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Exclusive! Vivek Oberoi: My role in Kaduva is a complete departure from the polished Bobby in Lucifer

The Bollywood actor talks about working in his second Malayalam film Kaduva, which has him teaming up with Prithviraj Sukumaran again

Exclusive! Vivek Oberoi: My role in Kaduva is a complete departure from the polished Bobby in Lucifer
Vivek Oberoi

Last Updated: 07.34 AM, Jul 04, 2022


With his debut film Lucifer three years ago, Vivek Oberoi left an indelible mark in Malayalam cinema as the conniving antagonist Bobby. For his second Malayalam movie Kaduva, he has once again teamed up with good friend and actor Prithviraj Sukumaran to play a character that forms the core of the movie as much as its protagonist.

In an exclusive interview with OTTplay, ahead of the Shaji Kailas directorial’s release on July 7, Vivek talks about why he’s excited about his role in the film, working with Shaji Kailas and Prithviraj, and the kind of movies that he has done in the South.

Prithviraj Sukumaran and Vivek Oberoi in a still from Kaduva
Prithviraj Sukumaran and Vivek Oberoi in a still from Kaduva

Kaduva’s scriptwriter Jinu Abraham had told us that after playing Bobby in Lucifer, you wanted to do something meaty but also different in Malayalam. How much did your role as Joseph Chandy in Kaduva fit those criteria?
Bobby in Lucifer was a charming devil in disguise. He was suave and sweet-talking but untrustworthy and an unfaithful womaniser. Joseph in Kaduva is an honest, exceptional officer who is also a God-fearing Christian and loves his family above anything. If you watch the film from Joseph’s perspective you will feel he is justified in what he does. It is the emotional hurt and humiliation he feels that makes him use his power and the system to punish Kaduva.

From Joseph’s perspective, you feel his emotional response to Kaduva’s behaviour is justified. The problem with two powerful men thinking from the heart and using emotion and not logic is that there is no stop to the level of escalation. That’s why for Joseph, this campaign is about the honour of his family and respect of his uniform more than anything else.

Vivek Oberoi, Samyuktha Menon and Prithviraj Sukumaran
Vivek Oberoi, Samyuktha Menon and Prithviraj Sukumaran

Prithviraj had said that his only concern when he suggested your name for Kaduva was that how would you play the role when it required you to be a proper Pala achayan unlike the urban character of Bobby. How did you go about conceiving the character's traits so it stayed true to the script?

It was a complete departure from the polished metropolitan Bobby. But I took a more socio-cultural approach to it. Joseph has the dignity of an excellent officer, the confidence of a man of authority, yet at heart he is a pure family man, a pillar of his community, a good Christian, a Pala achayan for whom his mother’s pride and respect means the world. I took briefings from Jinu and Shaji chettan, and every now and then if I had a doubt, I spoke with Prithvi for better insight. Living in Pala and observing them was very beneficial as an input into the character.

Lucifer had you sharing screen space mostly with Mohanlal with just a few scenes with Prithviraj. But this movie has both of your characters locking horns. How was it working with him as an actor in Kaduva as compared to him directing you in Lucifer?
To me Prithvi is like the young version of Kamal Haasan sir. He is a brilliant actor that can play any role and can also direct, write, shoot and edit. A complete talent. Working with him was a joy, both as an actor and as a brother.


Going forward, could we see you in more Malayalam films, considering that the industry has several big pan-Indian films in the works.

If it’s Prithvi, I can’t say no, he’s a brother. He just doesn’t give me an option. I have been constantly offered many Malayalam films, for me, it’s not just about the project but also the process. After two decades of success as an actor, I want to really enjoy the work I do and love the people I work with. They pamper me here, whether it’s Prithvi and Supriya (Menon), Listin (Stephen) or Lalettan and Anthony (Perumbavoor); it feels like family to me.

Prithviraj, Shaji Kailas and Vivek Oberoi
Prithviraj, Shaji Kailas and Vivek Oberoi

How much has your foray in other languages helped win more attention to your Hindi projects?

That has never been my objective. From 2010, I’ve been working in southern films that are stories that excited me. My goal was to win the love and respect of the local audiences, I'm glad that I won awards and recognition in the south but most happy about the love I have received for my work here.

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