Inside Edge 2 star Tanuj Virwani: Get better offers on web than in movies
Initially harbouring Bollywood ambitions, Tanuj Virwani on finding his feet in digital entertainment with success of Inside Edge 2.
After a less than favourable run at the movies, Tanuj Virwani admits he was wondering if he had the potential to crack showbiz. A call from Excel Entertainment changed his destiny. Beaming at the success of Inside Edge 2 on Amazon Prime, the actor discusses his chance foray into digital entertainment, the perks of being a star kid and carving a niche in the industry.
Edited excerpt from the interview.
You aspired to be a movie star, but have found your feet in the digital world with Inside Edge.
When I set out to be an actor in mainstream films, OTT platforms were at a nascent stage. After a lot of failed attempts, I began questioning if I was even in the right line of work. I didn't have a back-up plan and joining my father's business was not an option. My first film [One Night Stand] tanked. Fortunately, the day it released, Excel Entertainment called and offered me the role of Vayu Raghavan.
Did you have to adjust your expectations as it was a web series?
Most actors hailed from Bollywood, and several believed that changing gears to an OTT platform would be a step-down. But since Excel and Amazon had a distinguished reputation, we were assured that the product would be good. I had a feeling that we were onto something big, but I couldn't trust my judgment. After all, I've had that feeling more than once before. Surprisingly though, two weeks after its release, we were holding a success party and the second season was greenlit.
Did you feel the second season did justice to the buzz it created?
Before season one, we had no expectations; we were simply winging it. But this time, one of two things could happen — either we would become complacent and give more of the same thing. Or we'd take the story forward in an organic manner. The writers deserve the credit [for choosing the second path].
You have several shows in the pipeline, including Code M.
I play a civilian lawyer in Code M, opposite Jennifer Winget and Seema Biswas. The cast was the reason I came on board. I want to surround myself with talented actors so that it [would motivate] me to bring my A-game to the table. I have another show with ALTBalaji titled Cartel and an Amazon show called Kamathipura. I have a cameo in Netflix's Masaba Masaba, too.
What's happening on the film front?
I barely have time for films now. I am making the best of the opportunities that are coming my way. I get better offers on the web than in movies. I would rather be in front and centre of a good web show than play a random character in a movie.
Didn't being Rati Agnihotri's son help make inroads into the industry?
If you are related to someone in the business, it gives you easy access to people from the fraternity, and they are aware of your existence. But after that, no one is going to give you work if it [your last outing ] didn't work. There is a lot of money riding on films.
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