Vir Das roots for India in his new Netflix Special; he also talks about his stint on Fresh Off The Boat
Vir Das is never out of work. The actor started 2020 with another Netflix stand-up comedy special titled Vir Das For India. Later this year, he begins shooting for the much-awaited zombie apocalypse action comedy sequel Go Goa Gone 2, while he awaits the launch of the comedy thriller series Hasmukh penned by him and also stars him in the title role. Vir’s work diary continues to be blocked for the entire year. The actor-comedian, who also happens to be a musician, is working on an album with his band Alien Chutney.
The love letter
Talking about his latest Netflix special, which went on air on January 26, he says, “I’ve been travelling a lot. I’ve travelled more in the last two-and-a-half years than I have in the last 15 years. I was just missing home, the big things and the little things, like Parle G and Chyawanprash. So I thought I would just write a special about this, juxtaposing the little things of India with the big things in India. Plus, it is also my third special (on Netflix). I have spoken a lot about myself in the first two specials and people have been kind enough to hear my story. I thought I would put India at the centre of this show and do a story about us,” explains Vir.
This special is different because the actor-comedian is a lot more candid about the political, bureaucratic and social changes in India. But he smartly uses cultural references to present his political point of view. In the trailer, he talks about Hitler, Indian men and their issues with homosexuality, and Mother Teresa. Vir is also quite vocal about his opinions on social media platforms, particularly Twitter.
“I draw a clear demarcation between my social media and my comedy. I am pretty direct on my social media because I have a platform and I try and use it. But I also think our subconscious is more political now. I don’t think I’m alone. It kind of seeps into my comedy,” he offers.
Vir’s appearance on an episode of the American primetime show, Fresh Off The Boat, opposite Preity Zinta last week grabbed headlines. This particular episode starring both actors may serve as the foundation for a spin-off series centred on an Indian family in the US, and is tentatively titled Magic Motor Inn. Talking about how he got the role, the actor reveals, “I was in Montreal at the Just for Laughs Festival when I got a call from my agents. They said ABC was happy with my work in Whisky Cavalier and I was one of the Indian artistes shortlisted for the role. I am a fan of Melvin Mar and Rachna Fruchbom (creators of the show). I flew down to LA and we discussed growing up as immigrants, and we read a few themes as well. Two weeks later, I got a call.”
Next, Vir will be seen in a dark comedy thriller web series titled Hasmukh (happy), which is about a serial killer. Produced by Eros Entertainment, it is directed by Nikkhil Advani. “Shooting is complete and it is in the editing room now. It will be out in the middle of the year. I was writing it, then I was the creative producer, then I just switched to acting. It’s in a good space and I am very excited,” he signs off.