“Don’t let success overwhelm you and make you complacent”. Living by this philosophy, Tanuj Virwani aka Vayu Raghavan talks to OnPlay news for an exclusive interview after the stupendous success of ‘Inside Edge’. His answers were smart, precise and his clarity of thought is what makes him stand out.
Q1: Hello Tanuj, hearty congratulations on the huge success of Inside Edge. Post Inside Edge, your Wikipedia Page says ‘Known for his role of Vayu Raghavan’. How does it feel to finally get the much needed critical acclaim?
Thank you so much for your wishes and I was not aware of the Wikipedia update. It feels good, as of now it’s all fresh and I’m letting the success sink in. However, I don’t want to be satisfied just because this project was successful, as I’m here to play long innings. I don’t want this success to overwhelm me, which can make a person complacent.
Q2. What made you sign Inside Edge? Script? Star cast? or the concept?
To begin with, the script is what attracted me to work on this project. And they say, if you are surrounded by good talent, you can bring the best out of you. When you are performing with accomplished actors like Vivek and Richa, you’ve to be on top of your game. Ever since I had seen Dil Chahta Hai, I had a dream to work with Excel ( Farhan and Ritesh), and it finally happened with ‘Inside Edge’ . Signing a project is like getting into a relationship, so you’ve to be certain that you are going to spend a considerable amount of time for the project.
Q3: Did you audition for the role of Vayu Raghuvan?
Yes, I did.
Q4: In most of the movies and TV shows, the lead actor gets a heroic entry. Your first scene in Amazon India’s first originals was you having sex with a cheerleader during the match. Your thoughts and reactions on this?
Interestingly, that’s the scene that I auditioned for. You never know how the audience reacts, and it sounded like a novel and unique way to introduce a character. I’m glad that people are ‘liking’ it.
Q5. Season 1 is receiving rave reviews. Any plans of season 2?
As of now, I haven’t heard of any such development. However, the viewers will be curious to know what happens to Vayu, Zarina, Prashant and others. And Season 1 left with a lot of questions to be answered. This is something which Amazon and Excel can answer, all I can say is that i’ll be privileged to be a part of season 2 if that happens.
Q6. Is there any similarity between you and your character of Vayu Raghavan?
Yes, there are lots of similarities in the sense that we both are ‘City’ boys, as we’ve both been brought up in a city like Mumbai. So, our thoughts and ideologies are different from those who come from smaller cities or towns. Yes, I don’t indulge in Vayu’s off-field activities. But, if we talk about similarities, I’m very competitive and I was involved in sports from a very young age. There are lot of similarities, but there are lot of differences as well.
Q7: You’ve acted in a few movies before, and Inside Edge is your first web series. What’s the difference between working on the big screen and working for digital content?
In web series, it’s a lot more organic to build a character graph. You have 10 episodes with an average runtime of 40-45 minutes. You can witness the evolution of a character in a web series because you have enough time. In movies, the runtime is limited to 2 and a half to three hours, in that 30 minutes will be consumed by songs. Secondly, there are no songs.
Q8. What is your take on the current Indian Cricketing scenario?
The current Indian Cricket Team consists of a lot of good, young players who can carry the team for the next few years, especially with the 2019 World Cup round the corner. When it comes to the off-field controversies, I feel there should be a lot more clarity. Personally, I was not very happy with the way the coach selection issue was handled. BCCI’s U-turn on the appointment of Zaheer and Rahul Dravid was disappointing. You have to give due respect to the players who have contributed selflessly to the cause of Indian Cricket.
Q9. Your character of Vayu Raghavan had a dark side. Are you open to playing negative roles in the near future?
I don’t believe there’s anything called ‘Negative’ character. Every person believes whatever he/she’s doing is right. In Vayu’s case, he might be doing drugs and he might sleep with cheerleaders, but, in his eyes, he’s a hero. So, I don’t believe that there’s a difference between any characters. An actor should be open to doing any kind of roles.
Q10. How was your experience working with an ensemble cast of ‘Inside Edge’?
It was a satisfying experience working with the entire cast and crew. I was surrounded with the best people who have no ulterior motives, who were positive, who appreciated each others’ success. It was a happy working unit. I’m relatively new to the industry, and I had the luxury to be surrounded by the best people which were a gratifying experience for me. It was a 70-75 day schedule and you spend `10-14 hours a day with such accomplished actors.
Q11: Do you watch any web-series from India?
As of now, I’m watching a few shows but not anything from India. But, I’m cautiously optimistic about a lot of good content coming up. Inside Edge has opened a new avenue and new platform for everyone.
Q12. My favorite scene from the series is the ‘Madras Coffee’ scene. It was something totally unexpected from Vayu. Your thoughts?
Thank you. Thank you. In fact, it’s one of my favorite scenes as well.
In spite of not getting a favorable response from the audience for his previous releases, Tanuj never gave up and the results are here to see. On behalf of OnPlaynews, we wish him the best in his future endeavors, and we wish to see him back as Vayu Raghavan for another season. We leave you with an exclusive audio message from the man himself.