Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘negativity

3 Idiots’ Omi is an established actor in the US, now in Bollywood

By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


His distorted Hindi speech is one of the biggest talking points in the recently released 3 Idiots. In reality, it was an almost similar monologue that fetched Omi Vaidya,  (who prefers to be called Omi) an LA- based actor, the role of Chatur Ramalingam in the Aamir Khan-starrer.

On a trip to Mumbai to check out the Bollywood scene, Omi was asked by a friend to appear for an audition. The first audition went off without a hitch, but at the second he was given a dialogue from Munnabhai… to mouth. “I just rattled it off without exactly understanding the words… almost like the speech scene in the film,” says Omi. The next thing he knew, he was pencilled in for the role of the accented, mark-obsessed NRI geek in the film.

The instructions he received from the makers were clear: Don’t take Hindi classes, stop watching Hindi movies and put on weight.

Omi followed them to the T and now of course, he is revelling in the compliments coming his way for his role in the blockbuster. “I am still flabbergasted by the response. I guess people have liked the character because he is so relatable. In a way, this character’s negativity brought out the essence of the message more forcefully,” says Omi.

Incidentally, he began his acting career at the age of six, performing for Marathi Mandals in the US (also the reason why his Marathi is much better than his Hindi). He pursued a serious acting career in his teens, graduated in film studies from NYU and did roles in  Bones, CSI Las Vegas, The Office and Arrested Development, besides ads.

But being Asian or Indian, it’s still a tough task to break into Hollywood,  says Omi. “It’s difficult for Indians to get into the mainstream. At the most, you might be cast as an IT professional or other stereotypes.”

Omi in 3Idiots

That’s when he thought of exploring Bollywood, though there were other apprehensions. “The Hindi film industry is still not taken that seriously in the West. There are myths that it is unprofessional, and is mainly about songs and dances.”

But all his fears were put to rest once he joined the cast. “Here, there is a personal touch, unlike Hollywood. Even if they don’t pay you by the hour and there is no extra time, there is warmth and care. I basically saw my Bollywood innings as a challenge. A lot of credit also goes to Raju and Abhijat Joshi for the way the character came across on screen.”

Not surprisingly, after the stupendous success and appreciation, he is here for the long haul. Omi, plans to divide his time between the US and India and work in films ‘that don’t necessarily typecast him as an NRI but are dynamic and enjoyable.’

And for the record, he has now started taking Hindi classes as well.

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The actor is getting appreciated for his role in Kurbaan

By TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; November 30, 2009)


A few days back, Vivek Oberoi was woken up at 6 in the morning with an SMS. It was a text message from his Kurbaan co-star Saif Ali Khan, praising Vivek Oberoi him for his work in the film.

“I’ve craved for this kind of appreciation,” admits Vivek candidly, “I wanted people to see me for my work and not have a coloured perspective because of whatever’s transpired in the past.”

The actor’s gone through his share of trouble, both personally and professionally. “One thing I’ve learnt is that it’s easier to deal with failure than to deal with success. If you don’t know what to do with success, then you lose the plot. Success had gone to my head. I was surrounded by people who kept pushing me in the wrong direction and I kept going there, and when it finally hit me, I was like, how did this happen?

Vivek Oberoi

Those four-five years were just a blur, then to understand and recover from that took time,” he says, wisened from the experience.

But yes, there were times when he was completely down in the dumps too. “There was a time when I felt that everything I did was going to backfire. It was difficult to keep my sense of reason or humour at a time like that. One day, I was really upset and my mom asked me what’s wrong. I said I just feel completely lost — there was so much professional and personal upheaval. Then she pulled out a copy of one of my first interviews during Company and said ‘start here’. I read that and realised this is what I was,” he recounts.

The journey to recover started with Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara and life seems to have taken a turn for the better since then. His performance in Kurbaan has been appreciated and the actor’s looking forward to Prince — It’s Showtime, where he plays a slick, stylish thief and his mentor Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakta Charitra.

