Angad Bedi reprises his role of Arvind Vashishth in Inside Edge 2. The actor plays the skipper of a new cricket team in the latest season of Amazon Prime Video’s hit web series.
Angad was recently also seen in Bollywood film The Zoya Factor and ZEE5 show The Verdict – State vs Nanavati. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the actor talks about the second season of Inside Edge, his upcoming film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl and getting typecast.
Excerpts from the conversation:
You have been perfectly balancing web and films. Is there any major switch that you need to do between the two mediums?
As far as performance is concerned, it is the same. The only switch is that the graph of a character becomes a lot deeper (in web). You go into the backstory. There is a certain culmination of the character. You hardly see that in a film where you can’t concentrate on more than a few primary characters. But when you make shows like Inside Edge, there are some eight primary characters. For me, films like Pink or Soorma got me recognition. What the digital platform has done for my career is that people are in a position to cast me for a feature film. It is an added benefit because a lot of times people say, ‘Oh, we didn’t realise you could play this part in this way.’ So a digital platform gives you that leverage which may be a film cannot right now. So I think it is a great time for actors, technicians and filmmakers to be in this field because everybody gets to showcase their work.
How deep are we going into your character of Arvind Vashishth this season?
Arvind Vashishth is ten times stronger in the second season. He has come back with a vengeance. He still believes in doing right and is holding on to his principles. But the only thing is that he will not be fooled anymore. He will not be taken for granted. He’s got some strategies. He stood up for what was right. He stood up against match-fixing. He stood up against the players. He’s back with the same set of values. So yeah, there’s a lot of purpose behind this man.
— Inside Edge (@InsideEdgeAMZN) November 26, 2019
How big has Inside Edge 2 gone?
Scale wise, we shot in Georgia, Jamaica, South Africa, Mumbai and Delhi. A lot of us are coming back, and there are some new characters. There were still things left open-ended like Arvind, after being captain of the team, was dropped. He was made to sit out. Here you see the culmination of the character like the rise of a phoenix. He has taken control. He’s taken charge of the whole situation as far as cricket is concerned. He becomes a force to be reckoned with.
Inside Edge started the whole trend of web series in India. It even got an Emmys nomination. At that time, was there a risk involved to sign such a project?
We were part of Amazon’s first Indian original. This could have gone either way, but at the same time, it’s been a boon for the Indian market. Now everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon. It also gives us great credibility that we were the first people to do so.
The Emmy nomination is a beautiful feeling. Now there is a responsibility because Sacred Games’ second season got mixed reviews. What happens is that when you up the game with the first season, your game has to go ten notches higher in the second season for you to maintain good equilibrium. Now, there are expectations and responsibility, but at the same time, we have taken the challenge head on.
Your recent projects have mostly been ensembles. Does being a part of multi-starrers make things less risky, or there’s more challenge to find your ground in the team?
Eventually, it’s the role. In today’s time, it’s all about performance. Everybody needs good content, and this is the time of actors. So if you are getting great roles to play, you have to go ahead and do that because these are the kinds of roles which filmmakers everywhere will watch and cast you. I feel that it’s a great place to be in because a lot of casting, even overseas, happens because of shows in India.
How was it working with Janhvi Kapoor and Pankaj Tripathi in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl?
That is my first solo film. Yes. It’s a brother-sister relationship, and Janhvi Kapoor is the torchbearer. She is a lovely girl. She is a very spontaneous actor and very well brought up. Whenever she performs, I see a reflection of Sridevi ji in her eyes. And she’s extremely hard working. We couldn’t have asked for a better actor than Pankaj sir playing the father. He’s doing exceptionally well in his projects. There’s not a single project now that people don’t want to cast him in.
It is the biggest honor for any actor because it’s not every time that a producer like Karan Johar and Apoorva Mehta put their faith in you.
But after Soorma, you will again be playing the brother in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. Isn’t that typecasting you?
It’s better for me as an actor. There’s an image you carry, and then there’s a totally different thing of projecting yourself in diversified roles which is very important for the longevity of an actor. I enjoy playing not to my strengths. I want my weakness to become my strength. So when I did a film like Pink, that is not what my DNA is. However, I got a wonderful opportunity to work with stalwarts like Shoojit Sircar and Mr. (Amitabh) Bachchan. So it gave a great push to my career. I have realised that people like to see me in a place where I can sacrifice, so I love to play those kinds of parts. I have been blessed in a way where I have not got parts which are right now conventional. I know if somebody casts me in a film based in Punjab or North India and if I have to play a guy who is funny, witty and adorable, I’ll be able to pull it off very well. But these tracks like Pink or Soorma or The Kargil Girl are difficult roles, so I prefer doing something like that. People should see you more in different kind of roles or else you get slotted.
What kind of cinema would you like to leave behind for your daughter when she grows up?
That’s what I am working towards. I want to do stuff which she can be proud of. Tomorrow, she will be going and watching stuff which is related to me whether it is a feature film or digital show. I want her to feel proud that this is what her dad does. We have to try to be a good ambassador for young people and hopefully through my body of work I can achieve that. Eventually, what matters is how you have lived your life. So as long as I have lived my life in the most honest way, I will have life sorted.