Now that Vir Das is doing mainstream Hindi films, he is unlikely to make those stinging savage stand-up jokes about Salman and other Bollywood biggies. This has not gone down with his fans. A lady has threatened to come after the stand-up comic virtuoso turned film actor Vir Das with a butcher's knife for acting in a Bollywood film after savagely satirizing all things about Bollywood on stage for years.
And this is just one of the innumerable hate messages and calls Vir has received ever since he made an impact as the blimp with the roving eye in Badmaash Company this week.
Chuckles the amused actor, "Those who have been watching me do stand-up comedy for years think I've sold out to Bollywood because I'm now working in the very system that I've been religiously mocking and demolishing on stage. But the fact of the matter is, I was I am and I will continue to be a stand-up comedian and I will continue to make jokes on the Indian movie industry."
Vir admits Bollywood biggies have a sense of humour about themselves. His favourite brunt of joke used to be George Bush and not Salman Khan, as rumoured. "Obama doesn't render himself to the same humour as Bush. So my new best friend is Tiger Woods. And of course IPL jokes," says Vir who is clearly steering away from taking potshots at Bollywood after Badmaash Company.
Vir Das Says Vir, "I started as a stand-up comedian and that's what I remain at heart. I haven't forgotten my beginnings in Chicago in 2004 as a dog-walker and a doorman at a hotel. So when we were back in the US to shoot for Badmaash Company, I'd shoot the whole day and then head for the local clubs to do my stand-up acts for two hours almost every evening."
It's a difficult choice for Vir. Even as he gets acceptance as an actor in Bollywood, he's expected to go up on stage and continue to jokingly abuse Bollywood.
Vir is amazed by the impact he has made in Badmaash Company. "When I signed the film, I knew it was a Shahid Kapoor film. I had seen how central he had been to his earlier films and expected this one to be no different. But I was pleasantly surprised when my role turned out to be so substantial."
Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly is his next release, and Vir is confident he'd make an impact. There seems to be as much of a bonding with Imran Khan as there was with Shahid Kapoor during Badmaash Company.
Says Vir, "I can't talk about my role. But I play a character diametrically opposite to the one in Badmaash Company. Imran and I became good friends during Delhi Belly. We're both comedy fans and Mac junkies. We had an insane amount of fun doing this film. We all knew we'd never have an experience like this again."
Producer Aamir Khan didn't make things easy . Vir had to undergo auditions repeatedly before he was selected. Says Vir, "I auditioned nine times in one year. Then every week I'd read some bigger Bollywood actor had bagged my role. So by the time I got in the room with Aamir, I was on Cloud 9. He's nothing less than a genius."
Vir says there was no interference from Aamir on the sets. "Aamir was heavily into Delhi Belly during auditions and the worskshops. After that he kind of set us loose."
Travelling extensively to cities all over for his stand-up comedy Vir says he has had no time to get himself into a steady relationship. "Of course I've had relationships and girlfriends. But I'm dying for the day when I can say about someone that we're just good friends."
Vir Das' much-delayed Aamir Khan production Delhi Belly with Imran Khan is finally going to release. Das basking in the favourable reviews of Badmaash Company says Delhi Belly will be released in the first quarter of 2011, a fact that even director Abhinay Deo now blissfully into his second directorial venture Game, is not aware of.