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Vijay Varma on Ok Computer: ‘The biggest victory for us is a show like this is being made in India’

Produced and co-written by Ship of Theseus and Tumbbad fame Anand Gandhi, the Disney+ Hotstar six-episode series Ok Computer is directed by debut directors Pooja Shetty and Neil Pagedar.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi |
March 25, 2021 6:05:18 pm
vijay varma, ok computer, vijay varma ok computerVijay Varma essays the role of a cyber cell officer in Ok Computer. (Photo: Vijay Varma/Instagram)

Actor Vijay Varma essays the role of a cyber cell officer, Sajjan Kundu, who is “an angry young geek” in Anand Gandhi’s upcoming sci-fi comedy Ok Computer. When a self-driving car kills a pedestrian, Varma is called in to investigate the case. He is joined by Radhika Apte who owns a private firm that looks into the ethical treatment of robots and is not ready to believe AI can harm humans.

“Ok Computer is a show set in the future and computers are the future of our lives. I feel it is an apt title for a sci-fi series,” Varma told indianexpress.com. “The tone of the show is comedy. It’s more of a satire than a drama. It has an extremely unique tone. I would love to watch people’s reaction and find out how they feel about it. The biggest victory for us is a show like this is that it is being made in India.”

Produced and co-written by Ship of Theseus and Tumbbad fame Anand Gandhi, the Disney+ Hotstar six-episode series is directed by debut directors Pooja Shetty, who is a former architect and designer, and writer-filmmaker Neil Pagedar.

“Neil and Pooja are the most democratic and chill people to work with. Neil is impeccable with his dialogue writing and humour. Pooja’s strength lies in design, compositions, colours and schemes. So, they complement each other so well and are such a solid unit to work with. This is something that people say before releases, but you will have to watch an episode or two to understand how wacky, bizarre and refined their humour is. It doesn’t have the fart jokes, it doesn’t have the sexual innuendos, it’s just pure intelligent writing,” Varma said about the first-time directors.

Though Varma essays the role of an inventor of technology who doesn’t like it anymore, in real life, the actor is an “avid gamer” and is “waiting to get his hands on PlayStation 5”.

 

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He even remembers his first ‘overwhelming’ introduction to a computer at the science lab of his school. The actor recalled, “In school, we were taken to the science lab, and there was a big computer with a floppy disk inside it. It all seemed so overwhelming and daunting to look at. I felt if I press something, it can completely misfire. It felt like an alien object, and now we have used so much of it that it has become our second nature.”

Vijay Varma has been on a roll recently. After his breakout performance in the 2019 film Gully Boy, he has wowed the audience with his short yet impressive stint on the web platform with web series like A Suitable Boy, She and Mirzapur 2. However, the 34-year-old actor has been ‘most excited’ about Ok Computer for the last two years. For him, it is a “passion” project”.

“I had to pick up some fights with others and with myself to make this happen. A lot of time had to be given to this before I even started filming it. I had to convince myself that I can take this bet and do a concept that has never been attempted in India before. In order to make that time, I had to let go of a couple of projects, which I had been committed to. So, I took up both the fights and made sure that I stay completely arrested by this project,” Varma shared.

The actor is in a happy space currently “because a lot of the projects that I was associated with for a few years, and had not found the release, are suddenly out. OTT platforms have made my work more accessible. I feel the reset button to my life has been pressed and everything that I’ve done is out now. So, it feels great.”

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Ok Computer, also starring Jackie Shroff, will start streaming on Disney+ Hotstar on march 26.

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