Prime Video’s Amazon Original series Indian Police Force, marks Rohit Shetty’s digital directorial debut and is co-directed by Sushwanth Prakash. Following the journey of a committed officer, Kabir, played by Sidharth Malhotra, the 7-espisode series shows his sacrifice and the numerous obstacles he faces in his mission to protect the people. Along with his crew—Vivek Oberoi and Shilpa Shetty Kundra—there’s a relentless pursuit of justice to dismantle a dangerous criminal network threatening the innocent.

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The star-studded action-crime drama’s ensemble cast also includes Shweta Tiwari, Nikitin Dheer, Rituraj Singh, Mukesh Rishi and Lalit Parimoo. We caught up Vivek Oberoi who plays Senior Inspector Vikram Bakshi, to learn about his character and experience working on the show. Edited excerpts.

Indian Police Force Prime Video

Tell us what character you’re playing

I really enjoyed playing Vikram Bakshi because he's one of those amazing layered characters that shows you the human behind the khaki uniform. He is a hero, but also human. His family is the most important thing in the world to him but family doesn’t just mean his wife and kids. His family extends to his seniors in the police force, who he treats like the elders in the family. His juniors like Kabir (Malhotra) are like younger siblings to him. He's the kind of person who would gladly take a bullet for anybody in his team.

Vivek Oberoi and Sidharth Malhotra in Indian Police Force

How did you first hear about this role?

I've had the most amazing relationship with Prime Video because they have had the courage and conviction to create shows since the advent of OTT. I’ve worked on Inside Edge with them before, and it was a great working relationship. The minute I found out that Prime Video along with Rohit Shetty are creating Indian Police Force, I knew it's going to be something spectacular and I was elated when Rohit called me. When he met me, he said, “Look, we've waited 20 years to find something to work on together. I've always told you that when I find a character that could do justice to you as an actor, I'll call you,” and true to his word, he reached out. He said that he started writing this three years ago and when he thought of Vikram Bakshi, he wanted Vivek Anand Oberoi to play the role. It made me feel so special that a man like Rohit Shetty, who I respect so much as a filmmaker, said this.

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While this show marks Rohit Shetty's OTT directorial debut, this is your second OTT outing with Prime Video. What was your experience like and could you tell us how shooting for an episodic show different from a movie?

Rohit Shetty is all about scale and larger-than-life projects, but OTT in itself, by nature, is something very real and palpable.

I always wondered how Rohit Shetty would make something episodic and it is amazing how he's blended his cop universe with how OTT works—real, honest, hard, gritty.

There's not a single moment in the seven episodes where you lose interest. Its fast pace and action keep you gripped every second. It reminds me of another Prime Video show that I'm the voice of in India, which is Jack Ryan. Every time I watched it, I was in awe of how well written, well-shot and how crisp the screenplay was. I'm so proud that now we have its equivalent in India which is Indian Police Force. I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of Rohit Shetty's OTT directorial debut.

Indian Police Force Prime Video

Rohit changed his whole grammar for this show. It's very easy to take things for granted when you have achieved the kind of success and scale he has but he worked really hard to change his shoot style, rhythm, editing—every single scene in the seven episodes had a place in his head and that was amazing. He would go to each character with scene context and cues from different episodes and we could see it was coming straight from the heart. It was an inspirational experience for me. An episodic show is different from a movie because you get to have that much more screen time to weave and craft your role to build the graph of your character.

What was it like playing a cop in Rohit Shetty's cop universe and how was it different from similar cop roles you've played in the past?

When you play a cop in Rohit Shetty's cop universe, that's a whole different gamut. Who doesn't dream of a background score playing as you walk in a uniform with total swag in slow-motion? But jokes apart, what I loved the most about playing a cop in in this show was that Rohit himself was very noble, courageous, and deeply entrenched in terms of his emotions, patriotism, and extreme integrity. Vikram Bakshi is somebody I would look up to in real life as a hero and this show is very clean so kids can watch it toomy son is already watching it on Prime Video and enjoying every minute.

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What's your favourite memory from the sets?

I think it was the second or third day of shoot and we were working on a complicated scene which needed a layered performance which was also quite long. I finished the shot but didn't hear ‘cut’ so I was trying to hold the scene and not break out of character until the director calls for a cut. I waited for some more time but still didn't hear it, so I turned to look at my director and Rohit was standing there with a smile on his face, extremely emotional. I remember him saying on the mic, “This is why I always wanted you to play this role.” He praised my performance with so much sincerity, heart and generosity, that it made my day. The entire team is like an extension of Rohit Shetty, they're like his familythe way they all clapped and cheered me on was a beautiful experience. But that wasn’t all, after that, he said, “Now you've got your ration card in Rohit Shetty films.” I didn't get it at first to which he laughed and said, “You know, who gets his name on the ration card? A member of the familyso now you're a permanent member of ‘Rohit Shetty Picturez’. You're a member of our family and we love you.” That made me feel really special.

Indian Police Force

You mentioned that your son is watching the show as well, what does he have to say?

My son Vivaan came to the set once, the first ever set that he came on. He's never seen any of my shoots, as he was too young earlier. Also, this was a clean set where I knew there were no explicit scenes or dialogues, so I let him accompany me. Rohit was so kind to him, Vivaan sat with him in the director's chair watching his dad on the monitor. Luckily, that day had some action sequences on the scheduleguns blazing and heroic shots of my character. After the shot was completed, Vivaan ran up to me and asked me if I was hurt. Once I assured him I was fine, he said, “Dad, that was so cool.” That sense of being a hero in the eyes of your child is something that's so deeply fulfilling. Indian Police Force will always be special to me for giving me that moment with my son.

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What's on your Prime Video watchlist?

Jack Ryan is always on my watch list. It also has Reacher and John Wick because I love action. I also, most definitely, have Indian Police Force on it.

What was the last thing you bought on Amazon?

The last thing I bought was an entire cricket game seta bat, ball, stumps—for my son Vivaan because he loves playing cricket. I also bought a comprehensive art set for my daughter because she loves painting.