dailypeghamNEW DELHI: He has played a gangster, a criminal and even an underworld don on screen. Now, as he prepares to be seen as former underworld don Muthappa Rai in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rai, actor Vivek Oberoi says such roles give him a kick.

However, the actor, who has been appreciated for his negative roles, shared that it was never a conscious decision to portray grey characters. Asked what he really likes about such roles, Vivek said: “Essaying gangster roles has always given me a kick and an adrenaline rush that I cannot describe.”

Talking about the characters he has previously portrayed, from Company’s Chandu to Shootout at Lokhandwala’s Maya Dolas and Rakht Charitra’s Pratap Ravi, the 39-year-old said that “all these characters were so layered”.

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Vivek also enjoys versatility, sometimes as a lover-boy in a film like Saathiya and sometimes in comic capers like Masti. But he says he has been especially lauded whenever he has played grey characters. “It was never really a conscious decision to. I enjoy doing all kinds of roles. However, the kind of response I have received for my gangster roles is just phenomenal,” said veteran actor Suresh Oberoi’s son.

“I have played a gangster in three blockbusters and my fans enjoy watching me essay these roles. And to me that is the greatest stamp of approval,” he added.

In almost 15 years since his debut, Vivek has played an array of characters in romantic, comedy, crime and action films such as KisnaMission Istaanbul, Yuva and Omkara. Last seen on screen in 2013 along with actors Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut in Krrish 3, Vivek is now looking forward to his part in Rai, which is inspired by a real life figure.

So how exactly is he preparing for the title role? “Apart from working on the look, my physique and the finer nuances of the character, I have also met with people who knew my character in real life. At the moment, that is all we can reveal,” shared the actor. Vivek added that “there is a lot of homework that is going into the role”.

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The Zila Ghaziabad star said that the story for Rai will be told in an interesting and an entertaining manner. At a time when slice-of-life films and biopics on heroes and icons are doing so well, what made him opt for Rai? “The film is based on the life of Muthappa Rai, an underworld don from who went on to become an entrepreneur. It is an interesting story told in the most entertaining manner,” explained the actor.

Most of Varma’s acclaimed films have revolved around negative characters and Vivek has been part of some of those projects. He thinks the perception of anti-heroes in Bollywood needs to change. “I think we are on our way to getting there. My character Kaal from Krrish 3 did received great feedback. People welcomed the kind of mileage the anti-hero got in the film,” he said. Vivek feels scripts are the “biggest and only heroes” in films.