I Was The ‘Guy Nobody Was Supposed To Work With’: Vivek On How Salman Feud Changed His Life

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When Company released, people had pinned hopes on Vivek Oberoi becoming the next big thing. And, within a few years, he was. While he was a step away from reaching super-stardom, back in the early 00s, he called the press conference against Salman Khan that created a lot of waves and changed his life forever.

This saga of Vivek’s love affair with Aishwarya Rai (now Bachchan) was out in media but became more evident in the press conference where Vivek had allegations for his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, Salman Khan.

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In that conference, Vivek had spoken about the threats he received from Salman and the ones Aishwarya received. What followed was Vivek’s career doing the downward spiral. Even his relation with Aishwarya went sour.

After that incident he gave a string of flops, nobody wanted to work with him. In a tell-tale interview with Mumbai Mirror, Vivek reflects he became …

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“the guy nobody was supposed to work with. It was like a fatwa was issued against me from the powers that be.”

Rumours were rife at that time that Salman had directed/requested/directly told the big-wigs of the Hindi film industry not to work with Vivek or give him work. And, the work Vivek did after that was not up to the potential the talented actor had showcased in his previous films.

The same report quoted an acquaintance of Vivek contradicting the Salman-ruined-Vivek’s career theory.

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“To what extent Salman blacklisted him from the industry is a matter of conjecture. It’s easy to assume that he used his clout to ask people to exclude Vivek from projects. But then, Salman didn’t get along with Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham either and they’ve both got work through the years.

Vivek adds that he went through a really “difficult phase” and there were major setbacks. He also added,

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“When my personal life got messed up, I couldn’t keep my eye on the ball. Even if I gave a hit, work wouldn’t follow. Shootout at Lokhandwala became a huge hit, but I sat at home for a year after that.”

Oberoi’s choice of films became questionable soon after the episode and he let go of movies like Hum Tum, Bunty Aur Babli, and Om Shanti Om and gave 9-10 flops in a row. In the same interview, Vivek refuted being offered Bunty Aur Babli and said he refused others because Hum Tum was offered while he was starting Kisna. And, he didn’t say yes to OSO because he was already playing a negative character in Shootout at Lokhandwala.

Vivek spoke about how he found solace in philanthropy and how he has full-well understood that stardom is a fleeting phase and doesn’t stay for life. Now, Vivek is starring in a web-series and is getting good reviews for his portrayal in the cric-drama series.

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