palpable.

“For me, the pressure of performing, to match the expectations of the people who look forward to seeing Vikrant Dhawan, coupled with the fact that you want to retain the essence of what works and what doesn’t, what people like about the character but at the same time, evolve and bring something new to it… and that’s always difficult.”

About the many layers to his character, Vivek says, “Vikrant’s character is larger than life, with the exception of some scenes in Season 3, where his mask falls off and you see his scars, and the things that make him what he really is.”

“This wasn’t a cakewalk. I was extremely nervous on the first day of my shoot for this season. I kept calibrating every shot, I kept asking my director Kanishk Varma questions during the shoot.”

A lot of homework went into playing Vikrant.

“Ever since the beginning of my career, I tend to write an autobiography of all the characters I have played so far. I write a script of my own from the character’s childhood till the point the script actually begins and then what happens after the script has ended. So I get the holistic sense of the character. That helps a lot,” he says.

“Vikrant is somebody, who is ambitious but feels disfranchised in some point of his life, which you feel see in the third season. When someone’s been disfranchised or disempowered, the hunger and greed for sheer power is extreme and that’s Vikrant. He has this strange dynamic with power and it reflects in his relationship with his wife Sudha that you see in the whole BDSM and domination angle. It’s a very interesting parallel between the two.”

 

Vivek reveals he shares a great rapport with the Inside Edge cast.

“From the very first party that I threw for the cast before we started filming, and we just hung out… we spoke, we ate, we jammed and we removed any kind of hierarchy between the young actors and us.”

“By doing that,” he says, “you allow a free flow of ideas and discussions. We established (ourselves) as one team who is moving towards one goal. We are like one large extended family with a hilarious WhatsApp group.”

Vivek reveals why we see so little of him on screen.

“I have been truly busy with setting up my university in Gujarat. I have been setting up my startup ecosystem, building a few companies, taking a few companies public. I have been doing a lot of interesting things outside the film space which are now well-settled and structured,” he says.

“Now, I think I have the right amount of time and hunger to do more work as an actor. This year I have about six projects on the table and more exciting stuff coming up that I am producing and writing.”

The actor sees the OTT platform as a blessing.

“OTT is a phenomenal blessing for the actors. I think what OTT has done is a trick that we missed as an industry. We missed nurturing an ecosystem for the young, bright talent, purely basing it on merit rather than what lobby, what friendship and what surname you bring to the table.

“We built it in a way that didn’t allow fresh talent to flourish. OTT does that. I think OTT has taken the mantle to be that nursery where people can showcase their creativity. It is so democratic.”

“What OTT does is that you have a big movie or a show and also a small movie or a show. OTT is doing a lot more for the actors and the art. Everybody is benefiting from OTT.”

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