Vir Das: You must understand the difference between politics and national pride

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Popular comedian Vir Das recently made his Netflix acting debut with Hasmukh. The dark comedy web-series began streaming from April 17 and is directed by Nikhil Gonsalves. Vir Das and Nikhil Advani have co-created the show.

Speaking to India Today Television about his character in Hasmukh, Vir Das said, “Hasmukh is a very bad comedian, that is the truth about him. He tells terrible jokes, is a horrible writer and very underconfident. He figures out that if he murders somebody within ten minutes of coming on stage, he is confident enough to stay. The jokes still are not very good but vo ruk sakta hai stage pe.”

He further added, “I decided if I was going to star in a Netflix series for India, I wanted it to be a very pulpy, loud, outrageous and a popcorn type of series. So, we created this world in television. You might remember shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Movers and Shakers etc. It is all set in that universe. I was writing for these shows when I came to Mumbai. It is just based on my experiences there. It is less of a comedy and is more on the dark side.”

Talking about stand-up comedy shows like The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, he said, “What worked for them is the gaaon ka andaaz bade sheher mei, they never lost that flavour. Now Indian stand-up comedy shows are very modern and urban. Look at Zakir Khan for instance.”

Revealing that his favourite stand-up comedian is Johnny Lever, Vir Das said “As you get older, you get better at stand-up. He has that ability to be 100% vulnerable, emotional on the stage. I don’t think anybody else has it.”

Today, as the world grapples with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Most of our lives have come to a halt. Talking about his daily routine during the nationwide lockdown that is imposed to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Das said, “I do a show every night. We (him and his company) found twelve different charities, and are doing twelve different charity shows. I have a show on Zoom every night for about 300 people that I do via video conferencing.”

He added, “I get up in morning, write some jokes, I run a company, I work from home and then take my dog for a walk at 5 pm and get ready for the 7 O’ clock show.”

Talking about people calling others anti-national, Das said, “I find that most people who call somebody as anti-national are in love with some politician, or a political representation. And no matter who you are, what your political leadings are, you must understand the difference between politics and national pride.”

He further added, “Please never forget that the politicians work for us. We are the nationals and they are just renting it from us. We own parliament, we own the Lok Sabha. We own all of this, they are just tenants over there. You can’t call the national as anti-national, that’s not how it works. We are the nationals. We are allowing them (politicians) to run us.”

ALSO READ | Hasmukh Review: Vir Das keeps this dull dark comedy afloat

ALSO READ | Vir Das on Hasmukh: He’s only ever free when he murders or is on stage

ALSO WATCH | Hasmukh actor Vir Das reveals his daily routine during the lockdown

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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