LEKHA J. SHANKAR
Vivek Oberoi, who won an award at the IIFA event recently, talks about his latest film, ‘Mission in Istanbul.’
Dashing Mumbai actor Vivek Oberoi was at his scintillating best, when he sang, danced and spoke incessantly about his role in ‘Mission in Istanbul,’ at the IIFA awards event, held in Bangkok recently.
In the action-packed film directed by Apoorva Lakhia, the actor plays Rizwan Singh, a Turkish commando, in a tale that centres round politics, journalism and global terrorism.
Director Lakhia, who shot his first film, ‘Ek Ajnabee’ in Thailand, said this film has a global story, which is why he decided to shoot it outside India.
The movie is expected to be released in July. According to him, Turkey with its ‘claustrophobic’ streets and alleys, was apt for the atmospherics of the film. He was also turned on by the lush music and belly dancing of the country, all of which he uses in the film.
In fact, the music-CD that was released at IIFA, drew much applause, with its energetic beat, innovative style, and exotic amalgam of Turkish and Indian rhythms. Lakhia said that four music directors had created the unique rhythms, while the scintillating title song was sung by a newcomer.
Vivek said the whole film was a big party, and judging by the camaraderie among the big cast, it was obvious the party was not yet over. They sang and danced on the small stage of the Dusit Thani Hotel’s conference room, during the media-meet.
They later exploded on the huge stage of the Siam Niramit auditorium, at the awards night, when Vivek did a live song-dance number for the first time, and relished every moment of it as he felt every line and action typified his character.
The stunt sequences of the film have been coordinated by a Hollywood expert, and Vivek said that he and his colleagues performed them with gusto, in spite of the freezing temperature.
“We used to fling ourselves out of our high apartment for some stunt-shots, and had to be stopped before we over-did it!” he laughed.
“Every time I felt myself walking stiff like a robot, I heard Apoorva saying, ‘C’mon Tiger, you can do better, and immediately I would spring into action,’ he stated.
Vivek recounted an interesting tale about Istanbul. “I found the girls following me, cars stopping, people staring. That’s when I was told that I closely resembled a famous Turkish actor!” He said that he didn’t mind the mix-up, because it’s such an outstanding city and the people are so wonderful!
The actor admitted that he worked hard at building up his body and growing his hair for the film.
“I’ve been looking after my hair, like I would look after my best clothes,” said the actor, displaying his tresses against his natty grey suit and white tie.
“This is an entertaining but explosive tale” said Vivek, about the film. “It’s amazing to see how terrorism is run like a corporate business in the world today.”
Added Zayed Khan, “The film shows how the media brainwashes people about terrorism.”
Abhishek Bachchan has a special role in it and Vivek said he was cool about working with him.
The actor pointed out that he would be playing a totally different role in his next film with Karan Johar, which would be shot in South Africa. He was delighted to win an IIFA Award for Best Performance in Negative Role for Apoorva Lakhia’s ‘Shoot-out in Lokhandwala.’
“I don’t want to be boxed in,” said the actor, whose debut role was about an underground mafia guy in ‘Company,’ which he followed, with the romantic role in ‘Saathiya.’
Was his father, Suresh Oberoi, responsible for this sense of adventurism?
‘I owe my father everything!’ said Vivek with feeling.