Last seen opposite Sunny Leone in One Night Stand, Tanuj Virwani is thriving on the web now. The son of Rati Agnihoitri, Tanuj has made a mark with Farhan Ahktar's hit web series, Inside Edge, and is currently exploring directing, writing and acting in his own web films made under his banner, Pin Drop Violence. Naash, his latest web series, is now out, and an excited Tanuj discusses the show and its motivations.
Why didn’t you choose to act in this four-episode web series?
As tempting as it was, I decided against it as I don't think I am experienced enough to simultaneously handle the mantles of actor and director.
Naash deals with the slow deterioration of a relationship after the death of a child. What drew you to this complex theme?
I believe that in times of extreme loss, people either come together or isolate themselves. I wanted to tap into this facet of human behaviour. Films are a reflection of the times that we live in, sort of like looking into a dark mirror. I have simply tried to capture how we as a society continue to devolve.
What attracts you, and so many other filmmakers today, to the web medium?
The beauty of it is how you are not bound by business ideologies. There is much freedom to think of out-of-the box concepts.
The name of your banner, Pin Drop Violence, suggests that you will be making violent films.
Not at all. We are looking to explore all kinds of genres. Since the launch of the channel in December 2017, we have made a drama (Rihaa), a thriller (Jigsaw) and a romantic film (Scent of a Woman).
Why this fascination for violence?
I have enjoyed watching campy violence in films. Seeing Uma Thurman slay 100 people with her sword in Kill Bill is entertaining because it's campy and over the top. But I cringe when I watch realistic violence in a film. Film violence is very different from real world violence which I am against. Violence must be shown responsibly. Naash is not a violent film. It is a film about loss. I am not an aggressive person by nature.
You tasted success with Inside Edge. I read that you snorted milk powder in the scenes where you are supposed to be sniffing drugs.
Inside Edge has been a wonderful journey thus far and I cannot wait to get cracking on the next season. And yes, we used milk powder and sometimes Glucon D. They are not the most comfortable things to snort but well, it’s all to make it as real as possible.
Any plans of returning to feature films?
Currently, I am happy to explore the digital space as the opportunities here are more gratifying. I would love to do meaningful cinema but nothing has been signed as of now. Inside Edge Season 2 is poised to take over my life for the foreseeable future.