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Karan Wahi: TV wants better shows, web wants more episodes

Updated on: 20 February,2024 05:30 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Exploring the TV-plus format that lies midway between TV and OTT, Karan Wahi on playing a lawyer in Raisinghani vs Raisinghani and reuniting with Winget

Karan Wahi: TV wants better shows, web wants more episodes

Karan Wahi

With age and experience comes maturity. Gone is the Karan Wahi, who enjoyed playing the boy-next-door and favoured the rom-com genre. With SonyLIV’s Raisinghani vs Raisinghani, the actor has chosen to play a flawed, ruthless lawyer opposite Jennifer Winget. In conversation with mid-day, Wahi opens up about the new medium of TV-plus, what he loved about his character, and his evolving equation with his Dill Mill Gayye co-star Winget.

Edited excerpts from the interview. 

Did the fact that the show is TV-plus, a hybrid of TV and OTT, convince you to take it up?
Not really. It does come across as a television show because it drops every day. But script-wise or in terms of the way we’ve shot it, there is nothing television about it. It has a web series’ treatment. It is a new approach that the platform is trying; they feel there is an instant need for something like this that caters to both the TV and OTT audience. The television audience keeps asking for better shows, while the web audience keeps asking for more episodes.

How many episodes does Raisinghani vs Raisinghani have?
There is a cap on the number of episodes, but the platform is not keen on revealing the exact number of episodes. We’ve been shooting for the past four months.

Wahi and Jennifer Winget in Raisinghani vs Raisinghani
Wahi and Jennifer Winget in Raisinghani vs Raisinghani

Considering it’s a TV-plus offering, is self-censorship practised?
In web shows, especially in terms of abusive content, I feel we tend to go overboard. We have become complacent, assuming that everyone talks like that nowadays. But [in real life], most people don’t use expletives in their conversations. My last show [Channa Mereya] didn’t have abusive language. Raisinghani vs Raisinghani is realistic and they are keeping a check on it in order to cater to both audiences.

What kind of cases will be tackled in the series?
Some cases have been taken from real lives, but, at the end of the day, we cannot name them. The primary aspect in most legal dramas is that we see cases fought in the court. However, in real life, so many cases are not really fought in the court; instead, they are worked upon in law firms. That is where we’ve showcased the interpersonal dynamics. Cases are a good way to take the narrative forward.

Does the question of ethics come into play while tackling cases?
We’ve shown that there are two kinds of lawyers—one who will do anything to win. Virat has come with the single goal of victory. On the other hand, there is Anushka [Winget’s character] who believes that you don’t have to be ruthless to win. While Virat considers the absence of ruthlessness as a weakness, Anushka considers that as her strength. The show is beautifully written. There are flashbacks from when my character was in his 20s, and they show why he became the way 
he did.

Do you identify with Virat?
When I had first read the script, I felt I was nothing like Virat. But after playing him for the last four months, I feel I have often done things that he would do. I feel every man has a Virat in him; some men may not be as egoistic as he is. For instance, a man talks to three women at a time, but if his girlfriend does that, he gets livid. That is the mentality of so many people. What I loved about Virat is that he is real and flawed. You will hate him for what he does, but you will sympathise with him.

How has your chemistry with Jennifer evolved after 14 years?
We’ve known each other for more than 14 years. The last time I worked with Jennifer was on Dill Mill Gayye; it was only my third TV show and I was all of 24 years. [This time] our friendship and experience reflected on camera. It is easier when you work with friends. For the world Jen and I could be stars, but we’ve seen our journeys closely and it doesn’t change anything for the two of us.

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