He may be better known as Chatur from the blockbuster "3 Idiots" but Indian American Omi Vaidya, who steered away from being typecast, is ready to move on with a more "challenging" role in the forthcoming comedy "Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji".
"After 3 Idiots, I wanted to be very careful. I was getting offers, but most of them were roles that were very similar to Chatur. I didn't want do those. I wanted to take up something new," Omi told IANS in an interview."Then Madhur Bhandarkar offered me this role, which was quite different. Initially I was scared because my Hindi is still not very good, but he assured me that I would be able to do it.
"This role was more difficult to do because I had to play a Maharashtrian, who has no accent... so that was quite challenging. But it was fun," added the 28-year-old, who did television stint as the host of STAR Plus' singing reality show Chhote Ustad after his big success on the silver screen.
The film releases on January 28.
Omi, who grew up in Joshua Tree in Yucca Valley, California, started acting when he was six. After finishing his studies and doing a course from New York University, he featured in American shows like Arrested Development, E-mail Surveillance and Fun Run.
His big ticket to Bollywood came with director Rajkumar Hirani's super hit movie 3 Idiots.
Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, Omi's second release and Bhandarkar's first comedy, also stars Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi, Shruti Haasan, Shraddha Das and Shahzan Padamsee. The film is about three guys and their encounters with love.
Though this was Bhandarkar's first attempt at comedy, Omi had no apprehensions.
"I heard the script and I knew Madhur was behind it - and that was it; I didn't need anything else. I have full confidence in him. The problem is that everyone wanted to put me in run-of-the-mill-comedy stuff and I didn't want to do that. I wanted something good and well-written and that's what Madhur gave me; so I had no reasons to doubt him," he added.
He had a great time shooting with the director.
"We had an enjoyable time with Madhur on the sets because he is unlike his movies. He is quite a riot on the sets. He is constantly making everyone laugh. He says very funny things and keeps the atmosphere light," he said.
The actor is also working on a couple of other films. He will feature in Reema Kagti's next directorial venture that has Aamir Khan in the lead role. He is also a part of the Abbas-Mustan multi-starrer Players and Rohit Dhawan's Desi Boyz.
Bollywood was not the actor's first preference.
"I never thought that I'll become a Bollywood actor because I couldn't speak in Hindi and it is one of the perquisites of being a Bollywood actor. I just thought that I'll be this Indian actor in America, doing roles there. But then 3 idiots happened and things changed," said Omi.