Saturday, February 24, 2024

Vivan Bhatena: I’m a greedy actor, but there’s still a lot more to do & give

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Actor Vivan Bhatena has been making it big through his performances in the film
industry after a successful journey in the television industry. In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, he spoke about his transitional journey, exploring multiple opportunities, highlighting a sensitive issue with Kafas, and more.

Tejal Sinha

Russian-born American writer Ayn Rand once very well said, “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” Looking at actor Vivan Bhatena’s journey, this dictum fits him well.

One would recall him when he’d for the first time tried his acting shoes on with Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and went on to become a big name in the television industry. Taking the best of the opportunities that came his way, Vivan has become the talk of the town with his stints in the film industry. Throughout his interesting journey, he feels, “As an actor, you get to put on many masks and put on so many faces. This is a part of your experience — a very insecure feeling (haha). That’s how it is because you go through different challenges and tasks in your life, which can range from mastering television to finding your place in films or with OTT. It’s been full of fun and challenges, and it’s fun to get people to see me in a different light. So as an actor, rather than being a television personality or a model or ex-model, however, they used to feel, now they’ve started seeing me as an actor, and I really appreciate that.”

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he’s surely been a greedy actor, someone who’s enjoyed working on opportunities that have helped him grow as an actor, and he believes it too. “I always ask the makers to give me some sort of growth in my career because being a greedy actor is the most important quality that any actor should have after being a good actor. You always want to be better and do better, and you are hungry for this. And I don’t want to ever lose that hunger — hungry for those performances, those roles, that screen time, and for those moments. Yes, I’m, of course, greedy because I still feel I have a lot more to give, a lot more to show, and a lot more I can do. If given an opportunity, I’d always love to do and shine in front of anybody, and there’s been no fear.”

Vivan has been a part of and explored various fields, including Media, entertainment, VJing, and a lot more. During this exclusive chat with him, he also states that now he’s not just an actor but also a photographer, DOP, and director. Well, it’s always been interesting to watch him try out different things, and with this, we’re surely going to see him in a different light. “I don’t like to be stagnant; I like to grow, keep growing, and have those opportunities for myself as much as possible,” says the trouper, who focuses on working on different projects rather than being stereotyped into one. For instance, talking about his upcoming project, Mumbai Meri Jaan, we will see him in a completely different character, a physical role that he has taken up.

Initially, when he began his journey into the film world, he was seen for a shorter period of time. While actors obviously wish for more screen time, Vivan too felt bothered to a certain extent, but did you know what was more important for him? Well, it was just being a part of these films because, as he says, “With commercial cinema, people just laugh about it and think it’s very easy, but these are the hardest roles to execute. It is difficult to be convincing as a commercial hero to the masses. Doing commercial cinema, which is seen by everyone, is more important; you get to learn, and working with the Khans or doing an Akshay Kumar film is very important. You get to see their process, understand what they are doing and how they function, learn from them, and work with them. These are the growing experiences that you require, and I believe in building relationships and foundations for me to one day make my own cinema.”

Well, that’s true! Who would miss an opportunity to work with the bigwigs of the industry? Going ahead, with the projects that he’s currently working on, it looks like Vivan Bhatena has become the new antagonist face in the industry. In fact, down south, he made his debut with Ravi Teja’s Raja The Great as an antagonist too. To this, he says, “I always looked up to Amrish Puri, and I think he was great, and I feel there’s still a space for these types of roles that’s not filled now. Now, if you see, it’s the hero who plays the antagonist. But now I hope people see me and give me that opportunity and roles where I can entertain mainstream viewers as well. I believe even as you play a mainstream villainous character, you should build your future, name, and reputation as a good actor, and that’s what’s important to me.”

Now as we discuss ‘villainous’ characters, he has once again made sure with the recently released Kafas that he is one of those actors who, no matter what, will be honest in whatever character they play. The six-episode series highlights one of the most sensitive yet less spoken-about issues: Molestation on Men. “It is very important to bring to the foreground that with molestation, it is not just women who are concerned but also men,” says Vihaan on the issue. “So what happens is that in an incident where a man or a male child is involved, they just do away with it. It’s a very sensitive issue, and it’s a very important and big issue. Kafas showcased how it affects somebody mentally, how it can break them down mentally, what it can do to their confidence, and more. Those things are the ones that are ignored. These are sensitive topics that people don’t talk about, and there are so many things that have to be taken into account and highlighted.”

Playing a character like Vikram Bajaj in Kafas, a character that’s so strong and can easily get rid of any issue through his power, could no doubt be a challenge for him as well. Why not? Being an antagonist, someone who molests a kid could bring a lot of backlash towards him. However, it didn’t turn out that way in his case. Initially, he says, “I was scared and spoke to Mukesh and also had a meeting with Sahil extensively on how it was going to be prepared, a most important element. But we worked with all the ‘Shiddat’, and gave our 110 percent to do justice to the series. Being a father, I was sure there would have been backlash, but people turned out to appreciate my performance. Sahil advised me to just enjoy the role, and I guess I gave him more than he expected. Sahil was worried for me, but I had to do the role with complete honesty.”

Initially, when Vivan entered the industry, he did reveal being a victim of harassment when people got to know he was a newcomer and a struggler, since he never gave that struggler vibe. He did get some ‘choices, but he refused to do any and brought it on the raw way. “There was a choice offered to me as well, but I refused it completely because I didn’t have the guts to do it. I was too raw and new. Initially, I dealt with anger and frustration, but I later realised it’s more about your choice, feelings, and what you want in life,” gushes the Sooryavanshi actor, who is currently waiting for the right role and is more than just a normal guy.

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