Stand-up comedian Vir Das portrays a character that will surprise viewers in Revolver Rani

As Rohan Mehra, Vir Das has done the unthinkable. He has managed to essay a selfish, manipulative and misogynistic character in Revolver Rani. Now what exactly prompted a good-looking stand-up comedian to take up that role? “I’d be more than happy if people love whatever I am doing! Actually when Tigmanshu Dhulia called me for Revolver Rani and Sai Kabir (Shrivastav), our director, narrated the script to me, I was taken aback as to why they wanted me to play Rohan. I told them I was the reason people laugh in a movie and that they have chosen the wrong guy!” The filmmakers didn’t think so, as they wanted someone with no negative recall value for this character. That Vir has studied theatre acting from Knox College, Illinois, also helped.

Anti-love story

Revolver Rani (releasing April 25) is a satirical and unusual love story set against the backdrop of politics in the Chambal region. Vir plays a treacherous boyfriend to political leader Alka Singh (Kangna) who loves him immensely and has to protect him from her enemies. “It’s an anti-love story. And I get to be the hero! How much better can it get?” he jokes.

But playing negative was not all that easy even for the trained talent. “Yes, I’d say finding that tone was a challenge. But once I was there, there was no looking back,” he says. Asked if the possibility of a negative response to as harsh a character as this perturbs him, he says, “Not really. I am fortunate that films are not my only gateway to the audience. Hence there is a trust between the artist and his audience. I would neither like to lose that nor would I want them to say he’s serving the same dish again. That’s why I feel I should keep doing fresher things.”

With Revolver Rani, Vir has only unlocked a plethora of unique films in his kitty. There is Ajay Bhuyan’s Amit Sahni Ki List about a man, the four girls in his life, the man’s OCD and his list of must-haves. There is Akashdeep Sabir’s funny Santa Banta featuring Boman Irani as Santa and Vir as Banta. Paran Bawa’s adult comedy Saxxx Ki Dukaan has him playing a double role. “I am committed to doing an adult comedy once a year at least,” he says, with a straight face. And wait! He even has a very serious role to do in 1984. That film is based on the Sikh riots of 1984 and Vir and Soha Ali Khan play a young Sikh couple caught in the aftermath of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Asked about dabbling in different genres, Vir shrugs and smiles, “What can I say? Bring it on!”