He is considered one of the best stand up comics out there with over 600 live performance to date and that number does not count his many television appearances. Now audiences will see a new side of Vir Das as he takes on the role of Chandu in Badmaash Company. In the film, he plays a wanna be actor and Vir says that Chandu is very “filmy” and very “endearing.” Check out this fun and funny interview with the actor as he talks… Well, you just have to experience the man for yourself…
Tell us about your character Chandu.
My name is Vir Das. I play Chandu, full form Chandan Malpani. My character is very filmy and that’s why I was attracted to him. Everybody considers me a very upmarket comedian so I wanted to play something that was very local and Mumbai and in that filmy space. So, it was acting wise, a huge challenge. Chandu is very, very quick… his pace is quick as well and at the risk of sounding boastful, Karan achieves the most success in the movie and Bulbul has the largest heart, Zing has a lot of empathy but Chandu has the most fun so that’s what attracted me to the movie! Chandu is a very filmy, very fast and very zany character. His pace is set a little higher than the others and as a character he is very endearing. He has a lot of women in the movie so it was a big acting job for me because it’s as far from my daily life as possibly can be.
How close is Chandu to Vir?
I think they couldn’t be more different! I’m not funny in real life. Most people see me on stage and think I am this great funny zany guy, but no I’m very serious and Chandu is very funny in real life. Chandu has money. I have no such thing. Chandu has women who talk to him… I have no such thing so we are pretty far apart! So, I like the role.
Your first reaction when you read the script and met Parmeet Sethi.
I read the script in a room full of mirrors at YRF. Firstly, you are invited into the purview of YRF- the fortress. Immediately you feel you may have done something wrong, so you have this sheepish grin when you are reading a YRF script. I felt Adi and Parmeet were on the other side of the mirror making notes, so I would kind of laugh very loudly and go haha and look at the mirror and give them a reaction. I didn’t feel like I was reading a great script. It was very fun and it went very fast. I didn’t feel the film was trying too hard in any area to be something. Not trying hard at all is something I can relate to in my life.
Did you have to research on your role?
Yes, Parmeet told me I am too up market and urbane for this role. I watched a lot of Anil Kapoor movies and Govinda and Mithun movies, but I know a lot of people work from the mind set. I kind of work from the body up and the first thing is the walk – Chandu’s shoulders are a little lower and have a kind of 1980’s hero’s walk so I kind of just took it from there and yeah I watched a lot of movies.
Tell us about your audition.
It wasn’t an audition. I went in and I met Parmeet and he said you look a lot younger than you do in your photographs. I said okay I’ll fire my photographer and then you know we kind of connected. I know it sounds like we are dating or something but we are not! He said, I know you can handle the serious parts of it, I know you are a good actor, but can you handle the non serious parts? So, there is something called the Bangkok lady scene in this movie. He made me read that and I was driving home and you know, usually it takes something like 3-6 years to hear from a production house I audition for and he called me back in 15 mins while I was still driving and I had the role!
Favorite line from the movie.
There’s this segment where Chandu sort of turns to Zing and says “Yeh kya bol raha hai saala.” I can’t explain but it’s kind of nice and I like “Madhuri ko sign karte hain mere opposite” It’s like a fantasy of mine which my character seems to have readily grasped.
What was it like working with Parmeet Sethi.
Parmeet is a great man. He’s not like his onscreen persona at all. When you go in you’re probably expecting that guy from DDLJ so if you don’t get your line right he’ll beat the shit out of you with a hockey stick and all! But he’s such a gentle guy, he loves working with actors and keeps giving you cues. The way he says action is very interesting…he’ll always say action in the mood he wants you to do the scene in. So, you don’t have to get into any deep discussion about “mera movitation kya hai” just listen to Parmeet’s “action” to get an idea of the mood of the scene and just kind of grasp that.
How about Shahid, Meiyang and Anuskha?
It was great..Anuskha and I had a tough time talking initially. Anuskha is about 16 feet taller than I am but once they gave me heels and they kind of brought her down and with our significant surgeries we had a great time! Chang and I are both musicians so we like having a good time together so we made sure of that. I introduced him to the guitar in this movie. Shahid is just great..we had good chemistry in the movie as Chandu and Karan – it’s important for them to have that kind of dynamic because Chandu always looks to Karan for that kind of affirmation. I like slapping Shahid on the back after a scene!
Tell us about the styling of the film.
The hair..I went through immense pain with my hair extensions..its just 2 percent short of what prisoners in Guant