As an actor, I cannot have an off day

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Tanuj Virwani talks about how his character has evolved in Inside Edge 2, his co-stars and why medium does not matter to him

Tanuj Virwani will reprise his role of Vayu Raghavan in the second season of Inside Edge. The actor says that people got to see both his good and bad side in the first season but in the second season, he has to go through a lot. “He was a brash and arrogant brat in the first season but by the end of it, he still had some inherent good qualities that kind of defined him. Now, he has been through a lot and realises that the game is much bigger than a single player. He has to shoulder lot more responsibility as the captain of the franchise cricket team. He really has his back against the wall because he believes that there are people who will support him no matter what, but that isn’t the case,” he says, adding that sports and life run parallel to each other. “If you have good stuff happening in your life, that will show on the field. Look at Virat Kohli, he had brat-like qualities but the moment he got married to Anushka Sharma, he became calmer.”

Tanuj says that one of amazing things about the long format storytelling is that as opposed to films, it allows the characters to evolve. “In films, in those two and half hours, a lot is happening but in the long format storytelling, the character gets good breadth,” he adds. 

The Amazon Prime Video series will start steaming from December 6. It is produced by Excel Media and Entertainment (Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar). 

Inside Edge was one of the most-talked-about series on the web. Both critics and viewers accepted it positively. Tanuj believes that the series is responsible for giving him a second innings in the industry. “Prior to this, I had done a couple of movies which did not do well at the box-office. In this industry, it’s not being a good or bad actor; it’s about a good package and being saleable. Why would someone invest money in a movie featuring you, if you are not justifying it financially? I found myself in a tricky spot and box-office prison,” he says. 

But all of a sudden, Inside Edge came out of nowhere. “At that point of time, we did not know what it was going to be like, though we knew that the story had certain uniqueness about it,” he says. 

Tanuj adds that as OTT was in its infancy, they didn’t know the power of the digital platform but it made a huge difference to his life and career. “The kind of offers I am getting, the way people look at me, all has changed. I am truly blessed and happy that Inside Edge happened to my life,” says the actor who made his acting debut with Luv U Soniyo.  

The first season of Inside Edge starred Vivek Oberoi, Richa Chadha, Angad Bedi, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Sayani Gupta. Joining them in the second season are Aamir Bashir, Sapna Pabbi and Makarand Deshpande.

How has collaborating with such talented actors helped him? “Everyone is secured in this series because every character is so well etched out. As an actor, I cannot have an off day, irrespective of what’s happening in my life. I cannot bring my personal problems on the set. But when I see all these guys bringing their top game, there’s no way I cannot be good in a scene. You do not get a second chance here. I always want to work with actors who I look up to and consider better than me because that will up my game,” Tanuj adds.
He has an interesting line up of web content, he says. There is AltBalaji’s Code M, in which he plays a civilian lawyer followed by Cartel, Amazon Prime’s Kamathpura opposite Meera Chopra.
He has no qualms concentrating on digital platforms only but the actor says that he is open to every medium as long as the content, platform, his role and co-stars are good. “I am not one of those actors who feel that they need to have maximum screen space or be part of every scene. All of that comes from insecurity. If you are good and give a solid two scenes, people will remember you. Having said that, OTT platform is writing better content for me and hence, I am enjoying it,” he says before signing off.

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