Balaatkar turned him into a star overnight. Omi Vaidya was just another NRI actor struggling to make his Bollywood debut until he shot to instant fame for the comical speech that his character,Chatur Ramalingam,delivers in 3 Idiots.
Suddenly,I was winning awards,hosting film events,cutting ribbons,giving interviews and,unbelievably,being spotted on the road by the common man, recollects Vaidya. His story was adapted into a docu-drama on Indias film industry,aptly titled Big in Bollywood,by his American documentary filmmaker friends.
The Indian-origin actor,born and brought up in the US,needs little introduction today. And though Vaidya has not since been seen in a performance as notable as his debut two years ago,he has not entirely vanished from the audiences and industrys consciousness either. After a few ads,the 29-year-old actor shared screen space with Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi in Madhur Bhandarkars Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji,followed by a role in Desi Boyz in 2011.
He will follow up his latest release Players with Jodi Breakers alongside Bipasha Basu and his 3 Idiots colleague R Madhavan. My character in Jodi Breakers is that of a womaniser whose exploits help his friends (played by Madhavan) business of helping people to get them out of a bad relationship, he explains. However,the assignment that Vaidya is most looking forward to is the remake of Satte Pe Satta,even though he refuses to divulge details about his role.
Vaidya understands that the success he experienced with his debut is more an aberration than a norm in the industry,and has thus moved on. However,the actor says that it gave him an impetus to dream big.
As opposed to sitting and waiting for another 3 Idiots to come by,I try to multi-task and work both in Bollywood and the US, he asserts. When not working in India,he usually returns home to Los Angeles where he meets TV producers,filmmakers and auditions for television roles and commercials.
Having enjoyed playing small parts in popular American TV shows such as Arrested Development,The Office,Bones and Life,Vaidya is keen on bagging a central character in an upcoming series he recently auditioned for. Television is a great medium in the US,backed with excellent writing and characters. It will also help me establish myself in the US as an actor, he explains.
Also a trained filmmaker from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University,Vaidya hopes to have a parallel career as a filmmaker. It gives great control over content and quality and Bollywood is a unique medium that I would love to explore as a director. I am meeting producers and financiers to pitch a Bollywood thriller that I have penned, says the actor,who has directed two short films and has worked as a film editor on several indie projects.
Meanwhile,Vaidya continues to sift through the scripts that come his way,most of which offer him roles close to Chaturs character. Its been two years and even I am beginning to forget the lines from 3 idiots,but Bollywood still hasnt. I continue to receive such typecast roles and have to keep turning them down, he says.