Akshay Oberoi: I am not Ranbir Kapoor, but then again, I am not Rishi Kapoor's son
Gearing up for the cricket drama Selection Day, Akshay Oberoi on straddling movies and web, and how an actor's life is plagued by insecurity
You've been roped in for the cricket drama, Selection Day. Aren't you worried about comparisons with Amazon Prime's Emmy-nominated Inside Edge?
Selection Day is based on Aravind Adiga's book [by the same name] and was the second Netflix original to be sanctioned. I haven't seen Inside Edge, but I know it's about how Indian Premier League [IPL] started and the chaos behind it. Selection Day is about two 16- and 14-year olds, who aspire to become the next big thing in cricket. I play their manager. The show is about relationships, dreams and aspirations.
You also have Law and Honour in the pipeline.
It's like Suits, with glamour and style. Law and Honour sees me as a lawyer and depicts the Indian law system. It's produced by the Test Case producer Samar Khan, so I didn't think twice before giving my nod. The cases in the show are thoroughly researched. This will be a promising show, thanks to the star cast that includes Satyadeep Mishra, Piyush Mishra and Neha Sharma.
For someone who started his career with a romantic film, we've barely seen you explore the genre again.
I ran away from the genre [laughs]. Isi Life Mein (2010) was a washout when it released. But Rajshri Productions invested a lot of money in a nobody like me; I will always be grateful for that. However, I hated my work in the film - what I was doing, the way I looked. I still can't watch it on TV. Had that film been a hit, I would have probably gone down that path. But after the film released, I discovered that, that was not the kind of actor I wanted to be.
How do you deal with the insecurity of being an actor?
Fortunately, I have not been unemployed for the last two to three years. Besides the web shows, I've got films like Junglee, Chhote Nawab and Bombariya with Radhika Apte. So, my kitchen is running. But there is a niggling fear that this [work] will run out.
Considering you were raised in New York, why didn't you try your luck in Hollywood?
I thought I would establish myself here quicker than I would in Hollywood. I expected to get meatier parts. I know I'm not as successful as Ranbir Kapoor; but then again, I am not Rishi Kapoor's son. With 10 to 11 films behind me, I'm happy with my career graph. It would not have happened there. I would have played a terrorist or something random. Mira Nair, who has been my idol, asked me the same question when I recently met her. And she agreed with
Not too many people know that you're a trained ballet dancer.
I learnt it when I was 15 because I wanted to be in Hindi cinema. The training paid off with respect to body language - it helps you align your body.
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