I don’t strategise my career: Akshay Oberoi

By Sanya Pandey (EXCLUSIVE)New Delhi, July 13 (Representative) Actor Akshay Oberoi who has received rave reviews for his work in ‘Laal Rang’ and ‘Gurgaon’ among others, will be seen as a lead in Vikram Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt’s upcoming romantic-horror drama ‘Judaa Hoke Bhi’. It is India’s first film completely shot in the Virtual Production Studio, and is bankrolled by Mahesh Bhatt and K Sera Sera Vikram Bhatt Productions. Akshay will be seen playing the role of a singer ‘Aman’. In an exclusive interaction with UNI, Akshay talked about what made him say yes to this movie, aspects he keeps in mind before signing any project, and Vikram Bhatt’s direction.“Vikram Bhatt came to me and said ‘I want to reinvent myself’, Bhatt sahab is writing it and we are going to make this movie. And I don’t know who would say no. I haven’t done this kind of massy movie before and it’s always fun to keep growing as an actor. “I love the horror genre because I think horror is a very difficult thing for an actor, as a lot of imagination is used on the set.” There is a lot VFX that goes into the making, different sounds— so you grow as an actor.

There are multiple reasons. But first and foremost I wanted to work with these legends in our industry—Vikram Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt. I am so glad I made the choice,” Akshay said. Talking about Vikram Bhatt’s direction, the 37-year-old actor said, “you can totally tell the experience. He has made around 40 films and worked with everyone in our industry from Akshay Kumar to Hrithik Roshan to everybody.”He is so seasoned and I feel like he is the kind of director you can wake up in his sleep, throw a scene at him and he will tell you exactly how to shoot it.”So it’s always fun to work with a guy who has worked on his craft for several years. When I look at him, I feel like I still have 20-30 more years of work to get to his level. I have done so much work, but when you meet a person like him who knows more about cinema than I do, he is willing to teach also, I think it’s just wonderful.” If he had any apprehensions regarding the role, Akshay said, “No. I might be afraid or scared that I won’t perform—there’s that constant need to sync into the character and do it to the best of my abilities, so there’s always that nervousness, with every project.

But no apprehensions.”I will do everything you give me, I am an actor, so whatever the role requires, I will do it with complete conviction as much as I can possibly do, and no room for apprehensions, because it’s game time because you got to be ready and play the part with absolute conviction. So apprehension is not something I allow to come into my head.”Talking about the preparations he did for the character, the ‘Madam Chief Minister’ fame actor said, “I learnt piano, because my character is a singer and music composer. So I wanted to look authentic in terms of how I was playing. The rest of it came to me sort of naturally, because I have seen failure in my own career, and this character goes through failure in his music career. There were things I connected with and relate to and that always makes the performance easier to believe and convinced playing the part.”On what was the most intimidating part of script, Akshay said, “I think it’s the way we shot the film. Because it’s virtual movie thing. This technology is quite intimidating at first because I have never worked with it and I think it’s the future. I think you can make really big budget films on a low budget, because this technology exists.” “At first when I heard about it, I myself being a film geek, so I was reading stuff about the ‘Mandalorian’, and I had done a short film.

So when Vikram sir had called me and said he was using this technology, I knew what he was talking about. I was so intrigued to work with it but it’s intimidating for an actor because it’s not a real life set but a virtual set, but very cool. I think that if this film works, more low budget films can look like they have a larger scale and big budget which will be very great for our industry,” he said.About the aspects he keeps in mind before signing any project, Akshay said, “you pick a movie for several things. Sometimes it’s the character, script. Sometimes you just want to engage with the director. So there is nothing as such in my mind. I am also very instinctual. There’s a voice. I don’t strategise my career.” “I am an actor, I engage with roles, characters, directors-who I admire and like to work with. I don’t think about the money or the production house or I should be the lead hero. No, it can be anything. The only thing I keep in mind is- will I grow as an actor, and will this make me better at my craft. Will I have something more to offer to the audience and therefore satisfy my own intentions,” he said.If platform matters to him when he considers any project, the ‘Fitoor’ actor said, “No, it doesn’t matters. I think the shows makes the platform.

And sometimes there are runaway hits on platforms that were very small, and we have seen that across the world. So, India is no different in that regard. The script and the filmmaker are always going to be more important to me.”On what project he would give credit to that shaped his career, Akshay said, “I think there are few of them- Gurgaon, Flesh, High, Inside Edge. I think my work was appreciated in these and they were very well made, they were varied characters. It’s hard to say in my career which is the one project that shaped me, because I think my career is looked at as a whole. It’s an amalgam of work.”If his journey was a cakewalk, Akshay laughed and said ‘not at all’. “I have been hammering away this career for 12 long years. it’s anything but bad. You are representing life, so if you have not lived life, then how you are an artist.”Sooraj Barjatya once told me when I was very young, he produced my first film, ‘when you are in your mid 30s, you will be in full command of your craft.’

He was not prophesying about my career but was saying in general, that it takes that long time to be in control of your powers. At that time it looked so far away, but now I can say he was absolutely right. So I am glad with my journey, but it was anything but a cakewalk.”On how OTT is treating him, the ‘Bar Code’ actor said, “I think OTT gave me the chance to display my talent to the audience, directors and the industry, that’s why I am being cast. I am very grateful to the digital age in India. I feel like without it I would have been lost somewhere.”One trend in the industry he doesn’t likes, Akshay said, “the Instagram casting. Just because somebody has a lot of followers, doesn’t means he/she is an actor”.On his dream role, Akshay said he wants to do a biopic. “I want to do a biopic of any kind, so that my work can be compared and analysed. Doing a biopic is a real challenge. I love challenges as an actor. Failure doesn’t bother me. In a biopic, people can test me, how close I match that character.”‘Judaa Hoke Bhi’ features Akshay Oberoi, Aindrita Ray and Meherzan Mazda. It is scheduled to be released on July 15.