Tanuj Virwani: The character I play in Tandoor is one that any actor would kill for, literally

May 5, 2016 is etched in Tanuj Virwani’s memory forever. It was on that day his film One Night Stand released and flunked at the box office and the same day he signed the web series Inside Edge that changed the course of his career. The show made him an overnight sensation, and the industry discovered a bankable star on the web.

“Inside Edge gave a second lease of life in this industry, and I cannot be more grateful. And 5th of May 2016 is definitely a landmark day in my life. I just feel everything is pre-written and this was the perfect time for everything. The series opened doors for me to varied versatile projects and characters. It has given me so much love from the audience. I feel truly blessed,” says the actor, who is now looking forward to the forthcoming release of his next web project Tandoor. The show is inspired by true events and also stars Rashami Desai. It is co-produced by Chitra Vakil Sharma, Nivedita Basu and Chandni Soni. Virwani was in talks for Tandoor with the director of the show Nivedita Basu for a long time and around March last year when they were planning to take the next step, the lockdown happened. “We again picked up things around August- September. Dates at that time became a concern because I was stuck in continuity on another project and she needed me to look a certain way. Fortunately for Tandoor and unfortunately for the other project for some reason, there was a forced break and I was able to change my look as Nivi (that’s what Virwani calls Nivedita) wanted. So I gained some weight, grew my hair and beard out, and most importantly changed my mindset. The character I play in Tandoor is one that any actor would kill for, literally. There are many layers to my character, so it needed something extra,” he adds.

Virwani shares that he had to unlearn a lot of things and pick up some new things to work on the character. It was all the more challenging because he is playing a real-life character. “The character might not be an outright villain but he’s definitely lingering on the edges of what may be constituted as a villain, so I definitely had to get into that zone, both physically and mentally. I was drinking about ten cans of Coca-Cola every day, gorging on junks, not exercising to look the part. It was quite risky for me because I then had to shed those extra kilos for my other projects and that took a lot of time. I also had to get a typical Delhi accent… Kudos to Nivi and my hair and makeup girl for presenting me in a never-seen-before avatar,” the actor reveals.

Virwani and Basu know each other for a decade now, back then he was new to the industry, while Basu was an already established name. They developed a bond and spoke about working with each other which finally happened through now. “We never know what the fate of any particular project is going to be. Those 15-20 days I spent shooting, rehearsing, and reading on Tandoor are among the most creatively satisfying days of my career so far. I’ll always be grateful to Nivi for giving me this role. She is an amazing director who lets you be. She listens to everyone, gives them that respect, and then she does things in her own way, which is fascinating,” the actor praises Basu.