Finding your true calling is something that can be extremely fulfilling in life, especially if done right. Here’s an example of one person who went from directing to modelling and acting, and he did so with a bang. We’re talking about none other than Tanuj Virwani, whose major breakthrough came in 2017 with his role as Vayu Raghavan in Amazon Original’s first Indian web-series, Inside Edge.
Even though most of you already know this actor, who portrayed a modern, bad-ass cricketer in the show, not many of you may know that he is also the son of the extremely famous yesteryear actress, Rati Agnihotri. Recently, Read Scoops had a chat with Virwani, giving viewers the chance to get to know more about him and his career. Keep reading for more…
Tanuj Virwani social profiles 🌐:
TANUJ VIRWANI’s Exclusive Interview With Read Scoops:
The actor was born and brought up in Mumbai, and will be turning 32 at the end of this month (29th November). He’s done a few big screen films, but none turned out to be bigger than Inside Edge. Since then, he’s been working on a couple of projects including the much-awaited Season 2 of Inside Edge.
Giving a small introduction to our viewers, Virwani said, “I’ve been in the industry since the last three and a half years now. My mother, Rati Agnihotri, has been around since a few decades. I began my career as an assistant director having worked in films like Aao Wish Karein and Chance Pe Dance, and it was a while before I realized my real calling was acting. Since then, directing plans have kept aside as I believe I’m meant to be in front of the camera rather than behind.”
Q. Would you say that Inside Edge was your biggest project yet?
“Yes. But, to be honest, no one knew that it was going to be such a hit when we were working on it, as the whole concept of a web-series was still very alien to us. At the time of shooting for it, there were no big stars signing up to do web series and this space was still in its early days, so we had no idea what was going to happen and how this was going to turn up. The process is always greater than the result so we just gave it our best and the results were fabulous, as Inside Edge was also recently nominated for Best Drama series at the 46th International Emmy Awards, which will take place later this month.”
Q. Was Vayu Raghavan fictional or was he based on a real-life cricketer?
“The writers and producers of the show wanted Vayu Raghavan to include all elements of the ideal modern-day cricketer. There was a lot of talk about the character resembling a couple of cricketers, with people wondering ‘Is it Kohli? Is it Yuvraj?’ But the character was a completely fictional one that had nothing to do with any of these real life stars. In the years gone by, we’ve seen many legends of the game like Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Ganguly and others, and these guys went about their game in a completely different way as compared to the newer players like Kohli or Hardik Pandya. These guys have that SWAG about them and they’re fearless, not afraid to come out and hit a six off the first ball without needing to get an eye in. Those were the kind of elements we wanted to incorporate into the character.”
Q. If you were a captain, would you be an aggressor on the field like Kohli, or would you be a calming presence like MSD?
“As a person, I’m very competitive in real life and on the field, aggressive too, so I believe I would be more like Kohli. However, when I say aggressive, it doesn’t mean no thinking and just doing everything in the moment. Of course, there’s a method behind the madness and a lot of thought put behind everything that he does, and that’s why he’s such a success today. I would be more like Kohli, but I must say, I love MS Dhoni.” (As do we, Tanuj ❤)
Rati Agnihotri has been a well-known and highly respected name in the industry for several years now. After her Tamil debut in 1979, she did her first Bollywood movie in the 1981 blockbuster, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, starring opposite Kamal Haasan. Marrying businessman Anil Virwani in 1985, Tanuj is Agnihotri’s only son. Interestingly, Tanuj Virwani is also rumoured to have dated Kamal Haasan’s daughter, Akshara.
Q. Did you find it easier to get into the industry since you are the son of a famous person?
“It’s more like a double-edged sword actually. When you’re the child of someone who already hails from the industry, there are a lot of expectations for you to start well, which are pretty unrealistic. However, in my case, there wasn’t much of a problem as most of the people I worked with didn’t initially know I was related to Rati Agnihotri, as I use my name Virwani while she uses her maiden name Agnihotri. The plan for me is always to work well and get better with each and every project.”
Q. What projects are you currently working on that we should look forward to?
“After the success of the first season, the shooting for Inside Edge Season 2 is currently on, which should be out some time next year. Apart from that, I’m working on this Balaji Films project with Ekta Kapoor called ‘The Family’. It’s another web series with a different concept, so I’m pretty excited about this one.”
Q. Tell us something more about Tanuj as a person. Something your fans don’t know about you as yet.
“These days, with social media and stuff, everything is more or less out there in the open and there’s not a lot that the fans don’t know. However, I am a huge cricket fan. One of my favourite hobbies is collecting props from old movies, and I also have a vast comic book collection. I’m actually a shy person as opposed to the role you’ve seen me playing in Inside Edge. There’s a transformation that happens within me when the director says ‘lights, camera, action!’
Q. Any ultimate goal or ambition?
“There’s no particular goal as such, but I hope to always do good work throughout my career. I believe I’ve hit the scene at the right time. 5-6 years back, there were actors coming only from TV, theatre and films. Now, there’s the digital platform which has changed the game completely, giving many more opportunities. When someone looks back at my career or when I myself look back at my career, I want to be known as a good actor and not as someone who could only portray a single kind of character.”
Q. Any message for young and aspiring actors in the country?
“I think it’s necessary to have a strong belief in yourself and your abilities. At the same time, you should be realistic. When you start a business, you conduct a SWOT analysis and similarly, you should do that for yourself as an actor. You should know what you’re good at and work on your weaknesses. If there are flaws, you should know how to camouflage them. It’s also important to have faith as there’s a good chance you may face rejection 9 out of 10 times. Sometimes, even the best actors get rejected for a certain role. You should make sure that you give yourself a timeline too. Give yourself 3 or 4 or 5 years to make something out of it, because you need to also have a back-up plan if acting doesn’t work out.”
On behalf of the entire team of Read Scoops, I would like to thank Tanuj Virwani for taking the time out to talk to us, and also to wish him the best of luck in taking his acting career to the next level. We hope he delivers as outstanding performances always, as he did in Inside Edge!
– Dwayne Fernandes, Read Scoops