Vivek Oberai is the son of Suresh Oberai, a veteran character actor who mostly worked in the 80s and 90s and is famous for his roles in movies like Parinda, Namak Halal, Aaj Ka Arjun, Kabir Singh, Manikarnika etc. Suresh Oberai married Yasodhara (Tamil) in Madras on 1 August 1974. Together they had a son Vivek Oberai who was born on 3 September 1976 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Vivek is fluent in Tamil because his mother is a Tamil.
He attended Mayo College in Ajmer and then completed his graduation from Mithibai College. Mumbai. He attended acting workshops in London and there he was noticed by the director of NYU who encouraged him to join New York University, and taking his advice, Vivek joined NYU where he completed his master’s degree in film acting.
After that, he came back to Mumbai and started looking for a break. That is when he heard that Ramgopal Varma who was a big name then with movies like Siva, Rangeela, and Satya and was one of the most sought-after directors in Bollywood. Vivek Oberai was a big fan of Varma and met him to get a role in RGV’s next movie Company about gangsters. It’s his foray into underworld based movies for the second time after the cult movie Satya. Ajay Devgn was already signed for the movie and RGV was looking out for a new face to play the second led character. Vivek Oberai met Ramgopal Varma for the role but RGV rejected him because Vivek Oberai seemed very urban and a modern city guy with very fair skin. The character of Chandu is from the background of the lowest strata of the society who stays in a small chawl in Dharavi and Vivek Oberai does not all look like Chandu, so RGV politely rejected Vivek because he seems too sophisticated to play the role of Chandu a small time good and a future gangster.
The story of Vivek Oberai being cast in Company was very interesting. He asked RGV For fifteen more days and RGV nodded yes but he was pretty convinced that Vivek is not suited for the role. Meanwhile, Vivek Oberai started his preparation, he stayed in slums and studied how the people of that strata talk and how’s their body language. When the day of meeting RGV arrived, Vivek dressed the ways those people dressed, applied some mud on his face, darkened his skin, and with a beedi in his mouth he went to Varma’s office and after entering, he sat on a chair and kept his legs on the table. At first, RGV didn’t recognize him but after some time when he realized it was Vivek Oberai and was impressed and signed him for Company, written by Jaideep Shani. Inspired by the rivalry of Dawood Ibrahim and Chota Rajan, Company was a big hit and Vivek Oberai won two Filmfare awards, one for best debut and the second for Best Supporting actor.
His next two movies Road and Dum did average business at the Box-Office and his next big hit was with YRF’s Saathiya starring Rani Mukherji opposite him and directed by Shaad Ali. After that, his comedy movie Masti was also a hit. But his career got affected a lot after his controversial press conference where he said he was threatened by Salman Khan over Aishwarya Rai who was Salam’s ex-girlfriend now dating Vivel but Aishwarya never admitted the relationship. This move affected Vivek Oberai career a lot and he stopped getting movies. Still, he kept himself relevant by giving hit movies like Omkara, Shootout at Lokhandwala, Krrish 3, etc.
He is a true devotee of Lord Aiyyappa and has been going to Sabrimala for the past couple of years. He is very much involved in charity-related work and even adopted a few villages after the 2004 tsunami. He serves as the World Health Organization’s anti-tobacco spokesperson. He is involved with several charities in Chennai and Mumbai. His work with Project Hope to bring relief to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami earned him a Good Samaritan Award from Rotary International. He worked in South Indian movies like Vivegam, Lucifer, Rustum, and Kaduva. He made his debut on the OTT platform with Inside Edge and the upcoming Indian Police Force, a part of the cop universe web series by Rohit Shetty.