Being a star kid is a double-edged sword: Tanuj Virwani

Actress Rati Agnihotri’s son feels the roles offered in OTT platforms are better than Bollywood

Actor Tanuj Virwani, who started his career as an actor with the movie ‘Luv U Soniyo’ in 2013, has now made it big in the OTT platform.
He played Vayu Raghavan, a hot-headed but dependable star cricketer, in the 2017 Amazon original ‘Inside Edge’. The actor won much applause for the role, and since then, there has been no looking back for him. 

Tanuj is back on the screen with the second season of ‘Inside Edge’, releasing on December 6. It also stars Angad Bedi and Richa Chadda.  

In a chat with Metrolife, he talks about his character Vayu, the pressures of being a star kid and why he choose to do more web series than films.   

Your character Vayu Raghavan was loved and appreciated by many...

When we were shooting for season one of the show, none of us predicted that the OTT platform would blow up in such a huge manner. But we did know that we were working on something different and the script was relatively fresh to us. Something of this sort wasn’t attempted in the webspace before. So this time, there was a lot more responsibility and expectations that we had to take care of. The first season saturated well with the audience, now there is an eagerness to know what happens next to these characters and, of course, the storyline. It was a good challenge. As an actor, that’s what I wanted. I don’t want to keep repeating the same thing but evolve and improve every time. It has been a fantastic journey so far.

How different is your character in season 2?

We have already set the tone of Vayu’s character in the first season. This time, it is more of the circumstances that he has pitted against and the things that he has to undergo, that sort of defines the kind of man he is. Vayu has definitely become a lot more responsible and experienced. He has now become the captain of the team. He is in a different headspace who is not just in charge of his own game but answerable for the team’s performance. Every character has evolved in this season.

You primarily worked in web series though you have done a few films before....
You know honestly, your career doesn’t always depend on the decisions you take in life. It is also about making the most out of the opportunities you get. I had done a couple of movies and they didn’t do well. After that, OTT space started gaining momentum. It is a good space and there are some great shows coming up these days. The kind of offers I get as an actor, perhaps, is better than what I would be getting in movies. It is not a conscious decision that I have made to stick to OTT platforms. If I get a good role in a movie, by all means, I would be happy to do it.

Moving forward, what kind of roles do you want to be seen doing?

As an actor, I feel one needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. I don’t want to ever get comfortable in one specific space or role. Hopefully, by the end of my career, my resume will be filled with different types of characters.

Your mother, Rati Agnihotri, is one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry. Is there any kind of pressure being a star kid?

When I first started my career, there was a lot of pressure, but soon I realised that it was a self-imposed pressure. My mom built her body of work over 30 to 35 years, and I have to be realistic that I cannot be as good as her with just three films. Moreover, I am not here to compete with anyone, even if it’s my own mother. We both have different styles of working. I don’t take that pressure anymore.

Having said that, being a star kid is like a double-edged sword; you do well and people say, it’s because I am a star’s son, and if I don’t do well, people say that he couldn’t do well even though he had everything in place (laughs). Thankfully, for me, not many know that I am Rati Agnihotri’s son because of my surname and I like that anonymity.

How do you usually spend your time when you are not working?

I like getting out of town with friends, family and my dogs. We have a farmhouse in Lonavala, so I like going there, its a break from the city life. Otherwise, I love to play cricket, eat good food and binge-watch movies and web series. I need some ‘me’ time to re-energise before I get back to work.

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Well, there are a couple of things in the pipeline. I have another show coming out early next year called ‘Code M’ with Jennifer Winget, Rajat Kapoor and Seema Biswas. I am currently shooting for another ALTBalaji production called ‘Cartel’, but I can’t talk too much about it. I have another web series coming up on Amazon Prime called ‘Kamathipura’. I am hopeful that I will get to explore different roles and characters. That’s what is keeping me busy these days.

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