He was wonderful and refreshing in his debut film. But I could never understand why he took a four year long break before doing his second film. And while he has been a small but integral part of several big flicks like ‘Piku’ and ‘Fitoor’, Akshay Oberoi proved his worth with his latest release ‘Laal Rang’ by walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Randeep Hooda.
And as he gears up for the release of his short film ‘The Virgins’, which also stars Pia Bajpai and Divyendu Sharma’, the charming actor gets candid about his views on premarital sex, his quest to become a better actor than a big star, and lots more…
Q. Tell us about your role in ‘The Virgins’
A. It is a very similar character to me. He is an artist. He is sensitive, emotional and creative. Mischievous bhi hai thoda sa, romantic bhi hai! So yes, the character is very much like me and I could easily connect with the character.
Q. What made you select this short film?
A. Sandeep Varma! He is a very fine director. He made a movie called ‘Manjunath’ which I saw around the time when my film ‘Pizza’ was gearing up for a release. So I spoke to him and we stayed in touch with each other but kuch hua nahi. But after ‘Laal Rang’ he called me up and said that he has got something for me and asked me whether I am interested. I said “haa bilkul”. He sent me the script and within 10 minutes I called him back and gave my nod. I love to act, I love to keep acting and I think this is a very interesting film to be a part of.
Q. What are your views on premarital sex?
A. Great. Superb. If it works for you and your partner then please go ahead.
Q. How different was the experience shooting for a short film than shooting for a feature film?
A. Nothing different. This was shot and directed the same way as a feature film director directs, we had the same lights, the camera, the same sound equipment and half of the crew were the feature film people. The only different was that it was shot for three days.
Q. There was a lot of bromance between you and Randeep Hooda in ‘Laal Rang’. So will we get to see any bromance between you and Divyendu Sharma in this one?
A. (laughs) No. Not at all. In fact, we have no scenes together.
Q. You have worked previously with Pia Bajpai. So how different is you chemistry in this film, and how was the experience working with her for the second time?
A. Our romance in ‘Laal Rang’ was a very sweet and innocent one. We both were like kids who fall in love with each other and stay together, even as we grow and I become a different person over the course of time in the movie. But ‘The Virgins’ is perhaps not like that. Here, we are two experienced individuals that might have dated other people before also. And yes, it was nice to work with Pia yet again. I am happy that she was the actress as we are quite comfortable with each other. I respect her and love working with her.
Q. Where do you see yourself in this industry a few years down the line?
A. I just hope people like my work. I think that’s the only thing that’s in my hand. Becoming a star and all mere haath mein nahi hai na. I can’t say that I will become a big star..i don’t know! But I can get people to say that I am a good actor. So that’s my concern. Even the films that I am choosing and have done are aiming at the same. I want to keep doing interesting films, I hope people notice these films and I hope I keep getting work in the same kind of cinema.
Q. What next after ‘The Virgins’?
A. There’s a film called ‘Gurgaon’ that I did, which will release soon. It’s a beautiful film, a very hard-hitting family drama. Then I did one film called ‘Bombairiya’ which stars Radhika Apte, Siddhanth Kapoor and Adil Hussain…a lot of nice actors in that film. It was very light-hearted kind of thing. There’s a film I am doing right now, which Akshat Verma is directing, who wrote ‘Delhi Belly’…. All content driven cinema and performance-oriented parts.
Q. Any special message for your fans?
A. I think that times are changing very rapidly and our industry is catering to that change; and we have to keep capturing this. We have made something that connects with this younger audience, so that we keep making things like this. People are throwing money in the digital space right now and everybody is making it. But if it does not work, then this will die out. But that would be our fault, for probably not making the best content. So as a message I would say that come and support it, it’s free. Put it on, play it. After 30 second-1 minute if you don’t want to watch it anymore you please shut it off. But at least give it a shot, watch some of it and see what it is. Even while you are brushing your teeth just give it chance.
Here’s wishing the actor luck for the short film and all his future projects.