At a time when India- Pak tension are at a high, actor Viraf Phiroz Patel, last seen in Naamkarann, is doing his bit to cool things down. He has featured in a short film sponsored by a Pakistani brand shot in Turkey.
“I was the only Indian actor around, rest were Turkish. The Indian director put his foot down saying ‘I only want Viraf’ as opposed to a Turkish actor. Such trans-national collaborations have made the world a truly global village,” says Viraf with a smile.
He continues: “The film, as you must have seen is a simple concept of a newly married couple finding themselves in a foreign land, which makes their bond stronger. I really enjoyed shooting in Istanbul which is road link between Europe and Asia. The Turks are very much like us, conservative yet modern. Their woman are also every empowered.”
Viraf, who began with YRF show Mahi Way on Sony back in 2010 says that the show’s current re-run on Netflix has given him a new fan base owing to its huge reach.
He further adds: “The digital landscape is changing, social media marketing is the new phenomena, while search engine optimization is dying out. There is a huge market out there (65 crore Indians will have smart phones). My tube set has conked out six months back but I am not missing anything, thanks to my phone and laptop.”
However, here Viraf adds that he will continue to do broadcast TV. “Working in 2 dailies (Ek Boond Ishq and Naamkarann) have made me respect the TV scenario as well. Small screen story telling has its own metrics and audiences which is completely different from films and digital. Doing TV is no walk in the park as well. I am open to all mediums; my only criteria are good concept and a great team to work with.”
Moving on, ask about Naamkarann shutting shop and he opines: “I learnt a lot from Mahesh Bhatt and Guruodev Bhalla (makers). Full credit to them for making the show run one year after our cast was eased out, given the unpredictability of TV. Zain Imam and Aditi Rathore have done a superb job as the new leads.”
So did he watch the show with the new leads? “To be honest no, as that was the only way I could cut my emotional links with the show.”
Well said Viraf and keep up the good work, like always.