April 9, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi talks about his upcoming movie Rakta Charitra directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
On the eve of release of his latest film Prince, Vivek tells Jyothi Venkatesh that he was quite scared to accept the title role in the action film Prince because he was in a lean phase of career at that point that doing a solo film was actually a dangerous proposition for an actor like him.
Prince, according to Vivek Oberoi, is the story of a thief who wakes up one morning only to realize that he has lost his memory and his life is at stake. His memory gets stolen and he has just six days to live and save himself. The extreme action thriller has some high voltage action sequences promises to entertain and enthrall all. The movie also stars Nandana Sen, Aruna Shields and Neeru Singh, besides him in the romantic leads.
What is your role in the film? I ask Vivek when I meet him at Sun N Sand hotel in his suite for the interview.
“I play the title role of the Prince, who is ambidextrous because he writes with both his hands. It was not an easy character for me to play as an actor. Allan Amin was the action director and we had on board on the sets a nutritionist, a martial arts expert from Thailand and a gym instructor, because I had to drive a stunt bike and a skate board in some dare devil sequences for the film”
How Vivek bagged the offer makes interesting reading. Says Vivek, “I was shooting quite close to director Kookie Gulati’s house. I knew him because we had done a couple of music videos and have great respect for his work. Kookie asked me if I wanted to do a big action film and I was game because I have not done an action film for quite some time. I was floored when he showed me a previs DVD. Earlier in my career, no one had shown me a previs DVD. It s an animation form of story board which helps an actor know the various angles of action sequences that he is going to shoot for a film. I was blown because even the previs had a scratch track”.
Vivek adds excitedly. “It is not only my biggest but also the costliest film which Tips has produced till date. More than being nervous, to tell you the truth, I was quite scared. I was in that phase of career at that point when I was offered the part of Prince that doing a solo film was actually a dangerous proposition for an actor like me. Frankly I took up the offer only because Kumar Taurani believed that I could pull off the film by delivering as an actor”.
Vivek goes gaga over producer Kumar Taurani. “Kumar Taurani is an amazing producer in the truest sense of the term. A film like Prince which is as big and adventurous on this scale which tries to push the envelope needs a producer with vision like him. I understand where I stand as far as the hierarchy of box office actors, as far as returns is concerned and hence I was honest enough to ask him whether he was sure that I would do justice to his project. Honestly speaking more than my own ability to take on the project that spurred me to say yes to him was his belief in me which made me feel that I can do”.
Vivek confesses that he did not prepare for his part by setting out to watch some of the foreign action films because he is of the opinion that if one starts watching, one will only end up borrowing from other actors. “I started feeling, becoming and understanding Prince while I was rehearsing for my part. I had to keep in mind the fact that Prince is very vulnerable and hence to constantly create a balance between vulnerability and confidence was quite a tough task for me as an actor”.
Prince is actually Vivek’s 22nd film, as an actor. “I have been a part of the film industry for the last eight years. I have seen a lot of directors and also gone through hundreds of narrations of various stories. I have worked with many new directors. Kookie knows his work from the backside of his palm. Kookie even went to Paris to meet Nicholas for action and editing of Prince. While praising him sky high by stating that Kookie is one of the best that I have worked with till date, I would also not at all hesitate to say that he is the worst narrator in the world. These days, most of the actors ask for a bound script because we tend to get carried away by the narration”.
Vivek is now acting in Ramgopal Varma’s Raktra Charitra. Says Vivek, “We rediscovered the chemistry we had shared in the film Company, while working in Rakta Charitra. Ramu called me and asked me whether I’d like to work with him in a film. He told me that it would be the best role in my career after Company and added that every time he thought of a serious character, he could think only of me, while we were shooting for Rakta Charitra.”.
Rakta Charitra has been made in two parts. “I play the character of Ravi in it. Ramu told me that though he is introducing Surya from the South in Rakta Charitra, he told me that he wanted to cast me in it, because the film needed an antagonist who is powerful and intense. I have acted in all the three languages- Hindi, Tamil and Telugu”.
Vivek is also to all set to fly to U.K to shoot for two big films to be launched by two different big banners. Vivek is tight lipped when you ask him about the projects, because as he confesses that he has not been allowed to divulge the details right now and has been advised to keep a low profile since it is too premature as of now.
Vivek is of the opinion that films come with their own destiny. “I have always maintained that there is no fixed formula for either success or failure. I was of course disappointed with the box office failure of Karan Johar’s Kurbaan directed by Renzil Dsylva but quite happy with the rave reviews that my performance fetched for me as a actor”
Vivek says that his roots are from the theatre. “From the street theatre to the professional theatre, I have done the whole gamut of the stage. I am excited to be a part of the big budget musical play Kingdom of Dreams which, believe it or not, is a 200 crores project by Wizcraft and the government of India. The highlight of the opera-like play is that Javed Akhtar has written the lyrics while Shankar Ehsaan and Loy have composed all the songs. Omang Kumar has designed the sets while Nita Lulla is the costume designer for it. The star cast comprises of great talent from U.K besides me. Allan Amin will do live action for the two hours long play. The government wants to make the play a part of Incredible India campaign and it will be staged in Gudgaon for two months”.
– Jyothi Venkatesh / Sampurn Wire