I’m called an actor, not a comic: Vir Das

  • Jigar Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2015 15:24 IST

In October last year, Vir Das got married to his girlfriend of five years, Shivani Mathur. Now, having settled into his new role of a husband, the stand-up-comic-turned-actor is set to get back to work. He’s currently busy organising the second edition of a comedy festival that will take place in the last week of January across three cities (Mumbai, Pune and Delhi). After this, he will dub for his upcoming film on the 1984 Sikh riots. Here, he talks about life post marriage, his comedy festival, and doing serious roles in films.

Now that you’re married, has your humour changed?

Actually, one of the shows I have planned at the festival has happened because of my marriage and my wife. During our wedding, Shivani told me that I’ve never done a show about myself and who I am in real life. So, in this show, I will share stories about my life… some are true and some are false.

Johnny Lever will also perform at your festival…

He has been my idol. In fact, even his daughter, Jamie, is going to pay tribute to him at the festival. The icing on the cake is that he’s going to perform for an entire hour.

How did you end up doing a film based on the 1984 Sikh riots?

It seems like a departure from the comedies you’ve done so far…It is different, yes. But the territory isn’t new to me. I had done theatre for five years before I even cracked my first joke. I have done serious stuff in the past, but I realise that it is up to the audience to decide if they want to see me in this avatar or any other. For instance, irrespective of the fate of Revolver Rani (2014), the movie was a game-changer for me. It made people realise that I can do different stuff.

As an actor, do you feel you’ve got your due?

My comedy is in English and it has got a very niche audience. So, if you count the number of people who have watched Delhi Belly (2011) and Go Goa Gone (2013), it will be bigger than the audience for all my shows put together. Films have a wider reach. Today, when I walk down the road, I’m called an actor and not a comic. So, I would say that I’m just happy to be working, and each year is better than the last. I compete with my work. My first stint in cinema was as a junior artiste in a film with Rishi Kapoor, and now, he’s playing my father in an upcoming movie.

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