Vivek Oberoi just completed 20 years in the film industry. As he rethought his journey, he talked about his debut film Company, his first meeting with Ram Gopal Varma and a rejection that felt quite personal.
Vivek Oberoi expressed that rejections in Bollywood can feel very personal sometimes. As he rethought his journey in the film industry, he remembered how an ace filmmaker told him that he will never be able to make it big in the industry.
The filmmaker kept looking at him and he said, ‘You can never make it.’ He then opened a drawer, pulled out a picture of a model, who was making his debut that year, placed his picture on the table and said, ‘Look at him. This is a star.’ Ironically, nothing happened to his career. But he remembers that audition so clearly because it was so harsh. It was very personal. But yes, that made him stronger, Vivek told a news portal.
Vivek carved his debut with Ram Gopal Varma’s Company. But before that, his father Suresh Oberoi had big plans to launch the actor with an Abbas-Mustan directorial.
His father didn’t come with a sifaarish ki chitthi. He came to this incredibly difficult industry on his own merit. So, when his father offered him to star in this film, he kept feeling wrong about it. So, he took this critical decision and told him that he cannot do this, he said further adding, his father looked at him with the concerned eyes of a father but there was a sense of pride too.
When Company happened, it happened on his own merit, which felt like a victory. When he won the Best Debut and Best Supporting awards in several shows, he saw tears of joy and pride in his father’s eyes. He knew what he went through in that year and a half of soul crushing experiences. He walked on fire but it all came to fruition, he continued.
Vivek went on to play Chandu in Company. But 2002 directorial wasn’t the first time when he met Ram Gopal Varma.
RGV for him was and still is a legend, Vivek showered praise on the director. The actor’s first meeting with him was in the basement of UTV where he used to be the struggling voice artist. He used to dub English movies and TV shows in Hindi and vice-versa. So, when Satya was being dubbed in English and he was chosen for it. That was the first time he met RGV, Vivek recalled.
RGV complimented his voice and his work. He wanted to tell him so many things but couldn’t. Years later, when he got to know he was doing Company, he somehow met him and got his first unintentional break, the actor further continued, adding, “When I got the part, I remember my first scene was with Ajay Devgn. He was such a big star. I was a huge fan of him.”
When questioned about Ram Gopal Varma, Vivek said on the sets of Company, he was always like this “man on a mission.”
Remembering his first interaction with RGV, he stated that remember being unsure because he was giving instructions to a lot of people around him but he wasn’t telling him anything. He was like, ‘Why he is not giving me feedback? What am I doing wrong?” By the time it was lunch break, he was petrified and demoralised. He was like, ‘What if he throws me out? Mera career shuru hone se pehle hi khatam na hojaye kahin.’ He couldn’t eat. He was standing there and almost as it happens in the movies, a hand landed on his shoulder. When he turned around, it was RGV. He looked into his eyes and said, ‘If I don’t like what you are doing, I will tell you. If I don’t tell you anything it means I like what you are doing.’ He was in so much joy after that moment because he is the man who made incredible films like Satya, Rangeela and Shiva.
“Now, go eat something,” Vivek recalled RGV’s parting sentence and broke into a burst of laughter. “I still remember all that clearly.”
When questioned if his two-decade-long journey in Bollywood was easy, Vivek answered, No journey is easy. You have to keep proving yourself. Life is like the game of snakes and ladders. Sometimes you work your way up, and sometimes, you are bit by the snake and fall down.
On a parting note, Vivek described his debut film Company as the one film that gives him a “sense of immortality.”
Every actor somewhere wants to get immortal through celluloid. That is a dream for every actor. Company gives him a sense of immortality. It was an absolute privilege to be a part of it, he expressed hope that his fetish for acting “never gets fulfilled.”