Vivek Oberoi was among the first Bollywood stars that took over the OTT space and successfully made his mark as Vikrant Dhawan in the acclaimed web series ‘Inside Edge’. He is now back with another show ‘Dharavi Bank’, which also marks the OTT debut of Suniel Shetty. The Free Press Journal caught up with Vivek for an exclusive chat.
What made you say yes to ‘Dharavi Bank’?
I take my time. If you look at what I’ve done over the last few years, I started very early on OTT with ‘Inside Edge’ and got tremendous love and success. I had a lot of offers coming my way. I’m a bit careful in what I pick and choose. I chose ‘Dharavi Bank’ because I really wanted to enter into this world, this whole universe and I felt that the depth of this character, the bane in that he comes from, the past that he has, those layers were very fascinating to explore.
Tell us about your prep for the role of Jaykant Gavaskar.
For Dharavi Bank, in order to get to the truth of what Jaykant Gavaskar is, I spent 45 days with the creative team, and the writers. This is something I do for layered characters when I perform them, so that I get to know them deeper and understand where their truths emerge from.
What was your experience working with director Samit Kakkad?
Samit is crazy passionate and not somebody who sits in an air-conditioned office and imagines what Dharavi would look like. He’s somebody who walks the talk, goes to the ground, and knows every gully, and the characters. He explored the location multiple times till he found the right spot for every scene that he envisioned and I have deep respect for someone like that.
You’re reuniting with Suniel after ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’, although this time you’re the cop and he’s the gangster…
It’s very easy to get along with Anna, he’s a great guy. I’ve loved and admired him for many years. I’ve known him even before I became an actor. I have many lovely memories of visiting him on set when my dad (Suresh Oberoi) was shooting with him. He was always a humble and nice person. It’s been an amazing journey and it is an incredible debut for him, he’s truly fabulous in the show. He’s very focused and the energy he brings to a project is that of a newcomer even today with all these years behind him. He’s very contributive to the whole process.
Your last Bollywood film was in 2019, have you completely steered away from Hindi films to focus on OTT?
For me it’s all about content, be it a feature film, or series, it really doesn’t matter. I believe that there needs to be integrity in the content. We need to do projects or films by not looking at them as just products to sell and market. They have to be able to create that fire and passion. I’ve been here two decades now and I do well for myself and I don’t have to really work for the money which is not my primary drive. Quality over quantity is something that I’m very conscious of and that’s the reason I take my time. When I commit I give it my all.