Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vivek oberoi:I'm trying to be friends with Salman Khan

What is your role in Mission Istanbul?
I play the interesting role of Rizwan Khan, a dude with an attitude in Mission Istanbul. No mission is impossible for Rizwan who can reach anywhere. It is for the first time that I am playing a Muslim character in the film since the time I had made my debut with Company as Chandu.

How did you prepare yourself for the role?
I had to put on a lot of muscles to look tough. I should say it was a pretty easy role to enact once I got into the skin of the character

To what extent do you think you suit the role of Rizwan?
Even before the shooting of 'Shootout At Lokhandwala' was completed, Apoorva Lakhia had told me that he was writing the character of Rizwan keeping me in mind.

Did Apoorva give you a lot of scope to improvise as actor?
Mission Istanbul is such a solid action film that there is absolutely no scope for an actor to improvise even if he wanted to, because the pace of the film is so fast. It is a film which has duration of just two hours. The film has 9000 cuts.

What kind of relationship do you share with Apoorva?
I call Apoorva Appu. I have an interesting and intriguing relationship with Appu. You would not believe that I was actually reluctant to do Shootout At Lokhandwala when Appu had narrated the role to me but was inspired to take up the offer when Appu told me that I was his Maya Dolas.

How did you build a trust with Apoorva as an actor?
Mid-way through the shooting of Shootout At Lokhandwala, Appu and I were able to build tremendous trust in each other. Once we started gelling with one another as director-actor, both of us had 100% trust in each other so much so that I never sat behind the video assist till Appu called me to watch it.

How tough was it to shoot in Istanbul?
The weather was very cold. We shot in the docks when it was freezing cold and also raining. At times I had no other alternative but to do warm ups to make the blood rush again.

Can you share any memorable incident while shooting for Mission Istanbul?
I had tied the wrappling rope around my waist for a stunt sequence when I had to come down from the terrace to the ground. When I looked down from what I was told was the 44th floor, people looked literally like ants. Nothing can prepare you for moments like this in mission Istanbul.

Did you enjoy the stunts which you performed?
Zayed and I enjoyed the stunts that we did so much that we even asked for five retakes though Apoorva had Okayed the first take itself. It was only when the stunt expert who was supervising the scene said that the role had burnt out that we went on for the next shot.

Is dancing a new facet of yours?
Not many are aware of the fact that I had at one time actually assisted Farah Khan before I embarked upon a career as an actor; on her stage shows. Since people have not seen me in my 18 films released till date as a dancer feel that dancing is a new facet to my personality.

You floored every one at an awards function abroad recently with your dance!
To tell you the truth, I had pre conceived notions about performing at stage shows. Though strangely enough I have never done a dance number in a film with Akshay Kumar till date, it was he who advised me to do stage shows. Akki is a dear friend.

In what way has Akshay been a friend?
Akki was there when I was going through a very bad phase.

When I told him on the phone that I was depressed because I had four flops as an actor one after the other, he immediately offered to come home to be with me for some time to help me get over my depression.

He told me to keep my chin up since he has had not just four but seventeen flops consecutively before he hit big time. He is one actor who I really look up to, as an elder brother to guide me.

Which are your forthcoming films?
I have cut down on my work, because I want to do quality work, like I used to do when I had started my career with Company. Today I feel like I am a new comer. Nowadays I am being offered roles which I actually want to do.

Frankly there was a phase in my career when I did roles which were not good for production houses which were not so good.

What kind of roles do you seek as an actor now?
I want to be challenged a lot more as an actor. I think having established myself as a decent actor pretty early in my career, the passion within me got diluted somewhere on the way compared to what it was earlier since I was caught in the trappings of stardom

Can you explain?
I confess I did some bad and terrible work when I stopped being myself and tried to step into some one else's shoes since I felt people expected that out of me. I realized I was wrong. It was a process of self discovery. When I was not getting the kind of work that that I wanted, I realized that I was actually hungry for good work.

What did you learn from that phase of yours?
I was fortunate enough to get a lot too soon which takes others many more years to get. May be I did not value and respect it.

I realized that art does not belong to you alone. It belongs to a higher power which controls you, whether you like it or not. If you do bad work, it leaves you. I am happy that phase of my life is over and I am thankful now for the new lease of life that I have managed to get post Shootout At Lokhandwala.

In what way have you changed tracks?
I have changed all my routes. Since I acted in Omkara, I have made it a point never to be late. If I am delayed, I make it a point to call up and say that there is a reason for my being late. I make it a point to recharge my soul like you recharge your cell phone.

Was trying to make amends with Salman Khan a part of your recharging process?
Yes. You can say that. At the end of the day, the entire film industry is like a large family.

Today I have no ill will for any one, though I was like a rebel earlier. May I did not even expect called me up and told me that I had done a good job in Shootout At Lokhandwala.

In retrospect I feel it was wrong on my part to have called for a press conference to lambast Salman Khan. When I went to the sets of Sujoy's Alladin, I made it a point to pay my respects to Amitji too.


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