EXCLUSIVE: Akshay Oberoi on his short film, his equation with Pia Bajpai and more

Actor Akshay Oberoi who was last seen in movies ‘Fitoor’ and ‘Laal Rang’ will soon be seen in a short film called ‘The Virgins’ that also features actors Divyendu Sharma (Of Pyaar Ka Punchnama) and Pia Bajpai who was also a part of ‘Laal Rang’.

We caught up with the actor in a quick conversation where he spoke about his short film, his equation with Pia and his upcoming projects.

Talk about your character in this short film ‘The Virgins’.

He is kind of similar to me because he is a creative person, a painter. He is sensitive, mysterious, romantic at heart and he can also be practical at times.

What made you go ahead with this short film?

Ok, so me and the director of this film, Sandeep Varma had been dying to work for a while. I have seen his previous work ‘Manjunath’, which is an excellent film, very well directed. So we had discussion around the time my movie ‘Pizza’ had released. But nothing materialised back then. One fine day, he called me up and said that he liked me in ‘Laal Rang’ and that he has a short film for me. I read the script and was on board.

Is this your first short film?

No, I have done 5 short films. One is a web series whereas the other 3 short films are yet to release.

Your short film deals with a sensitive topic on virginity. What are your thoughts on this?

I think that the whole idea that we have been conditioned with for years is ridiculous. You have to live life on your own terms. You cannot have these preconceived notions that pre-marital sex is bad. Make your own choices. If somebody is extremely religious, I respect his sentiments because in certain cultures it is not acceptable to indulge in pre-marital sex. But I feel sex is considered as a taboo subject in our country even today.

You have a background in theatre. How was the transition from theatre into films?

I have been in films since past many years although many of my films haven’t done too well, so not many people know about them. Like my first film was with Rajshri Productions called ‘Issi Life Mein’ in 2010. I did go back to theatre for a while. Then I also ventured into television with a serial called as ‘MTV Rush’ with Bejoy Nambiar. But I always wanted to be a film actor. So I thought theatre would be the right platform to train myself. It wasn’t that I first fell into love with theatre and then moved on to doing films. My passion has always been to work in films.

Films provide more exposure and money. Is this the reason that you love cinema more than theatre?

This wasn’t the only reason, but yes it is one of the reasons. But, the main reason I love cinema is that it is immortal. Secondly, it’s like blasphemy, many actors would be disappointed with me saying this but theatre requires a certain level of performance. Camera picks up everything. So with camera its genuine acting, it catches your facial expressions. So, it is more expressive. There are so many things that add to a performance in a film like music, lighting, co-actor etc.

So when you talk about co-actor, this movie sees you and actress Pia Bajpayi together for the second time after ‘Laal Rang’ that also starred Randeep Hooda. It must have been a good experience working with Pia again right?

I hope I can keep working with Pia again and again. Pia and I have a very deep friendship. ‘Laal Rang’ was a very difficult shoot for everybody and we really bonded during that movie. So I’m very fond of her, she is a great actress.

Was there any kind of awkwardness in filming the intimate scenes with Pia?

I had no hesitation to do the role and with Pia, it was even more comfortable to can the intimate scenes.

This was your first movie with Divyendu Sharma in it. How was the experience with him?

We don’t have any scenes together. So we haven’t really bonded much.

So, what’s next on your plate?

I have 2 films that are ready. One is called as ‘Gurgaon’ which is produced by JAR pictures of ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ fame. It’s a really nice movie directed by Shankar Raman who is a National Award recipient. Then my other film is called ‘Bombairiya’ which is produced by a London based company called as Beautiful Bay Entertainment. The director is Pia Sukanya, she is a newcomer. And it has me, Radhika Apte, Siddharth Kapoor, Adil Hussain.

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