vivek oberoi
Upala KBR (DNA; June 14, 2017)

In his next film, Bank Chor, Vivek Oberoi teams up with Riteish Deshmukh again, and for the first time in a film it’s not an adult comedy. While the actor says that he’s not ashamed of those films, he’d rather steer clear of them now. We catch him in a reflective mood, as he speaks about marriage and fatherhood.

Tell me abut Bank Chor...
I play a highly-decorated and tough cop, Amjad Khan, who busts a regular bank robbery. While Riteish Deshmukh’s character and the rest of the gang are pulling off the heist, you don’t know whether Amjad is a good cop or bad, there to save or nab them. That’s the parallel track that keeps unravelling and gives the comedy an edge and adventure.

How was it working with Riteish Deshmukh again?
This is our fourth project together after Masti, Grand Masti, and Great Grand Masti. But, this is the first film that you can actually sit with your family and watch us on screen without being embarrassed. I’m familiar with Riteish’s comic timing and there’s great scope for improvising when working with him. Sometimes our director, Bumpy, would just roll the camera and ask us to do whatever we wanted.

Riteish has given up adult comedies. How about you?
The Masti series was the only outing I had in that space. I used to call Riteish ‘daddu’ because he was the Dadasaheb of adult comedies. You name the adult comedy brand, and he has been a part of it. I think for him it was a big conscious decision to split away from that space and image, as he had done so much of it that he was tired. Adult comedies were never much of my repertoire. I’m not a hypocrite. If I have done a film, I have done it knowingly and unabashedly. However, what I am right now, I don’t know if I will do adult comedies ever again because that was a phase.

Have marriage and fatherhood brought about more maturity?
I think they are two extremely important milestones in your life. Priyanka makes me feel there’s so much more to life. My children make me want to be the best human being every single day. I never leave home without seeing them no matter what. I try to reach home by 7 pm every day so I can bathe and feed them and read them stories.

There’s buzz that you have a negative role in Vivegam with Tamil superstar Ajith Kumar...
Yes, I am doing my first Tamil film. People are confused about whether I play the hero or the villain, or I have a negative role or not. It’s a powerful parallel role. I have always admired Ajith’s work and the way he is constantly reinventing himself. I was blown by his performance in Vedalam. When the director of the film Siva called me and said that he created the title Vivegam (my name in Tamil) only because he wanted me in the film, I was really humbled. It’s a Rs 120 crore film and shot all across the globe in countries like Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc.

Biopics are quite popular these days. Who would you like to essay on screen?
I’m offered biopics everyday but most are gangster biopics. However, there is something that might work out. I don’t know if I should talk about it right now because the subject’s name is iconic. But, my dream role would be to play Swami Vivekanand. He brought this new face to spirituality. I was named after him; my real name is Vivek Anand Oberoi.

One quality you would like to steal from these stars
Shah Rukh Khan: His amazing confidence.
Aamir Khan: His dedication and commitment.
Salman Khan: His spontaneity. I love it.
Saif Ali Khan: His sense of humour.
Akshay Kumar: His good habits. He sleep at 9 pm and wakes up at 4 am. He’s brilliant.
Hrithik Roshan: I have already stolen a lot from Duggu, as I have learned a lot from him. I’d like to imbibe his ability to embrace adversity and go beyond it — like he did with his stammering.
Farhan Akhtar: His quirkiness and cool attitude.
Katrina Kaif: Her dance moves.
Alia Bhatt: The combination of those 1000 watt dimples that go into the 10,000 watt smile in her eyes.
Priyanka Chopra: Her self-belief — look where it’s taken her and look where she is today. Hats off to her. I am really proud of her.