Exclusive: Rich Kid Tanuj Virwani On Fan Moments With Dhoni, Yuvraj, IPL & Web Series

Inside Edge fame Tanuj Virwani talks about growing up in South Bombay, his fan moments with Indian cricketers and his journey as an actor.

Tanuj Virwani, son of actress Rati Agnihotri began his acting career in 2013. In these 8 years, he has delivered remarkable performances in web series like Inside Edge, Code M, Poison, Tandoor and Cartel. But did you know that while growing up, he never thought of becoming an actor?

Here’s an excerpt from our interview with Tanuj Virwani:

You never wanted to be an actor! So, how did it happen?

Yes, acting was never on cards. I was always gravitated towards being creative. My father is a businessman, but I have never understood money or the commercial and business aspect of professional life. I am not very good at it. But when it comes to being creative, be it writing, or clicking a photographer, or directing a short film, anything that is creative sparks an interest in me a lot more.

But I never thought that I would become an actor. When I was younger, I was a fatty, I had braces. I used to stammer. I had no qualities of becoming a hero. And so, I became an assistant director. During the course of that stage in my life, while I was observing other actors on set, I found it fascinating. That’s how I picked my interest.

Now when you are an actor, are you happy?

Absolutely. I would also like to add that when I first started, I don’t think I was very passionate about acting. I wanted to be ‘famous’. I wanted to be a ‘star’. But these are the worst reasons for anyone to become an actor. You need to have your basics right. You need to put in your time, efforts and hard work. You need to be able to learn and hone your craft. You cannot become a ‘star’ until and unless you are a good actor. That’s how it works. So, I think that my failures taught me all of that.

I started getting passionate about acting around ‘Inside Edge’. It was the perfect storm.

You have always loved cricket. If you weren’t an actor, you would have probably become a cricketer. So, when you did ‘Inside Edge’, you had the best of both.

Yes, I felt like I was in candy land. We have shot three seasons so far. Every time I go back on set, it feels awesome. Excel makes it very authentic and real. We have cricket training camps, we get to meet some cricketers to get insights of the game. It’s a fantastic place for me to be. And it is a joy being on that set because everyone is so tuned in that it feels like a well-oiled machine. It feels good to play this hot-headed cricketer on the show.

Was your character fashioned a little bit on Yuvraj Singh?

A lot of people say that Vayu is a mix of Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh. But I just think that the makers are just trying to showcase what a quintessentially 21st-century cricketer is like. Because today’s cricketers are different from what Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are like. So, we just wanted to create one character which sums up today’s culture. Because today’s cricketers are fearless. They are warriors. They wear their emotions on their sleeves.

You were always a South Bombay kid who didn’t have too many friends from the industry. So did you discover a dressing room camaraderie during the shoot of Inside Edge?

I had a very interesting upbringing in Bombay because I was born at Breach Candy, then we shifted to Juhu, where we lived for 19 years. Then we shifted back to South Bombay. So, by the time I shifted back to Worli, I had become a lot more outspoken and confident as an individual. This is way before I became an actor. I think I am a pretty well-rounded Mumbaikar.

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But yes, we did develop a dressing room camaraderie with other actors on the show. We have continued being friends.

Did you ever have a fan moment with real-life cricketers, before or after Inside Edge?

Yes, many times. I religiously go for most of the IPL matches in Mumbai. And I have also attended the after-parties of IPL. So, I have had many fan moments, with Kohli, Sachin, Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh. In fact, I was at Yuvraj Singh’s party the night after we won the 2011 World Cup in Mumbai, I was at his penthouse with a friend of mine. I was 22 or 23 years old. So, I think I will continue being a fan of cricketers. Because apart from acting, cricket is my most favourite thing in the world.

Now when you have done a lot of web series and have played a variety, is there any character you identify with?

From all the characters I have played, I would probably identify with the lawyer from Code M. I think that is very close to what I am in my real life. And the competitive part of Vayu Raghavan (my character in Inside Edge) is what I identify with. Because I am very competitive by nature. But I also keep my emotions in check. So, it has to be an amalgamation of these two characters.

In the last few years, you have gone through a lot of change in yourself, be it your attitude towards acting, life, your parents, girlfriends or towards publicizing your relationships. You have come a long way! Isn’t it?

Yes. I am blessed that I have a lot of well-wishers and friends and family. But sometimes, in these extreme times, you have to be your own best friend. And being a single child, it came a little easier to me. I am fine with my own company. You have to keep your mental health in check. You have to keep telling yourself that things will be better and eventually, they do get better.

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