New Delhi: He is Vivek Oberoi`s cousin and stars with Salman Khan in his debut film `Issi Life Mein`. The heady combination has already helped him grab headlines but Akshay Oberoi says that he wants his work to take the spotlight.
The debutante who has been launched by Rajshri Productions, one of the industry`s oldest banners, says that he "struggled" for five years before landing his first job and the Salman-Vivek tussle is none of his business.
"I do have a filmi background given my elder brother Vivek and uncle Suresh and it`s great that Salman bhai is in the film. But I am my own person and have been an student of acting almost my entire life. I do not want to be in anyone else`s shadow," Akshay told reporters.
"Both Salman and Vivek are actors with years of experience behind them and I personally am fond of them both. I am not concerned with how they feel about each other though I hope it does not get worse," said the young actor.
After studying acting under veteran John Astin in New York and a brief stint in Los Angeles, Akshay returned to Mumbai. He started working in theatre and spent the past year auditioning for film parts.
His wait finally ended with `Isi Life Mein`, a Rajshri film about a college dramatics club and the trials and tribulations of it`s members.
"I play Vivaan, a youngster who is caught up between his own ambition to become an actor and his family`s plans to make him a chartered accountant. It was an amazing journey because Vivaan is so much like me and at times it seemed like he was living my life," said Akshay.
But the film, which marks the directorial debut of Sooraj Barjatya`s niece Vidhi Kasliwal, is not a typical Rajshri romance and nor is Vivaan a typical Rajshri hero, says Akshay.
"There is a scene in the film where Vivaan screams at his father. That is the first time ever that a Rajshri hero has screamed at his father. Vivaan`s strongest trait is ambition and he is one of today`s youth and the film is also very modern and realistic in it`s ethos," said the actor.
With `Isi Life Mein` he also steps into the shoes of Salman Khan, Rajshri`s blue-eyed boy who starred in the banner`s biggest hits like `Maine Pyaar Kiya`, `Hum Aapke Hain Kaun` and `Hum Saath Saath Hain`.
And Akshay says that he could not help but be starstruck when he finally met Salman `bhai`.
"Salman bhai is one of the most loved actors in the country. He always came across as a real and honest person and when I met him I realised that I was right. I was starstruck when I met him but he put me at ease with his warmth," said Akshay.
While Salmam Khan is doling out advice to the newcomer, Vivek is not as involved.
"He just got married and he is really busy with his own career. We have not talked to each other in a while," said Akshay.
As far as the future is concerned, the debutante hopes to share the screen with Amitabh Bachchan but does not really have any favourites when it comes to actresses.
"Nutan ji is my favourite actress of all times. There are quite some good actresses in the current crop but no one matches up," said Akshay.