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Vir Das on Coronavirus Lockdown, Celeb Workout and Cooking Videos: Everybody Should Manage Their Sensitivities

A screen grab of the video via Youtube.

A screen grab of the video via Youtube.

Actor-comedian Vir Das speaks to us about the coronavirus lockdown, the irony of celebs posting workout and cooking videos, raising funds for charity and his new Netflix series 'Hasmukh'.

The world is currently facing a tough time as the novel coronavirus has forced people to stay at their homes. But many have found new and interesting ways to kill the monotony of quarantine by doing activities which are not only creative but can also help in raising funds for the lesser privileged.

Actor-comedian Vir Das has also stepped up to do his bit amid the coronavirus crisis. On his end, Vir is raising funds through 'Vir Das At Home' where he performs for an online audience.

“I do an online show every night to try and raise some money for different charities. I kind of have made that my mission in quarantine to raise as much money for as many different charities as I can,” Vir tells News18 over a telephonic interaction.

Apart from raising money and supporting the needy, many celebrities have also taken it upon themselves to entertain fans by doing several activities and posting related videos on social media. Most common among them all are workout and cooking clips from home.

However, they’ve received mixed response as well. While many have found such clips inspiring, a section of people criticised the stars, saying that people around the world have "bigger concerns" than working out during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some pointed out the irony of the coronavirus lockdown as they claimed that the rich and famous are busy posting food pictures while the poor and vulnerable are thinking about how they will manage their next meal.

Laughing off the debate, Vir offered a simple solution to this. He says, “I think everybody should manage their own sensitivities,” adding, “If you're sensitive about something, don't watch it. And, you know, one man's insensitive is another man sensitive. So I think everything is subjective in that sense.”

Vir adds that people should not feel targeted with such remarks and should have the freedom to say whatever they want about whoever they want.

Explaining further that as an artist one needs to have thick skin, he says, “I never feel targeted. I take the freedom to say whatever I want about whoever I want. And I have to extend that freedom to other people as well to say things about me. You know, having people show up to your house or having people hit you or be violent or threatening you is targeting but being trolled or having news articles about you, I don't feel that is targeting at all.”

On the work front, Vir has seen his latest adventure Hasmukh, a dark comedy series, roll out on Netflix.

While comedy itself is a difficult genre to master, thriller is hardly ever associated with it. But, we can trust Vir to combine the two. The 10-episode long web series, in which he is also credited as the co-creator alongside filmmaker Nikkhil Advani, is a dark comedy series about a man from a small town of Uttar Pradesh who discovers that murder is his mojo for humour by chance.

Talking about the unlikely premise of Hasmukh, he tells us, “I thought this would be funny about four years ago, because I know that every comedian specifically is very OCD about the things they do before they get onstage. And I also know that you don't really learn how to be a good comic unless you lean into your base emotion. So I said what if we took that to the extreme and made him a murderer?”

“I took it to Nikhil, who really liked the idea and said we should add a little more darkness to it. So once we did that we ended up having a show, it took about three years for us to put it together,” Vir adds.

Stressing that we are going to need to smile more than ever for a while now, Vir extends his advice for the budding comedians saying, “If you're a funny person, this is the time to do your job, but don’t follow Hasmukh in any in any way, shape, or form.”

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