Popular actor Tanuj Virwani has been in the industry for quite some time. The dapper and model turned actor is known for his role as Vayu Raghavan in the web series Inside Edge. Despite being veteran actress Rati Agnihotri's son, he paved his way to success through hard work.
Needless to say, perils of being a star kid come with a lot of expectations, and the young actor made his place in the eyes of the audience through some great body of roles that he did on the web.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times India, Tanuj Virwani spoke at length on what keeps him busy and occupied amidst the lockdown, why social media needs ceratin restrictions, how freedom of speech is being misused and lastly made a noteworthy point on the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput and more.
Excerpts from the interview:
On how his lockdown is going
Lockdown has become a way of life now, the first one month was the worst, as we all were working, shooting, and then all of a sudden, we are inside the house, can't travel, were told to stay indoors, a lot of restrictions were imposed, all this took time to adapt. Having said that, it was for our own good as this pandemic is an invisible enemy, it's deadly and dangerous. Now with each passing month, I have to adjust to the ongoing situation I have adjusted and adapted to the new normal.
On revisiting new hobbies during the quarantine
As you know, Mumbai is known for its traffic and as I stay in south Bombay I had to travel each day to suburbs for shoots, therefore, half of my day would end up in travelling. There was hardly any time left. With lockdown setting in, I decided to revisit my old hobbies, for instance, I started reading, cooking, listening to music, watching television and so on and so forth. I also played isolated cricket wherein, someone, just bowls. I believe that with the pandemic not only physical health is important, we all need to be mentally stimulated as well and should keep ourselves occupied. I workout at home as the gym is shut. I make short films and have learned to edit now.
You just have to find ways to make your day productive. It's not a competition that you have to win. You live each day and make it memorable. We need to make sure you maintain a good balance.
On the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput
I was extremely shocked and saddened when the news broke. I didn't know him personally, he was an acquaintance, I may have seen him in an odd party but at the end of the day my heart goes out to his family. When the news of his sudden demise started coming out, I was able to relate to a lot of things that he must have gone through and how difficult it is for someone to sustain in this industry.
People say actors live a lavish lifestyle, they travel the world, there is glamour, but one doesn't know what happens behind these closed doors. We have a lot of struggle and end up becoming our own worst enemy. In this world, there are so many people who pull you down and make you feel miserable in such times you need to build your mental muscle. This has happened to me as well. I come from a film family, my mother has been in this industry for over 35 years and I have succumbed to a lot of rejection at the start of my career. Three of my films tanked at the box-office and I was out of work for 8-9 months. No one wanted to sign me, I was a box office poison in the eyes of many. Only when the web series started booming and I did 'Inside Edge' that's when the ball was set rolling.
I can only talk about myself and how it has impacted my journey. People think I have a lot of perks as compared to others. However, there comes a lot of burden of expectation from us, you are expected to be like your parents, comparisons are drawn. My mom has done over 300 films and I can't just be like her in my first few films. Initially, I was burdened with this thought and was very stressed about all this. Soon, I started to find a way out and detached myself from these thoughts. I told myself, 'I can't change people's perception but I can change mine, right?' I started to better myself in every way possible. And what I have learnt in my course of time is the more famous you are, you have to struggle more to live up to the expectations of the people and this can wear a person down.
On Social media warriors and negativity all over the internet
When Rishi sir passed away, and earlier when Shabana (Azmi) mam had a horrific accident, the pictures went viral and I was stunned and shocked to see. I don't understand what kind of pleasure do people derive by sharing these images? A few years ago, when social media came, it was a good thing as people used microblogging site for information and used social media to stay connected, it was a beautiful thing. Now, the same thing has turned into a horrendous experience. Particularly in Sushant's case, he was in his prime years it is so unfornunate, you are a super successful actor, the world is your oyster and for whatever reason, you take this drastic step and the social media vents out negativity and has turned a vicious circle.
I think we should rather be focussing on what we as a society can learn from this and what can be done if a person is feeling lonely or is depressed and why the world is against us? How can we solve these issues and problems and confide in people? With his death, people are making it about themselves, writing an obituary, condolences as if they are his best friend.
As far as I know, there are so many actors getting their lives in between and bringing into notice what happened with them. Let us mourn his loss, celebrate his life honour everything he has done and then talk about yourself. I feel so tacky, shoddy when celebs are coming out and saying that his death is a foul play, investigate his death. Is this a detective show? The authorities, investigators and police are doing their job, I mean what is going on here? Certain restrictions need to be imposed on social media, the freedom of speech and thought is not doing any good as I feel there is too much power and with all this happening I feel that we don't deserve.
When will he start shooting?
When the lockdown started, I was shooting for the show Cartel, and then lockdown was announced, so maybe we will resume shooting towards the middle of July. Though I can't say anything at the moment as with the ongoing pandemic the situations keep changing each day, what may hold true today may not hold true in a week's time. I want to get back on the set but I also don't want to get paranoid as I stay with my parents and I am taking necessary precautions. My mom and dad aren't young so I need to be extremely careful.
I will be seen in Amazon Prime's show 'Kamathipura' which is a crime thriller and I am playing a negative role. Then there is 'Inside Edge 3' by the end of the year. A Netflix show called 'Masaba Masaba' and I am doing a cameo in it. Code M season 2, Cartel and couple of other projects that I can't talk bow. Well, looking at the current scenario OTT platforms are doing well. I hope to keep doing good work and keep my audience entertained.