Akshay Oberoi: ‘If I could, I would just be a stay-at-home dad. I love it’

Updated on Oct 08, 2020 10:28 AM IST

Akshay Oberoi is back with a new show High in which he plays a drug addict. On being asked about the drug situation in Bollywood, the actor said the drug problem in film industry is not as rampant as it seems.

Akshay Oberoi with son Avyaan.
Akshay Oberoi with son Avyaan.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRuchi Kaushal

Akshay Oberoi seems to have his hands full with multiple projects, releasing one after the other on OTT platforms. Born and brought up in the US, the actor is well aware of his good looks and consistently picks up roles to prove his acting prowess and versatility, in order to not be passed off as just a good looking face. After being noticed for his work in web shows Illegal and Flesh, the actor is back on screen, this time as a drug addict in High.

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Akshay talked about his passion for acting and the opportunities he has been getting but confessed that nothing tops the time he spends in the company of his three-year-old son. Here’s more from the interview:

Watch: Akshay Oberoi on playing a drug-addict on screen, a doting father off it

How did you prep to play a drug addict in High?

An actor has to do his share of research. There are plenty of people who have used such things, we can read online, talk to people at various centres and discuss what kind of toll it takes on a person. I spoke to a lot of people, read information online…and then it’s all your imagination.

High is an MX Original series about my character Shiv Mathur -- a drug addict, rich high-society kid who’s been through a lot in his life and then loses everything and reaches a rehab centre. He discovers some scientists who are coming up with a new drug and he starts taking it. This drug cleanses the body and makes a person healthier. He realises this is a great drug to give to the world and decides to produce it but upsets the drug mafia.

You views on the problem of drug abuse in Bollywood?

I work too hard and way too much to be associated with something like this. I shoot, come home and spend time with my wife and son. Bollywood is not as rampant with drugs as it seems.

 

How was it to spend all your time with your son during lockdown?

I have been at home with him for five months, it was just me and Avyaan. My wife Jyoti works in healthcare so she used to be busy through the day. I was a stay-at-home dad. I am a good dad. I love it. I recently went to Dubai for a project and I called my wife and said that I was missing them. I love to act but I miss Avyaan. Waking up with him, playing with him, interacting with him, feeding him, running around the house, the games we play – I miss it and was really sad when I woke up in Dubai. He is pride and joy of my life. Half the reason I work so hard is for him, to give him a better life. Overall, financial aspects are very important when you are raising a child in a world like we live in today. If money was not the criteria, I may not have stepped out in these troubled times. I would have just been with him. If I could be, I would just be a stay-at-home dad.

You seem to be quite omnipresent in the OTT space? Does it feel like success?

I don’t get into all this, I am an actor who loves to act. I have had a long journey and have reached where I am. I am finally glad that I am being offered good roles and that’s all I really care about. I act and don’t care about the result; may be in the start of my career I did, but now I am blessed to be doing what I do for a living. I thank god for OTT due to which I am getting such opportunities. Looking at my characters in recent shows like Flesh or High, not everybody is lucky enough to be able to play such characters.

When I am not acting, I feel alone, there is no character in my head. I have had three back to back releases: Illegal, Flesh and High at a time when no one expected this to happen, maybe that does feel like a measure of success.

Also read: Saqib Saleem refuses to take part in insider-outsider debate: ‘It is my journey and my decision, I can’t blame anyone for this’

Akshay Oberoi in a still from High.
Akshay Oberoi in a still from High.

Most of your shows are crime dramas. What defines your choices?

I do not have that backing in the industry that others might have. I have heard people say that I am a good looking face but I don’t want to be tagged with it. There are so many good looking people in the industry, even better than me. I had to realise very early on that I had to play characters that stood out. I had to prove that I have the acting chops. The goal was to just make the industry take note that ‘he is a versatile actor who can do all from romance to murder mystery’.

What made you fly to Dubai amid the pandemic?

We were shooting for a project called The Seventh Sense. It is a very nice project which has me, R Madhavan, Rohit Roy, Tanuj Virwani among the cast. It is like a murder mystery, crime drama and has a supernatural element to it.

Author tweets @ruchik87

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