Congratulations on becoming a father!
Thank you so much! It’s just incredible… I am still soaking it all in. It’s the most moving, emotional and humbling experience of my life. I am just dying to be with my son but I have two films coming up in two weeks and I need to go around the country promoting them. Like my co-star Neha Sharma (of Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story) says, I am delivering multiple babies this February (laughs)! It still feels like a blur. I left Bangalore this morning. My flight was at 7am, so I woke up at 4… fed (the baby), burped him and changed his diaper before leaving. He gave me the most amazing smile when I was leaving and I melted.
Do you remember the first moment you held him?
Oh yes! I was with Priyanka (wife) every step of the way through the pregnancy. I was there for all the check-ups and sonographies, to hear the first heartbeat. We used to talk to him when he was still in her belly and he’d kick. So, it had already been an incredible journey. I was there when he was born and I cut the umbilical cord. When he stopped crying, he slowly opened his eyes and my life changed. He owned me. I realised that he is my greatest strength and my biggest weakness. I can do anything for him.... I didn’t sleep for the first 48 hours because he kept hiccupping. I just sat by his cradle. The nurses in the hospital would laugh at me and explain that it’s very normal and most kids are like this but I just couldn’t tear myself away from him.
What advice have you got from your father (Suresh Oberoi)?
My dad never gave me advice but I am hoping that I have learnt to be an amazing father. When my son was born, I called dad and told him to bless me so that I can be half as good a dad to my son as he is to (sister) Meghna and me. Despite being a very busy actor, he always had his priorities in place. He would come to our boarding school every second weekend to take us out for picnics.
Coming to films, you have Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story this Friday…
Yes, and I am really happy to have done this film because it has shades of characters I have done in the past. There is the bhai from films like Company and Shootout at Lokhandwala and then there is the lover boy from Saathiya. It’s a mix of the two characters… I am the lover bhai here, not the lover boy (laughs)! It’s a simple love story — between a rasta-chhap tapori and a very prim and proper corporate-type — where the romance is very honest and there is also quite a bit of comedy thrown in. We’ve labelled it a ‘romedy’ — romance meets comedy!
When you think of a bhai in love, you think of Munnabhai…
Munnabhai yes, but not the Sanjay Dutt Munnabhai. In playing this character, I was highly influenced by Aamir Khan’s Munna in Rangeela. I wanted to make Jayantabhai my take on that character. Both are in the similar space of a bhai who has a golden heart, who can also bash up 20 guys and yet gets tongue-tied in front of the girl he fancies.
You have the gangster caper Zila Ghaziabad next Friday...
I play an idealistic schoolteacher who wants to spend his life teaching kids, but then he unwittingly gets into a tangle with one of the gangs that overrun Ghaziabad, ending up at a point where he drops his pen and takes up a gun.
I feel that 2013 is going to be a super year for me. I also have Grand Masti, the sequel to Masti (2004). It’s way more wicked than the first film. It’s got three boys and six girls… so you can imagine how naughty it is!
And then you play a villain in Krrish 3, set to release at the end of the year.
I play the most evil character ever! Kaal is a super-villain. I love the fact that it’s so comic-book like… something like what Heath Ledger did with the Joker or even what Amjad Khan did with Gabbar and Amrish Puri with Mogambo. Mr Rakesh Roshan, or Guddu Uncle as I call him, gave me the biggest compliment when he said that he wrote Kaal keeping me in mind. And then Hrithik kind of made it even better when he said: ‘Dude, I wanted to play your role and not Krrish!’
A lot has happened for you personally in the last few years. How has it changed your perspective?
I am a much happier person... more sorted in my head. Earlier, my life was all about the success and failure of my films. Now, it’s not the most important aspect of my life. I don’t need to chase money, films, success or fame because I have my family.