Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi claims to be the biggest romantic in this world. He’s the type of guy who will leave syrupy messages on post-it notes for his wife Priyanka and rustle up a candle-lit dinner on the terrace with jazz playing in the background. So it’s poetic justice that his romantic comedy ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’ will hit the theatres on Valentine’s Day.
“It’s a perfect date movie and is about love conquering all,” said Oberoi in an interview with tabloid!. The son of veteran actor Suresh Oberoi plays a lovable thug who falls in love with a suit-wearing corporate professional played by relative newbie Neha Sharma.
“She’s this polished, good-looking girl IT professional and I am this tapori, rastha-chaap [rascal] kinda guy. We belong to two different worlds. We have nothing in common but we still have that incredible chemistry between us.”
Oberoi, who made his debut in 2002 as a dreaded gangster in the gritty mafia thriller ‘Company’, compares his latest role to a fruit.
“Jayanthabhai is like a coconut. He has a tough exterior but has a heart of gold. In front of children, his heart just melts,” said Oberoi. As far as comparisons go, this one is an original line. But how will this romantic comedy be different from the ones we have already seen? Bollywood hits such as Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Rangeela’ and Sanjay Dutt’s ‘Munnabhai’ series saw thugs with a conscience as its heroes.
Comparison to Saathiya
“I found Rangeela compelling and entertaining. In Lage Raho…, Munna was a gangster who was also a social reformer. But, this movie is an uncomplicated, light-hearted comedy about two sweet, honest individuals. It’s like Saathiya, if you must compare,” said Oberoi, alluding to his hit romantic drama with Rani Mukherjee.
His excitement is not limited to his film releasing this week. On the personal front, Oberoi became a father to a baby boy on February 6.
“Fatherhood is this incredible feeling. The moment you cut that umbilical chord, your life changes forever. Once they place your baby wrapped in that towel in your arms, that moment is etched in our memory forever. He just owned my soul,” said Oberoi. Calling himself as the official “baby-sitter” for his family, Oberoi has already tackled diapery-duties with ease.
“It’s not my first attempt. I have changed quite a few for my nieces. Fatherhood is one relationship that doesn’t take years to establish. It just feels right from the world go. I will do anything for him now.”
Describing himself as a hands-on father, he says he embraced parenthood as soon as he heard that his wife was pregnant.
“When she said: ‘I am pregnant’, I told her it’s going to be ‘we are pregnant.’ Even though I was busy shooting, I made it to every doctor/sonography test. Even at 3 am, if Priyanka had food cravings, I used to run to get it for her. I used to talk to him while he was in her belly. I couldn’t wait to see him,” said Oberoi.
‘An amazing year’
According to the actor, 2013 is the year for all-round thanksgiving.
“Shukran, Shukran, Shukran… is all I have to say for this year. It’s been such an amazing year.”
Not every year has been fruitful for this actor. In 2003, Oberoi did the unthinkable. He took on Bollywood superstar Salman Khan at a press conference claiming that Khan had hurled threats about stealing his then-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. In the highly clannish Bollywood, such moves are considered suicidal. It proved true. The move cost Oberoi many plum projects. For long, Oberoi, who was toasted as the most promising newcomer in early 2000, was pushed to the sidelines by Bollywood insiders. But the actor isn’t willing to dwell on the negatives. He has ambitious projects such as ‘Krrish 3’ and ‘Zilla Ghaziabad’ to look forward to.
“I never look back. I have just begun the race. If I am 85 with one foot in the grave, I will analyse my past. When I have so much to look forward to, why would I even think of turning back? It’s a roller-coaster ride and I am going to enjoy it every step of the way — scream, shout, smile and have fun,” said Oberoi.
He claims he’s all heart when it comes to making decisions in life.
“I don’t know any other way. I have always been a romantic,” said Oberoi who lists Hollywood classics such as ‘Roman Holiday’ and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ as his favourite films. Perhaps, that’s the reason why he has immense faith in his latest project ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’.
“Romantic comedies can never go out of style in Bollywood. That’s why we are in business.”
“I am non-conformist when it comes to celebrating love. Nobody can tell me what day I should celebrate my love for my wife ... For me, every day is a Valentine’s Day. If I see the sun filtering through our window and her sleeping, it inspires me to write a small note or a poetry. I hide it and she finds it during the course of the day ” — Oberoi when asked about his Valentine’s Day plans.
* ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story’ will release in theatres near you on Thursday.