New Delhi: From making his debut as a gangster in Ram Gopal Verma’s Company to playing the conniving Vikrant Dhawan in Inside Edge, Vivek Oberoi has put the good into being bad. However, the actor seems he have had a change of heart on screen, as he plays the righteous cop Vikram Bakshi in Rohit Shetty’s cop universe “Indian Police Force”.
“It is been fun and the entire journey, I started as challenging the cops and now I’m playing one. The one aspect that I loved about Rohit Shetty’s cop universe, other than being part of this mega set, was playing this interesting character. I think OTT also allows you to get into the layers of a character, there is an arc to explore, and there is a different level of applying your craft. Apart, this show also focuses on the human aspect of these men. People have this mindset of staying away from cops and not dealing with them. Vikram Bakshi epitomises that, the human aspect of these men.”
He recalls how playing a cop took him back in time, as he remembered being transfixed as a teenager watching his father( Suresh Oberoi) playing a cop in the 1988 hit Tezaab. “In an era where we portrayed cops as morally corrupt, lazy and laid back. My father was this morally upright cop, who sees the man behind the criminal, was a lasting memory.”
He recalls, how he was forewarned about coming on to the OTT space by “shubhchintaks”(well-wishers) who saw it as a fall from grace for a mainstream actor. But with a stream of success, he says, “One needs to be a disruptor. This is the medium of the future. It connects with the youth, am surprised I have young fans. So one has to keep reinventing and innovating. Even experimenting with mediums, Rohit Shetty had done that he has reinvented the grammar of filmmaking. So one cannot be insecure in life, you have to know your value.”
It seems he has taken a leaf from his own life and experiences. Being hailed as the most promising star, with hits such as Saathiya and Yuva, he hit a rough patch. He also for the longest time was infamously remembered as the man who challenged Salman Khan for being a bully in 2003 and paid a price.
He says he has had constant career obituaries penned for him.
“After I did a Shoutout At Lokhandwala in 2007, despite its success, I had no work for a year and a half. It was very difficult as I wondered why was no one signing me. Those were dark days and that day I realised I would define my journey. I reached out to people in the Southern industry if Bollywood didn’t want to give me work.”
He further says after I got married to my wife Priyanka, I realised best to leave the career obstacles out of my home. The only thing I can sum up 20 years of my career is realize that 99.9% of the things that you worried about back which is not worth worrying about. You can either not change them or they were too insignificant. It is either of the two and you realize that it is true when they say life is about moving forward. You can’t drive you know, on the road going forward looking in the rearview mirror of a car. You have to forge relationships with those who matter.”
His only advice for people who want to make is that conviction and convenience can never travel in the same boat, “Bow your head in humility, never in servitude”.
The Indian Police Force is streaming on Prime Video.