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Vivek Oberoi recalls signing films for ‘astronomical sums of money’ even before debut movie ‘Company’ released

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Vivek Oberoi on Monday turned nostalgic on completing 19 years in Bollywood. The actor recalled staying in a slum for three weeks to prepare for his character of gangster Chandu in his debut film, Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Company’ that released on April 12, 2002.

“Company was a dream debut for me! At that time, it was the most unconventional debut and I cherished the opportunity RGV gave me and dived into the character. I rented a ‘kholi’ and lived in a slum for three weeks to prepare and transform into Chandu Nagare. 19 years today and I wouldn’t change a thing! (I have) Deep gratitude for this dream that became a reality!” Vivek told IANS.

Besides this, while talking about his debut film, in an interview to Times of India, Vivek said he was initially rejected for the role of a gangster, because director Ram Gopal Varma thought that he was too ‘polished’ to play the part and so, to convince the director he lived in a slum to transform himself into Chandu Nagare.

“I had no apprehensions and that’s exactly what excited me! I was a huge fan of RGV and when I found out that he was casting for this film, I approached him. Eventually, when he met me as an actor, he said, ‘no, you don’t fit the bill at all, you’re too polished. You’ve just come back from New York but this character has got to be from the underbelly and he’s got to be from the slums’. And that was a challenge to me. So I told him for me one chance and I went and lived in a slum for about three weeks. I actually rented a ‘kholi’, lived in the slum, learnt the mannerisms, the language, and did full-on prep for the role. I took pictures depicting a day in the life of ‘Chandu’ and I came back to him RGV, in full attitude,” Vivek told the portal. 

“I went to meet him dressed up as the character, in chappals, drainpipe pants and a ripped gungy, unkempt hair, messy stubble…He was also surprised because he wasn’t expecting this since he had seen me like just two, three weeks ago,” he added. 

“He said, ‘That’s the best audition I’ve ever seen’,” Vivek mentioned how RGV reacted to him throwing the photographs on the table with a lot of aplomb and attitude. 

Talking about his state of mind before the release of the film, the actor said it was a big moment in his life and that he had started feeling a bit like a star because RGV treated him like one on a day. The actor also revealed that the industry was so impressed with his performance that he began signing films for ‘astronomical sums of money’ even before Company had released.

“Arriving on the sets, I got my own van with my name written outside the door and I was like, wow, I didn’t expect it! I’ve been on set so many times as an assistant but never been on set as an actor, as the lead. And this was the first time I experienced that and little things like these made me feel special. And of course, people had seen rushes of ‘Company’ and by 12 th of April a lot of insiders from the industry had seen the film and I had started getting calls. Even before the film released, I was already signing movies, was being offered astronomical sums of money for movies. So it was all a very good feeling,” Vivek told TOI.

Vivek will soon be seen in the horror thriller “Rosie: The Saffron Chapter”, which marks the screen debut of TV star Shweta Tiwari’s daughter Palak Tiwari. The film directed by Vishal Ranjan Mishra is reportedly based on the real incident of the sudden disappearance of a woman named Rosie from Gurugram, who was an employee at a BPO company.

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