India seems to have finally ventured into the space of the digital world, where Amazon Prime has introduced the web series, Inside Edge which has mega stars like Vivek Oberoi and Richa Chaddha among others.
This also becomes the first show to be exclusively available on a platform which requires a subscription.
We got in a candid chat with actor Tanuj Virwani, who plays Vayu Raghavan in the show and asked him some important factors!
You have done three films so far and this is your first web show! How has the experience of working in a web series been?
The experience of working on the web series has been absolutely phenomenal. In many ways, there is not a big difference between this series and films as the scale of Inside Edge specifically is really huge. If there is one thing that is different between the two mediums, then that is how the web show doesn't have songs and dances (laughs)! There is no running around the trees or lip-syncing songs which, to be honest, I did miss because I love doing that. I am a filmy person and I love to do all that, but that doesn't take away the fantastic experience that working on the show has been.
Tell us something about your character!
My character's name is Vayu Raghavan who is a talented but brash player for the Mumbai Mavericks team in the show. He is extremely arrogant and only plays for himself, where the team doesn't matter to him. There are a lot of things happening on and off-field for the man and all the above takes a turn when turbulences occur in his life and soon, he has to respond to them. One will not be able to figure out what happens until the very end.
The fact that India finally has its own and original web series is revolutionary in many ways. Do you feel that the digital medium has taken over or atleast announced its arrival amidst television and films?
I don't think it has taken over, but yes, it has certainly arrived. In a time where television and films continue to hold their ground, the idea of a webseries or a web original is amazing as it is a good addition to the current scenario. Plus, factors like sex, drugs and other things cannot be shown on television or films without censorship and the independence to explore the same on the web makes gives an edge. And the biggest edge that this format has is binge watching! The idea of binge watching is still at its nascent stage in India and so far, I have gotten the feedback about how they finished watching all the episodes in a matter of a couple of days! So hearing all this is absolute bliss that people, once hooked on to the show would want to watch it all!
The idea of subscribing to a web platform and then watching shows is still not completely accepted in India. With people paying money for films and TV already; paying for the web is not an option completely yet? What do you feel about that?
That is a completely valid point and I agree! However, I am not well aware of the business end of all this but I am sure that a juggernaut like Amazon thinking of investing in such a medium is a move they would have thought through. And, the biggest edge the viewer gets here (specifically with Amazon Prime) is that, not only do you get access to a plethora of shows and specials, but you get some amazing discounts on shopping on the website too. Today, our lives are so busy, that removing the time to go into a shopping mall to buy stuff is not easy. Online shopping is constantly on the rise and this (Amazon Prime) is an added benefit!
Now that you have ventured into films and web both, what do you feel about venturing into television?
To be honest, I don't want to be one of those actors who tries everything and doesn't have a stronghold on a particular medium. And here in India, people still pursue an actor according to a medium and that will take time to change. For example, in the West, an actor like Kevin Spacey can do a TV show like the House Of Cards and then can be a part of a film like Baby Driver and still be accepted and appreciated on both. Here, that doesn't happen easily. Furthermore, when I wanted to be an actor, I was clear that it I wanted to be a film actor. Even agreeing to do Inside Edge was because the scale and treatment of the show is exactly like films and if I may say, bigger than the films I have done so far. I have nothing against television but the change will take time.
What would your message to the readers and the audience overall be?
Firstly, I would like to thank one and all who have seen the show so far. Whatever you felt about the show, I request to spread the word to your friends, family and everyone. And apart from that, the world is currently filled with negativity everywhere, so I urge everyone to pause your life, seize the moment and enjoy it while it lasts. We have got one life, so let's make the most of it. Be happy and be healthy!