Blab With Sandy: Vivan Bhathena

Blab With Sandy: Vivan Bhathena

Hello Folks! In this week’s #BlabWithSandy, we have Vivan Bhathena joining me. Vivan is a Mr. India, he has been a top model for various brands, he has been a part of many TV serials and, has played important roles in films like Chak De India, Karthik Calling Karthik, Katti Batti, Dangal, Hero, Judwaa 2, etc. He played the lead role in Hate Story 4 and debuted in Tollywood as a baddie in Raja the Great. Let’s wait no further and dive into the blab:

Sandy: Hello Vivan! How’s it going?

Vivan: Hey! All good.

Sandy: Could you let us know a bit about your background?

Vivan: I belong to a Non-Filmy family from Mumbai. I studied from Jai Hind College. I started my career with theatre and moved to modelling. I was part of 7-8 music videos. I won the prestigious Mr. India title. I took part in MTV’s VJ Hunt and somehow it became my profession.

Sandy: Great! How did you move into cinema?

Vivan: After doing theatre for about seven to eight years, I moved to television. After being part of many hit TV serials, I moved to cinema. I did a few bit roles in hit films like Chak De India, Dangal, etc.

I was looking for bigger roles which have more substance but at the same time, I love cinema, so I accepted few roles which were small, but which made me continue to quench my thirst for acting.

It’s a battle and I always try to remain focused. I do look out for bigger and meatier roles, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds Sandy!

Sandy: People still remember you for your presence in Falguni Pathak’s music video Maine Paayal Hai Chankaai. Few anecdotes on it.

Vivan: Well, on a serious note, though the accepted my part in that music video, I never understood how big a reception it got! I knew that the number was a hit but only after couple of years did I get to understand its true potential.

It became a cult hit and people still come to me and tell me about the music video. Feels good!

Sandy: Winning the Mr. India title, being a model, being part of commercials and of course, acting in films! Out of all that you’ve done, what was your main aim to start with?

Vivan: I did not come from a rich family, so money was important! I had to do whatever came my way. Winning Mr. India did not help me much as during that time, there was no social media. I had to treat my stomach with what I got.

I got married so I had to manage my finances. I took up whatever good came my way. Aim was to be a filmmaker, but I took many roads towards it and I ended up doing different things.

Sandy: From TV serials to Cinema, it has been a big leap. How easy or how difficult has been this shift for you?

Vivan: Very difficult! It was not easy at all. I did odd jobs, worked on myself and I had to come back to films. Once people see you regularly in commercials or TV soaps, it isn’t easy to shift base to cinema as there shall already be a picture about you on the viewers minds.

Nowadays, the shift to cinema seems a little easy as the web series and Netflix platforms have opened and there is so much to do and offer.

Sandy: Your act in Aamir Khan’s Dangal got good appreciation and so did your performance in Salman Khan Films’ Hero. How was it working alongside Aamir and Salman?

Vivan: It was Aamir Khan himself who called me to his office and narrated me the role. He told me it’s going to be a fight between him and me, just like David and Goliath. I was given one month’s time to bulk myself and it indeed was a challenge.

However, my shoot got postponed and I got three months to train myself. It was a great experience working with Aamir Khan. It was wonderful shooting with its director Nitesh Tiwari too!

Talking about my character in Hero, more than Salman Khan, I would say it was director Nikhil Advani who recognized me for that role. He gave me space and freedom to do what I wanted to do with the character in the film.

I also would like to state, I enjoyed working with David Dhawan in Judwaa 2. He was very jolly and during tense situations whilst shooting, he used to shout and that used to remind me of my dad. I lost my dad when I was 25 and David Dhawan Sir used to shout at me like a dad, so I loved working with him too!

Sandy: You made your debut as a main lead in Hate Story 4. It was indeed a long wait for you to star as a main actor in a film. Anything that you’d like to say about it?

Vivan: It was a long wait! The first thing that struck me was that the film is produced by T-Series and it always generates great music in its films. It was fun shooting for the film.

However, I still feel the promotions could have been much better. It was publicized more as an Urvashi Rautela film. It wasn’t a bad film, but it was projected as a sex film. It could have done much better.

Quick Shot Round:

  • A film you regret doing: None
  • Vivan the model or Vivan the actor: Actor
  • What makes Vivan angry? When people don’t value time
  • Fitness: It’s a lifestyle
  • If you were to be stuck in an island for a day and can tag along only three things with you. What would those be? Food, Water, and my Play Station
  • One good thing and one bad thing about the industry: There is always good and nothing much bad! It is an understanding place. All you need to do is make progress all by yourself
  • 3 AM friends from industry: Ha-ha, don’t have many friends from the industry
  • If a movie were to be made on you, what would you title it? Hard Road or The Road Less Travelled
  • Directors you would like to work with: Shoojit Sircar, Vikramaditya Motwane, David Dhawan again, Farhan Akhtar, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and a big line of new age directors
  • When idle, you indulge in: Photography, fitness, sports and Play Station
  • Best compliment you received till date and from whom? It must be my family, as they always support and compliment my work
  • Sooraj Pancholi: Hardworking
  • Major difference in Bollywood and Tollywood: No difference! I can while shooting for Raja the Great, my co-stars used to crack jokes and laugh all the way! I had no understanding of the language, thus I just used to put up a smile 🙂
  • Biggest regret in life: That I didn’t spend enough time with dad
  • A film you wish you were a part of: So many! Andhadhun, URI, Badhaai Ho, October, Sui Dhaaga
  • Love: Can’t describe it
  • Your diet includes: Eating five meals a day. I fast for 16 hours. I sleep for 10 hours and try to eat a little late.

Sandy: Your role as an antagonist in Raja the Great won you rave reviews. How was it working with director Anil Ravipudi and actor Ravi Teja?

Vivan: Ravi Teja is hilarious. It was peppy shooting for the flick. Anil Ravipudi gave me a good role and now people have started looking at me as a baddie.

Sandy: Your next release would be Sachiin Joshi’s Amavas.

Vivan: I have a very small role in it. I was supposed to do something else for the production house. This project cropped up. It’s a small budget film and such films have their own battle to win. There is nothing much for me in it. Just that I became good friends with Nargis through Amavas.

Sandy: What’s in the pipeline for you in the coming months?

Vivan: I have Kunal Kohli’s RamYug for which I have bulked up my body many notches high. A web series called #MeToo will release soon and so will a short film.

 Editor’s note: Vivan Bhathena’s journey makes us understand that not all journeys are as easy as they look from the outside perspective. Wishing Vivan a traffic-free cinematic road ahead!

Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)

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