Vivek Oberoi made a great comeback to Bollywood with the 2007 release Shootout at Lokhandwala. However, a couple of flops has put his career on the back burner once again. Few stars have seen the kind of rise and fall that Vivek has. However, the best thing about the actor is that he has no qualms accepting his failures and moving on with confidence. Perhaps it's his wife Priyanka and his new-born baby that have brought such harmony to his life. In a frank and candid chat with Masala! Vivek tells all about his new set of films, playing villain in Krrish 3 and being father for the first time!
Having done a lot of gangster based films, what made you take up Jayantabhai ki Luv Story (JKLS)? What's different about it?
The concept of Jayantabhai... was very exciting. I have done a lot of bhai-films like Company, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Omkara and more. For me, the excitement of doing this film was to try and explore the other side of a rough and tough character. It was important to tackle the love story angle of a gangster, which is something I've never done before. For me, the script of JKLS was like blending two films - Company and Saathiya.
Do you believe that people from contrasting worlds can fall in love?
I've met so many odd couples that I can't tell you how crazy it is! There is this very interesting story of a stuntman I worked with in Company. The two of us went to New Zealand for the shoot of another film where he met this sweet, local girl. He could barely manage four words of English while she was this highly educated, well-spoken girl who hailed from a very affluent family. Little did we know that they would end up falling in love on the shoot. It was wonderful to just watch these totally opposite people falling in love. They are now happily married and even have kids. He even speaks a lot more English than he did before!
Congratulations on your baby boy! What has the journey from husband to father been like?
Thank you so much! It's the most incredible thing in the world. The day my wife broke the news that she was expecting, I decided that no amount of work or professional commitments would get in the way of me enjoying this journey. This is something that will never come back; it's a journey that's really important to me and my wife. I saw to it that I was part of every single thing, whether it was Priyanka's routine checks, the first sonogram, hearing the heartbeat of my baby for the first time, picking up a cradle or even deciding on colours for the baby's room.
I made sure my wife and I shared quality time no matter how busy I was. Coincidentally, 2012 was the busiest year of my life (smiles). I remember telling my producers that this February there was one release (referring to his wife's delivery) way more important than my film releases. They were all very accommodating (smiles).
Who was happiest in your family when Priyanka and you first broke the news?
My dad and mum were thrilled! Just a month and a half earlier, my sister Meghna gave them the news that she was expecting so their joy was doubled with my becoming a father. My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Arjun in mid-December, and now Priyanka and I welcomed our little angel into the world. It's an incredible feeling indeed!
How did you compensate for the time spent away from Priyanka?
I would chat on Skype with her and the baby as and when I could. The times I was very caught up with work, I would do something extra special for her. The first thing I did when I went back to Bangalore was whisk her off to this really romantic candlelight dinner at a place called The Farmhouse, located on the outskirts of the city. The setting was perfect - we were surrounded by green pastures and in the beautiful moonlight as we ordered all her favourite food! Additionally, I realised that little things matter a lot when your wife is pregnant. For example, foot rubs help because a pregnant lady's feet really hurt. Whenever Priyanka and I sat to watch a movie, I would put her feet on my lap and give her a gentle foot massage. Such things really make you bond in a different way - it's deeper and more meaningful.
Did Priyanka have any pregnancy cravings of note?
Oh yes she did! There was a phase when she'd be hungry at 3am! I would get her whatever she craved from the refrigerator or cook it for her.
So are you a good cook?
I guess I am (laughs)! The number of times I have cooked her instant Maggi Noodles, I can proudly state that I am probably the world's best Maggi cook!
Kismat Love Paisa Dilli didn't fare well at the box-office. How did this affect you?
That's what has changed in me post marriage. Flops don't bother me anymore. When KLPD flopped, it was okay. I said to myself, 'Fine it flopped and I can't change anything about it. So now I am going to go take my wife on a babymoon'. We went on a short babymoon holiday to Bali and spent 10 days bonding and enjoying ourselves like a regular couple. I accepted the fact that the film flopped and moved on only because of Priyanka.
What did you enjoy most about playing the dark character of Krrish 3?
I think this is the first time I'm playing a completely negative character. I have never done so before. My character in Shootout at Lokhandwala had shades of grey; while Company was more like a hero's story. However, Krrish 3 is very different. It's exciting to play this scheming character. Imagine, you get to play this complete psychotic and wild character and get paid for it!
Did you get in touch with your evil side for this character?
I don't know if I have much of an evil streak in me. But yes, I think I've scared my wife for sure! She came to see me on the sets of Krrish 3 and these were her exact words when she saw me dressed as the villain: 'Ooh! You look eerie'.
Who is your favourite villain?
The late Heath Ledger. I loved the way he tackled the character of Joker and made him so real in The Dark Knight. He's my inspiration when it comes to playing the role of a villain.
They say marriage changes a man; did you notice any change in yourself?
Yes, I did. Everybody around has also pointed out that I am a lot more relaxed and calmer than before. I think Priyanka has this incredible ability to just make me feel light. When I look at her, I feel like I am with my soul mate. I am just so at home. With marriage, the constant search for something, the void in your heart, is filled and you feel calm and anchored. She's the anchor of my life so I feel everything is okay.