Akshay Oberoi has been a part of the Indian film industry for about 13 years. In this while, he has had a roller coaster of a journey. But today, he is seen as a part of some interesting projects, the most recent being Gaslight. Akshay Oberoi garnered praise for his portrayal in the film, and recently got in an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Bubble.
From Gaslight’s reception to his struggles in Bollywood, similarities between Sara Ali Khan and dad Saif Ali Khan, and working with Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone in Fighter, Akshay Oberoi spoke about it all.
Excerpts from the interview with Akshay Oberoi:
How has the reception been to Gaslight for you?
“It has been excellent. It is quite important for me that my work is liked by the media, critics and the audience. It’s all I have to offer. The character has been quite different for me. It had many layers and not so much screen time, so I had to convey a lot in a short amount of time. It was challenging but I am glad that people have liked it. What critics write about me, means a lot to me personally.”
Vikrant Massey has had quite an inspiring journey in showbiz. How was the experience of starring alongside him for you?
“It was very inspiring. We have worked together in the past as well. We even started around the same time and both of us got a huge amount of success due to OTT space. So, we have been on quite a similar journey in different ways. The kind of roles we both get and do are different, but crossing paths with him is always inspiring.”
The 13 years in the industry have been filled with ups and downs for you. How has it been dealing with it all?
“Rightly said, it has had its ups and downs. But I get to act for a living, I run my house through acting and that is amazing. Sometimes I wish I have more, that I be a part of bigger projects and the ones I am in receive bigger successes. There are all kinds of desires, dreams and wants remaining. But what it all boils down to is that every morning I wake up, put on make up and go to work. For me, there is no greater joy than to run my house and educate my child through a job that I love the most.”
Today, you are getting good and interesting projects. But to reach here, what are the biggest challenges that you had to face?
“Oh man, let’s not even get into it. It’s crazy. I think the level of sacrifices one has to make to get in a space like this, I can’t even tell you what it’s like. The kind of failures, rejections and difficulties one has to face. You sacrifice so much of your life, it takes a toll on you personally. But you are so wrapped up with the passion and craziness that comes with acting, that you can ride that wave. If I wasn’t so passionate and crazy, I would have gone and done something else. I can’t even tell you in 2 or 3 sentences what all I have sacrificed to reach here. But the story is still unwritten. There is so much more to do.”
Now, when your son sees you on screen, how does he react to it?
“Oddly enough, I haven’t done much children-friendly work. So, my son hasn’t seen much of my work. There will come a time when he will sit and think, okay, let me take a look back at my father’s work. But I haven’t shown him much of my work yet. I am thinking I will take him to the theatres when Fighter releases. That’s my plan.”
You play an Air Force pilot in Fighter. How was it donning the uniform as it does come with a sense of responsibility?
“It’s been absolutely incredible. Shooting on that tarmac, in those uniforms, with other Air Force pilots has been a dream come true. There were times when I had to remind myself that I am really in this movie. It has been such a matter of pride to represent the Indian Air Force. And it is India’s first aerial action movie.”
But having an actor like Hrithik Roshan alongside you should’ve made the experience better…
“He is a legend. He is one of my favourite actors and I have been a huge fan of him. So, it’s been surreal. He and Deepika Padukone are such amazing actors and human beings inside and outside. They make a great match and it will be a real treat for the audiences to see them together.”
Also, it must have been like a reunion for you and Deepika after Piku?
“Absolutely. For both of us, Piku has been a very special film. It is such an important film in her career and we reminisce about it very fondly. Of course, there I had just one scene with her, now we have more screen time together.”
You worked with Sara Ali Khan in Gaslight, but you also worked with her father Saif Ali Khan in Kaalakaandi. Did you notice any similarities between the two?
“Not really. Beside both being very intelligent, well-read and calm people, I have met both of them at different points in life. Saif is in total control of his power as an actor. I think Kaalakaandi is one of his finest performances. They both approach their works very differently. But in interviews, you can see how intelligent and well-read they both are.”
Having spent 13 years in the industry, does your career path fit into the one that you envisioned for yourself?
“There is still a lot left to achieve. I am extremely ambitious and hard on myself. I am not at all complacent. I always want more. I have struggled so hard to reach this point that it is almost impossible to not want more. I am grateful for what all has happened, but there is still a lot left to do.”