Spotlight: Vivek Oberoi

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“You guys inspire me so much to keep going on in the face of every storm! Thank you for all your support and encouragement, now every great movie, every great performance I do is dedicated to my fans – the most wonderful and important people in the world! Love ~ VO”

This caring message was sent to his fans by Vivek Oberoi, a star of the Hindi film industry, also known as Bollywood. All the celebrities from the industry have special places in the hearts of their fans, but this one in particular has an intriguing personality, one quite unlike many others. He does not bask in the fame he receives, and states “people make too much of stardom and that it is a myth.” Off screen, this young, talented actor works in many different ways to help those less fortunate and divert the spotlight to them. He also shifts this spotlight to his fans with whom he shares a unique and loving relationship. These fans come from all walks of life and from all parts of the world: they appreciate and admire him not only for his acting but also for the man he is.

“Self-respect and respect for others are values that my parents have given me” ~VO

Vivek Oberoi was born in Hyderabad, India on September 3, 1976 to Suresh and Yashodhara Oberoi. Suresh Oberoi is a highly respected actor in Bollywood, and Vivek always wanted to follow in his father’s acting footsteps. When asked in an interview by Rosmila Bhattacharya for Screen India magazine what inspired him to be an actor, Vivek replied, “I distinctly remember what sparked off that aim in acting. If you know in schools we do plays on Parent’s Day. I remember being backstage, all prepared to hit the stage! I was mumbling my opening lines under my breath. The minute I strolled up on stage, the first thing I did was look out for my parents. But I couldn’t see anyone. It was absolutely dark. It was mesmerizing! I spoke my lines. And then there was no looking back as I performed the character of the soldier with utmost ease. So impressed were the faculties by my performance that they advised my father send me to theatre workshop in London. And my father did the next year. I was seven then. After that I just concentrated on my studies here. It was only after graduation that I enrolled myself to an acting school in London. I remember after having completed the course successfully, we were told to do some auditions. I was given a long sheet of dialogues to say. After reading it, I enacted it out in my own style, it was kind of mono-act. I was not aware that someone watching me. He was none other than director of NYU. He took me to New York. And I did my post graduation in acting from there.” (At the prestigious Tisch School of Drama.)

“I don’t believe in stardom, I believe in actordom” ~ VO

After completing graduate school, Vivek returned to Mumbai to start his career in Bollywood. In 2002, he made his debut in Ram Gopal Varma’s Company. The film was a critically acclaimed box office hit. He was applauded and praised for his work in that film, the first time that any newcomer received so much adulation from critics and the public. One critic said of his performance, “Oberoi makes his long-awaited debut with Company and completely blows his competitors out of the water. Oberoi

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