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    Vivek high on ''Kaal'' success

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Tuesday, May 10, 2005
    Actor Vivek Oberoi is upbeat over his latest Bollywood outing in the spooky thriller "Kaal", which has been well received by audiences across India.

    Vivek denied that any rivalry marred his relations with his "Kaal" co-stars.

    "Shooting `Kaal'' with Ajay Devgan, John Abraham, Esha Deol and Lara Dutta was so much fun... I had a ball! I''ve never experienced the bitterness and jealousy among co-stars that I had heard about," Vivek told IANS in an interview.

    It was at Vivek''s behest that Soham Shah, the film''s director, abandoned a ready script and disappeared into the National Corbett Park to write "Kaal". "When he narrated it (the script) to me, I was blown," says Vivek.

    He also charmingly pleads guilty to charges of verbal diarrhoea. "There''s some truth to that observation. I should learn to shut my trap," he admits.

    Excerpts from the interview:

    You appear to be very upbeat about "Kaal".

    I am! It got a historic opening. The kind of advance booking reports that came in for the film is unbelievable!

    Is "Kaal" a scary film?

    It's basically designed to entertain. Actually, a lot of my films have turned out scary after release even when they weren't intended to be. Jokes apart, "Kaal" is a really scary film. Producer Karan Johar got nightmares after seeing it. I'm sure he'll sleep peacefully when he hears the outcome at the box office.

    I believe the cast had a blast?

    Shooting "Kaal" with Ajay, John, Esha and Lara was so much fun. You know I had heard how difficult it was for heroes and heroines to shoot together. But after "Masti" and "Yuva", "Kaal" is my third ensemble film in a row, and I had a ball! I've never experienced the bitterness and jealousy among co-stars that I had heard about.

    With no one at all?

    No one! I started off with Ajay for "Company". I've done three other films with him and now call him 'Bade Bhaiyya'. We both love playing practical jokes. All our co-stars in "Kaal" were so weary of us. They never knew what we were up to. We had to shoot for 12-14 hours a day. And many of our colleagues were too tired to be targets of jokes.

    But we chose a poor sweet guy from the unit. I'd call his room pretending to be a spirit and hang up on him, knock on his door and then disappear before he opened. We had a guy write something in Urdu with artificial blood in his room. He wanted to pack up and go!

    Do scary movies scare the actors?

    The ambience during "Kaal" did get spooky. We used to joke a lot more often to keep our spirits alive.

    And how was Soham Shah as a director?

    I had recommended Soham to Ram Gopal Varma. That's how you've this amazing film where Soham has gone from Varma to Dharma (Karan Johar's production house). I remember him from the days when all the Gujarati girls used to run after him. We've been buddies for really long.

    Long ago he came to me with a script that was plagiarized. I asked him why he needed to do that when he was so talented. Because of that one statement, Soham abandoned an entire bound script with dialogues, disappeared into the National Corbett Park and wrote "Kaal".

    When he narrated it (the script) to me, I was blown. Soham never once lost his cool while making such a complex film. He's so well planned and yet so spontaneous with his actors. He stuck to his guns and yet fired any way he wanted.

    On "Koffee with Karan", John Abraham said you suffer from verbal diarrhoea.

    There's some truth to that observation. I should learn to shut my trap. But John is a genuinely sweet guy. I don't have a problem with anything he says. He didn't mean any harm. He is genuinely fond of me. I really enjoyed working with him. In fact, I met his mom at the Make-A-Wish foundation and we got along very well.

    What next?

    'm very excited about Sachin Bajaj's film, which I start May 4. For the first time I get to work with Sunny Deol. I'm so excited. It's an adventure-comedy. I love the character, the youthful exuberance and the style imagined for the film. This film is going to be my showcase for some kick-ass action. It will be my first full-fledged action film.

    Though "Yuva" was an action film, I didn't have any action to do. I want to fly across mountains and rivers. This is my fantasy come true. Exactly parallel to that I start Sujoy Ghosh's cute and funny film "Home Delivery". Everyone who has read the script has freaked out. I'm also starting Indra Kumar's next comedy called "Pyare Mohan", an absolutely crazy comedy.

    How many fellatio jokes has Indra Kumar put in after "Masti"?

    None whatsoever. It has zero innuendos and it's hilarious. We shoot in August. Then I've Manish Malhotra's first film and Soham's second. It's a full year for me, and a full life.

    Tsunami seems to be behind you.

    Not really. The work has got going. The orphanage will be ready in two months. The village will also be reconstructed.

    What about (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister) J. Jayalalitha's efforts to play down your achievements?

    It was hardly anything more than a sensational press story. It didn't stop me from doing what I was doing in Tamil Nadu. Our work has been moving smoothly on course. I've no problems in Tamil Nadu whatsoever. In fact, everyone is being very co-operative.


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