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01-31-2013, 05:37 PM #1
Vinay Virmani signs French Director's film
David’s young protagonist Vinay Virmani who is getting rapturous pre-release accolades for his performance as a young street musician whose life changes when Hindu fundamentalists kill the Christian priest who mentored him, has signed a film French director Jean-Francois Pouliot’s film on the basis of his striking post-debut performance.
Vinay was first seen in a rather unfunny comedy Breakaway based on the game of ice hockey.
He defends his debut stoutly. “It was a good learning experience. It did very well in its international version and not so well when it was released as Speedy Singhs in Hindi. The release in India was ill-timed.”
In the same breath Vinay, whose father Ajay Virmani is a self-made tycoon in Canada, admits David is like his real debut. “I don’t know how or why Bejoy Nambiar chose me for the part of one of three protagonists. He saw the street musician in me. And my job was to live up to his vision.”
Vinay spent close to six months preparing for the role. “I lost weight. I learnt to play the guitar. There was also a guitarist on locations to make sure I held the guitar properly and I played the strings correctly. But that was only the warming up. My real challenge began when we started shooting David in a chawl and on the streets of Mumbai during the monsoon.”
Vinay says his life changed while shooting in the slums. “I come from a fairly privileged background. Not that I was born with a golden spoon. I was a child when my dad found his business bearings in Canada. But while shooting for David a completely different world opened up to me. I saw from close quarters how ten people could live in a tiny room without complaining.”
The young actor says the experience changed his life. “My director Bejoy Nambiar is relentless. He doesn’t settle for anything less than the visuals in his head. All of us in the film had to push ourselves until we manifested Bejoy’s vision. I really couldn’t ask for more.”
More has come Vinay’s way. His next film is an oddball comedy entitled Doctor Cabby about a young Indian doctor in New York who finds himself working as a taxi driver after his medical degree proves invalid.
And, ahem, Vinay co-wrote the film. “I’ve seen Indians in Canada coming to see white-collar jobs ending up as cabbies. It’s heartbreaking.”
French director Jean-Francois Pouliot would direct Doctor Cabby.
Vinay himself plans to direct a film soon. “I give myself three years as an actor. Then I’ll direct a film. I already know what I’d make. It would be a crazy comedy.”
Vinay grew up with the filmy keeda. His father’s best friend is Akshay Kumar.
“Akshay stayed in our home whenever he was in Canada. Through him and through my Dad’s other friends from Bollywood I was constantly linked to Hindi movies,” says Vinay and adds, “I can’t wait to show David to Akshay. I know he’ll be proud of me.”
Vinay also assisted Deepa Mehta when she made her worst film to date Bollywood/Hollywood. Now David in which Vinay plays a lead, will be pitched against Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children this Friday.
“Life is kind of funny that way. I’ve my father’s business to look after. But I prefer to be an actor,” laughs Vinay.