Vivan Bhatena is on a high — literally, professionally and personally! After carving a niche for himself on the small screen with popular serials like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi , Kumkum , Maayka and others, the model-turned-actor will soon be seen in Chuna Hai Aasman , based on life in the air force.
Sounding visibly excited, Vivan reveals, “Part of the shooting took place at an airforce base in Jodhpur. We lived with pilots and flew the Sukhoi. Needless to say, it was an awesome feeling. Now I know why people say pilots have inflated egos, flying makes you feel like god.”
Vivan chose to move away from Kumkum to be a part of this serial, which will also see Iqbal Khan’s return to small screen. So, was it rivalry or ‘healthy competition’ for the handsome hunks?
“Only fun. Iqbal’s a friend, we live in the same area and go to the same gym. Thus there was no need to be intimidated. If I had worked with Amitabh Bachchan maybe, I might have gone ‘wow’!” says Vivan, who’s been Mr India 2001 himself.
Nevertheless, Vivan’s come close to superstardom with his cameo act in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Chak De! India .
“I’m very excited about the appreciation that Chak De... has brought. One of the biggest reasons for taking it up was that it was a Yash Raj project and a SRK starrer, people were sure to see the film.” There were reports that Vivan’s reel character, the hearthrob cricketer Abhimanyu, was inspired by Yuvraj Singh. Quiz him about it, and he says, “Yes, Shimit and I did discuss this for reference. But really, Abhimanyu is just a smart gun, and not a bad guy.”
So, is Bollywood calling for Vivan now? “I would be interested in films in the future, but for now, television’s very happening. I truly believe television is becoming bigger than films. Even film stars are coming on TV now,” he exclaims.
Meanwhile, the personal high in Vivan’s life is marked by his recent engagement to longtime girlfriend Nikhila Palat. Talking about it, Vivan says, “I took a big step this year. We will be getting married in March next. Obviously, I’m very happy!”