Actor, singer and stand up comedian Vir Das is known for his witty one-liners. After beginning a career in standup comedy, Vir moved to Hindi cinema and made his mark in films like Delhi Belly, Go Goa Gone and Badmaash Company.
Vir is also the founder of 'Weirdass Comedy', a comedy production studio based in Mumbai that is currently producing and creating multiple series and films for OTT and terrestrial channels in both India and America.
During the lockdown, Vir Das shot for a fundraising show 'Inside Out' that aims to generate funds for 'Helpage India'; 'Voice of Stray Dogs', 'Doctors For You' and 'Cry India'. So far the response of the show has been overwhelming.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times, India, Vir Das spoke at length about his non-profit show Inside Out, on how does he deals with trolls, his journey in the industry and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
The inception of the show
In January I did a show for Netflix, and I had no intention to do another show. When the lockdown happened I decided to stream my shows on Zoom all the earning that I got from the show went to the charity, In fact, all the 30 zoom shows that I did during the lockdown were charity shows.I am not an A-lister Bollywood star who has a lot of money to donate. All I have is my jokes and art, I can weaponize my art to help people.
About the show Inside Out
Inside out is a fun-raiser show, wherein people can join in to pay a minimum amount of just 30 rupees for Indian audiences and 1USD for international audiences. People can contribute more and all the proceeds from this will be given to charities working towards COVID relief including Helpage India; Voice of Stray Dogs, Doctors For You and Cry India. In return, they will get loads of laughter and jokes from my end. The show can't be on any OTT platform, therefore, it's on my website till August 31, 2020.
On the response
I am so thrilled and overwhelmed with the response of the show Inside Out. As it's a fundraising show, people have come out in large numbers. It was launched on my website on August 21 and the very night the show generated a lot of traffic. It was a pleasant surprise for us as we also didn't know that so many people would turn out.
How has the lockdown been for you?
Lockdown has been so far so good and busy for me, the content consumption has been vast, comedians are busier than actors as we travel from city to city and when you get time in life, you make the most of it. I made music, watched documented and crated content and digital shows. I was busy and as far as doing dishes are concerned, I think it's a very special thing for people with who stay parents because when you stay alone or abroad you are bound to clean your apartment and do your dishes and I love doing my dishes (laughs).
Moreover, Pandemic has been different and emotional for all of us. As I was working on a fundraising special I had a mission and a goal to raise money. And now as the special is doing good, I want to help more people to join in.
What is your 'No joke book' like?
There are no do not's in my list.
How do you react to trolls
I think there are much bigger problems in India than being trolled.I am very thick-skinned. I make fun of people and I am okay with people making fun of me as well.
How has your journey been in the industry?
Its been a privilege to be in the industry, being a complete outsider, I had no plans to be in the industry, nor I had anyone one championing me. So to have a career over 12 years long is a blessing and very kind