He was greatly appreciated for his roles as a gangster in Company (2002) and Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007). Now, Vivek Oberoi is now gearing up to portray the character of former don Muthappa Rai in his next project.
Speaking with HT, the actor says he finds it intriguing to play actual mafia characters on the big screen. “I think it’s exciting to identify with a real-life character and find a role that is based on someone who is still alive and accessible, like Muthappa Rai. The excitement of doing a biopic on someone who has been considered one of the most notorious gangsters is a different experience,” says Vivek, who spent time with Rai to prepare for the role.
Vivek says meeting the person on whom the character is based only makes the portrayal more believable on the screen, as this helps the actor understand their thought process and the way they function. However, it seems there can be difficulties in portraying people who are dreaded for what they have done.
“You have to rely a lot on your imagination. It’s a different experience altogether if you get to hear it from the horse’s mouth. You get to understand the nuances of the character,” says the actor.
When asked how he researches for such roles if he can’t meet the individual on whom the role is based, the actor says, “You have to actually meet people and interview them. When I was playing Maya Dolas in Shootout at Lokhandwala, I actually met and spent time with the inmates who were in jail with him — his friends, colleagues, enemies and the cops on duty when the shootout actually happened.
“That is how I put the character together with my imagination. It’s challenging, because everyone has a different version and you have to choose a the middle ground. You have to stay true to the soul and spirit of the character.”