Vivek Oberoi has overcome the trauma of his accident
Vivek's movie with Mani Ratnam ("Yuva" starring Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Simran and Vivek) has been put on hold till Vivek is well enough to finish shooting the climax, which was stalled when he had his accident. Read more to know more about him.
THE GIRLS screamed, shrieked and tottered precariously on their high platform heels as Vivek Oberoi entered Spencer Plaza's new atrium in a jeep waving regally to the crowd that he could see through his trademark hair (that's a floppy fringe, for those who aren't `in the know'). By the time he laboriously climbed out of the vehicle, moving his injured leg with some difficulty, even his beefy security began to look worried as hosts of girls rushed towards him enthusiastically waving bits of paper and lipsticks for autographs. "Hug me Vivek," shrieked one as the rest of her friends watched on and sighed in unison. (By the way, he refused with a sheepish saying "I have a bad back.")
In Chennai to support The Banyan on World Mental Health Day, Vivek Oberoi made quite an impact, floppy hair and all. But then, he and Chennai go back a long way.
"My connection to Chennai is through my mom. She was born and brought up here, on Taylors Road. In fact, my nani and uncle still live here. As a kid, I used to come here for my holidays," says Vivek, seated at The Banyan conference room the next day. "I have plenty of beautiful memories of the city, especially the Marina beach," he adds before he heads to the auditorium where music from "Saathiya" is pounding and the institution's residents are waiting to see the `big Bombay star'.
As he hobbles through The Banyan's cramped rooms, Vivek discusses why he's in Chennai for The Banyan despite the fact that he's just off his crutches. "This place is one of its kind. We desperately need more space. There are 350 women in a space meant for 200. These people are unwell, they need recreation facilities. If you cramp them up, it feels more like a jail than a home."
After promising to visit again, Vivek's in his car, rushing to meet Mani Ratnam who's shooting at NIFT, before catching his flight out of Chennai. His movie with Mani Ratnam ("Yuva" starring Ajay Devgan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Simran and Vivek) has been put on hold till Vivek is well enough to finish shooting the climax, which was stalled when he had his accident. "We were at the Vidyasagar Setu bridge in Kolkata when it happened. I was being chased by Abhishek and was running against the traffic. A stunt rider on a bike was supposed to go past me but he skidded and ended up hitting my leg," says Vivek with ghoulish glee. He enthusiastically continues, "I hurtled up and landed 15 feet ahead. When I went into the hospital, it was for a regular fracture, then there were complications and there was a possibility that... (pause).. I could `knock off'. That was scary," he concludes.
In November, Vivek will be heading back to Kolkata to finish the movie. "That's going to be very difficult for me. I'll be going to the same bridge, the same location..." However, this time he's decided to let the stunt men take over. "I've been taking too many risks. For "Company", I jumped off a 40-storey building. I also jumped from one terrace to another for a shot. I've broken glass doors... but now I've decided that anything risk-related someone else will do. The problem's not the immediate pain, but an accident holds everything up. I can't deal with the inactivity." (Till he's back in action, Vivek is keeping himself busy with writing, "I write poetry, I write scripts... In fact, I have a story-bank of scripts. They're all stories that I would love to see made.")
Vivek's stunts in the remakes of the Tamil movies "Alai Payudhey" and "Dhil", which became "Saathiya" and "Dum" respectively were equally memorable. For "Saathiya" he wandered between the busy Mumbai railway tracks. "It was quite funny actually. I was walking between the trains screaming `Suhani, Suhani' and people were yelling `move, there's a train coming'." For "Dum", Vivek laid across the rails at Chinglepet, giving Chennai's train drivers the scare of their lives. Did they freak out seeing Vivek Oberoi stretched across the rails? "They had no clue who I was. All they must have thought was `who's that psycho'," Vivek laughs.
The car's stuck in traffic and he's beginning to worry about his flight, but insists on seeing Mani Ratnam. "Mani sir is a wonderful director. He has the art of relating to an actor. If he ever approached me for a Tamil movie, I'd do it with my eyes closed and learn Tamil through the nights!" he says.
Both "Saathiya" and "Dum" did very well in the South, in spite of the fact that most people had already seen the stories in Tamil. "I never look at a remake as a remake. I think "Alai Payudhey" and "Saathiya" were two completely different movies. They had a different feel - each film has its own destiny. You can't tell why one movie worked and another didn't. There's nothing scientific about movie making. I'm just thankful I get movies to do and get to do work that I love."