First of Many: Vivek Oberoi revisits Company


From debuting as a local gangster in the gritty Company (2002) to playing PM Narendra Modi, Vivek Oberoi has surely come a long way. I slept on the floor with mice all around. Because I was thinking how I will do it and what will happen. Here’s what the actor shared:
Q. He didn’t talk to me at all. It was Ajay. But how did Vivek land his first acting role, Chandrakant “Chandu” Nagre, in Ram Gopal Varma directorial Company? I recorded how they live. My first day of shooting was with the Ajay Devgn. It had no toilet. I looked at a bunch of photographs and said, “Aye tu thopda kya dekhta hai, photo dekh” (Why are you looking at my face? I was shooting by the sea somewhere. He saw my pictures and everything. Also read: First of Many: Gajraj Rao revisits Bandit Queen
Q. He said, ‘You are polished. What was your first acting project? Nothing actually. (with inputs from Arushi Jain)

Comment(s) I had to go to a ‘sulabh shauchalaya’ (public toilet). He was looking at me shocked, trying to recognize me. Somebody from the underbelly of Mumbai, a rough and unpolished guy.’ I said, ‘Can you give me another appointment in 15 days?’ He said okay and then he forgot about me. He said, ‘You can’t go inside.’ The watchman was also confused and I had a bunch of photographs in my hand, which were depicting how the life of this character Chandu would be in the slums. So, that was my beginning in Bollywood. Basically, I studied all that. I asked him, ‘Why?’. For 15 days, how people check into a hotel, I checked into a slum. So, I went to meet him. We started shooting four days before they changed the principal character opposite Ajay (Devgn). Advertising

So many! He started staring at me. How did the project come to you? I did my first shot. He had met me only once before that. You have studied in New York and you have come back. Al Pacino, I am a big fan of his films like Godfather and Scarface. Advertising

I found out that Ram Gopal Varma was making this film, and he is looking for an actor. I believe in changing the future. He was talking to all the other actors giving them some tidbits. I did my first shot and RGV said, ‘Okay!’

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Q. I don’t believe in changing the past. Look at the pictures). As soon as I reached his office, the watchman stopped me. What do you remember of your first day on set? I had to keep one-rupee coins with me. I went down and was standing on the shore by myself when suddenly, somebody comes from behind. I observed how they drink their tea, smoke their ‘beedis’ and eat their samosa. How many retakes did you take? It was crazy. I dressed up as that character with chappals, torn shirt, vest inside, tight pants and messed up completely. My first project was Company. I ate and drank locally. One film or role that inspired you to become an actor? Popular Photos

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I remember everything! Were you nervous? I had to bath out of a drum of water with no plumbing. I went up to meet RGV and walked in. He said, ‘No, you’re not the guy’. If given a chance to go back to your debut role, what’s that one thing you’d like to change or do better? Q. I need somebody from the slums. So just continue doing your work.’
Vivek Oberoi and Ajay Devgn in a still from Company. He is like an elder brother to me now. One major principal actor had just been sacked. I then went to meet Ramu. Even after my scene was done, he did not talk to me, and I thought, ‘I’m gone now!’ I mean, I would’ve got sacked if he doesn’t like my work. Q. I was very, very worried. Then he saw the pictures and signed me. I said, ‘Oh, my god, will I do well, will I not do well’. I said, ‘I don’t think you liked my work.’ He smiled and said, ‘I am not telling you whether I liked it or not. In a career spanning 17 years, Vivek has been part of hits like Saathiya, Masti, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Omkara, Krrish 3 and others, trying out roles as varied as a quintessential lover boy to an antagonist. I pulled up the chair and sat on it with my feet on his table. I went and rented a ‘kholi’, a little hut and I stayed for 15 days in a slum. Beedi in my mouth, I pushed the door open.