Vivek realises he has been given a second lease in his career. “I think in my seven years, something I have realised pretty late is the value of opportunity. What stands between me and a lot of talented actors is a platform that Mr Varma gave me, and the second time around, I got it with Kurbaan. Then I’ve got Kumar Taurani backing me with a big film and it’s a dream to be working with my mentor Ramu again,” he says.

The smile on his face says it all when he adds, “I’ve realised the whole idea of carrying grudges, negativity, anger, hatred and enmity just bogs you down. I’m at peace now. When I started out, it was more of a high, right now, I’m humbled.” So Vivek’s finally grown up? He’s quick to answer, “I’ve a better understanding of who I am now.” That’s more than what most would say.

Nana Patekar is out of Rajneeti. Director Prakash Jha breaks his silence on his former friend’s erratic behaviour; says things will never be the same again

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 02, 2009)

 

Nana Patekar

 

All is not well on the sets of Rajneeti. Nana Patekar and director Prakash Jha’s tussle has reached a dead end and Nana is no longer part of Rajneeti. Jha, who has vowed never to work with the temperamental actor again, has already made the necessary changes in the script and has shot Nana’s scenes with other actors.

 


Commenting on what actually triggered the face-off on the sets of Rajneeti in Bhopal last week, an annoyed Jha said, “That morning (October 27), Nana started throwing tantrums right from the time he reached the sets. It was a very small issue. I wanted to shoot a scene in a particular way and he wanted it done in a different way. I tried to reason with him but he just lost his cool. I told him to calm down and get back to work but he suddenly said, ‘Mujhe tumhare saath kaam hi nahin karna hai.’ He left the sets, went to his van and changed his clothes. I went to his van and told him that behaviour of this sort doesn’t look nice and we should get on with work but he left for the hotel. He then told the production guys to give him his tickets to go back to Mumbai. When the production guys asked me, I told them to give him the tickets.”

Did he try to stop Nana? “I guess he had made up his mind to walk out and I did not want to stop him. After he left, I immediately reworked the scene and started working with the other actors. When you walk away from my sets, you cross all the limits. When he was told that I was shooting despite his absence, he called to ask how I was shooting without him. I simply told him that I was going to shoot all his scenes without him. He said, ‘No wait, I am coming back,’ but I categorically told him, ‘I don’t want you on my sets. You have left the sets and you have done the damage.’ He was shocked but that was the end of it and he left for Mumbai that very day,” said Jha.

Jha added, “He has been constantly angry and annoyed but we continued to work. I agree that I will have to make some creative compromises but I have to live with it now. There were some vital scenes with Nana but I have made changes and shot those scenes with other actors. Whatever changes I have made won’t hamper my film. What has happened, has happened. Now that he is not around me or in my film, I feel less burdened.”

“I always treated Nana like family. He is a very temperamental guy. I always believed that if one person in the family is hot tempered the others shouldn’t follow suit. When Nana speaks, he does not realise how abusive he gets and how he humiliates people. I am the only one who can calm him down.”

Talking about his relation with Nana, Jha said, “This was not the first fight between us on the sets of Rajneeti. Every time I consoled myself saying that such things do happen. I always told Nana that I took his nonsense only because of our friendship. If I wouldn’t stand by him, no one would. But this time, he took it too far and now it will be very difficult for me to forgive him. Nana is a very dear friend and I have been tolerating his behavior for a long time.”

When asked if there was any chance of reconciliation, Jha said, “Nana has been around for a long time and so have I. Nana is very helpful and we had a great time during the making of Apaharan. It’s just that I no longer want any negativity or bad vibes on my sets. Nana has been calling me (after the fight) and I spoke to him on Saturday. He told me that he was sorry and was feeling very bad. I feel sad too but what’s done is done. I will always pray to God for Nana’s well-being but for me the professional and personal relationship is over.”


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