In an exclusive interview with india-forums.com, Tanuj speaks about his upcoming film, the experience of working with his mother Rati Agnihotri and much more
Firstly, tell us a little about your character in the film
I am playing the role of Siddharth Ray in the film, who is called Sid among his friends. He is kind of an introvert and loves his poetry and his friends. But things get sour between them and Siddharth moves away to the States. But incidents of his past seem to haunt him and he decides to come back to Kasauli, to his estranged friend, the Kasauli Cowboys and his best friend Sam. That was the challenging part; I had to play two different age groups; one of a teenage boy and the other who is way matured, because of the 12 year time leap shown. It was quite challenging and fun to work on a character like that.
Your gang of friends in the film is called Kasauli Cowboys; do you also have a gang of friends in your personal life too?
(Laughs) I do have a group of boys, and we are friends like from school days. We don't have any name assigned though, but the bond is very strong. Most of us are from different professions and hence usually in different parts of the world, but thanks to BBM, WhatsApp and Skype, we are constantly in touch with each other. We have a pact that all of us would be in India once a year at the same time, this usually is in the month of December and hence it is the best time of the year for me.
How similar is Tanuj Virwani to Siddharth Ray?
On the contrary we are poles apart. Sid is the reserved, introvert kind of a person and as you may have noticed, I am very talkative. As opposed to Sid I am very gregarious and outgoing in real life. I am quite a prankster too, and did play a few pranks on my co-stars during the shoot of Purani Jeans. One of it I remember very well. I told Isabelle (his co-star) that my mother (Rati Agnihotri) wore a wig and that is why her hair looked so beautiful. So she had tried to tug on too her hair to check, and when my mom asked Isabelle why was she doing that, the entire unit burst into laughter. Oh! It was super fun.
Rati Agnihotri, your mother is one of India's most respected actors, how was it sharing the screen with her in the film?
It was a marvellous experience; she would be playing my on-screen mother too. In fact, the first shot that we took for the film, Purani Jeans was between her and me. The best thing about her is that she makes the opposite person so comfortable that one doesn't get pressurised and thus can give a great shot. At no point did I feel she is my real mother, because she is such a brilliant actor herself.
It is often said that it is easier for star kids to enter Bollywood, was it the same for you?
Every actor has to struggle to get into this industry; it's just that the kind of struggle is different. Being a star kid, the first step may be easy, but to make it or break it there after is totally in our hands. Even though I am the son of one of the most respected actors in Bollywood, I too had to give auditions. It is only after four rounds of auditions that I got the selected for Purani Jeans. I believe as a star kid, the expectations from us increase, as we have levels set by our parents, which we are often compared to.
With less than a month to the film's release, are you nervous or excited about it?
Actually the entire cast of the film is been so busy these days because of promotion and the music launch of the film which is slated on the 10th of this month. The 2nd song of the album, Dil Aaj Kal, has just released and it is also my favourite track in the film. Ram Sampat has done a fantastic job. So we have been so busy that at the end of the day neither I am nervous nor excited, I am just exhausted (laughs).
We wish that Purani Jeans reaches every milestone of success and here's wishing him all the best for his film and all future endeavours.