He was touted as the next big thing when he debuted with Ram Gopal Varma's Company (2002). He went on to do Saathiya in the same year, and everyone thought a new star had arrived. Yet, post Shootout At Lokhandwala (2007), Vivek only had a string of flops to his name. But with Grand Masti and now Krrish 3, his career seems to be on a resurgent path. We catch up with the actor.
Do you feel vindicated with two back-to-back `100 crore grossers?
In a way, I do. I've always tried to do my kind of films and it's a great feeling to have a good run. It has been nothing less than a golden year for me.
Did you feel bitter towards the industry during your tough phase?
I am a positive person. Having said that, I must say that I did feel disappointed. After all, you put in hard work in all your films. But one must soldier on and try even harder the next time.
A series of films before Grand Masti didn't work. Do you regret your choices?
Life is too short for regret. I have always been fearless with my choices. I surprised people when I chose Company as my debut film. When I signed Saathiya, people said, 'Don't do it, you are an action hero.' Then people discouraged me from doing a comedy like Masti (2004).
Who was your biggest support during the rough phase?
Hrithik is one of the most positive people I have met. At a time when I felt low, with my films turning out to be flops, he would say, 'Never stop believing in yourself. You are the same actor who did films like Company, Saathiya and Shootout...' That made a world of difference.
Films apart, what's kept you motivated in your personal life?
This year, my most satisfying gift has been my son, Vivaan Veer Oberoi. He is my superhero in a diaper. It's a great feeling to be a father. I'm not a superstitious guy, yet, I feel like I'm the luckiest person in this world because of him. Every morning, when I get up and play with him, his smile makes me forget the world outside. He takes away all stress and tension - that is his superpower.
After a row of misses, how important does box office success become?
Regardless of the kind of films an actor does, box office success shows acceptance by the industry and audiences. With two back-to-back hits, things couldn't be better.
Have you asked yourself why success had been eluding you?
For me, success depends on three things - talent, hard work and opportunity. As an actor, you can control the first two, but opportunities aren't in your hands. So, when the right opportunity comes along, you have to make the most of it.
You had to share credit for Grand Masti's success with others. Krrish 3, again, is being called Hrithik's film. Do you feel you deserved a bigger share of the pie?
I think your work should speak for you rather than you blowing your own trumpet. And when I am getting respect and critical acclaim, there is no need to go out and create noise. So, right now, I am enjoying the appreciation.
With new actors coming in and finding success, are you feeling the heat?
I don't think acting is a competition, it is an art. I am a positive person, and I celebrate anyone's success. I enjoy it when I see a good performance from Ranbir (Kapoor). So, for me, there is no question of feeling the heat.
Where does your career go from here?
I haven't signed a new film, though offers have been pouring in. Now, I'm going to take my family on a vacation. I've worked hard this year, so I think I deserve a break to celebrate with my loved ones. I would also like to have a party and invite all my friends to celebrate the film's success.
How has your family reacted to your latest film?
The day my father saw the film, he hugged me and said, 'I'm proud of you.' He told me that an actor needs guts to accept such a role. According to him, I held my own as an actor. That was a huge compliment. My wife Priyanka was like, 'My hubby is a sweet, happy-go-lucky person. How come you turn into such a nuanced dangerous person?'