Viraj Ghelani, gets candid with Social Ketchup Ed, Mrinil Mathur, about his journey as a Content Creator, landing a Dharma movie and much more!
Viraj Ghelani, the comedy content creator, has been around for a while, and if you are someone who lives in the Suburbs of Mumbai, you for sure may have related to one of his videos and if you are Gujarati, then you are definitely vibing with him. He has been a part of several Dice Media and Filtercopy videos and eventually became the boy next door we love watch. But if you haven’t placed him yet, you might know him from his Dharma movie debut - Govinda Naam Hai Mera, as Bhumi Pednekar’s boyfriend. But for me, he is all this and Viraj Ghelani, who is a humble and passionate creator, lives on the energy of his fans and loves his family. For him, whatever happens in the past adds up to make today the today he cherishes, and that is a testimony of his belief in himself and destiny. The conversation here is all about his journey from Borivali to Bollywood.
Also Read: Govinda Naam Mera review: It’s a colorful mess that spins your head and tickles you for like 5 minutes!
Scroll down to read the whole conversation:
MM: So we are celebrating your Bollywood debut, and we are super proud of you, but first things first, did you always want to be an actor? Was Bollywood on the cards?
Viraj Ghelani: Not sure about Bollywood, but I wanted to be someone jisko public notice karre. Mujhe vo 'center of attraction' banna bohot pasand hai, aur tha. Bachpan me jab me school me yaa apne building me hota tha toh I wanted ki me kuch na kuch karke, me ek joke maar du so that public meko dekh ke hase. I used to mimic people in my building. Jab guest aate the mere gharpe toh me bolta tha 'arey, I will show you how to dance.' Matlab papa mummy ko bolna nahi padta tha ki 'bhai, karle yeh sab.' In short, I always wanted to be someone who is noticeable. Therefore, I started giving my auditions when I was in my 12th standard. Though I got rejected from every audition. Toh mujhe laga hi shayad mere building tak hi aukat hai meri. I went to every production house, but kuch nahi ho raha tha. But then one of my friends suggested Snapchat. Phir me usspe videos banane laga, yaha vaha word of mouth hua and then I got to know the power of it. I realized that I could create anything I could think of, I could make it, and I could only act. So now I'm the director, producer, and actor. And for me, I was the best actor. That’s why I created more content and public meko janne laga. Toh jo meko bachpan me chahiye tha, vo mil raha tha.
MM: From Borivali to Bollywood, can you summarize your journey?
VG: I realized, har cheez ka time hota hai aur aapko vo time aane ke bad hi vo milta hai. Matlab I was ever expecting this and vo hogaya. But I didn't lose hope also all this while. Jab se ye content creation ka kaam karne laga, mujhe ussme maja aane laga tha. So I never gave that thought of acting and getting into Bollywood. I just kept doing whatever came my way. Toh vahi apna kaam karte karte kuch na kuch ho raha tha. Don't lose hope. Kyuki na content creation na dikhta bohot acha hai bahar se. Logo ko lagta hai fame hai, maja aata hai, paisa aata hai, Par usske peeche vala journey agar main chod deta toh yeh nahi hota. Jo bhi budding creators yeh padh rahe hain, yaad rakho ki vo kabhi chodna nahi chahiye. It will take time. It will take months or years. If you are at it and really good at it, then vo hoga zarur. Dreams will come true! And this learning is a summary of my journey.
MM: Do you aspire to be a full-time actor, or is content creation your long-term goal?
VG: I will never leave content creation that is for sure. I will maybe expand my scale. And obviously I want to get into more movies. Karna hi hai yaar Bollywood me kaam, bohot maja aata hai, ache scale me hota hai, bade bade log hote hai, sikhne milta hai. But content creation hi mera main kaam hai kyuki mujhe pata hai mujhe yaha se power aata hai. Mere sare followers hai, jaise jab Govinda Mera Naam ka trailer release hua tha toh Youtube pe itne sare comments the 'Here for Viraj' it's so overwhelming and surreal. Toh mujhe yeh nahi chodna hai yaar kyuki yeh mera base hai, mera pyaar hai yaha se.
MM: Is there anything that you regret not doing while you had the chance? That might have changed things for you.
VG: Ek cheez agar me sochu toh I could have started my own thing a little earlier than I did. Like I worked for FilterCopy which I am glad I did, but I could have started my own thing. Mene abhi khudse full fledgedly kaam karna sirf 2 saal pehle shuru kiya. Like I started working for me, not for a company. But ussme bhi shyad me kuch sikhta nahi. Jo me aaj sikha hu, whatever I am today it is because of Filtercopy and Dice Media. Jo bhi me sikha hu Hitesh se, Ronak se, jo mere office me log the, jin jin se mene sikha script likhna, how to behave at a workplace, the shoot ethics, jab director bolta hai toh usse pehle nahi bolne ka, jo bhi choti choti baate. Matlab jo mera craft toda polish hua, jo mujhe bolne aata hai abhi, jo me stage pe jake kuch bhi bol sakta hu abhi without any scripts, dar nahi lagta koi. Yeh sari baate jo mene sikhi vo wahin pe sikhi. Toh though I regret not starting a little earlier to the time I did, I am glad, I passed on through that phase warna main itna kuch nhe seekh pata. But I always believe ki jo bhi hota hai it all adds up to today.
MM: Viraj Ghelani is the mascot of every Indian middle-class household; what keeps you glued to being one?
VG: I think ye pyaar hi hai logo ka. Agar mai demographically dekhu toh ameer log kaafi kam hi honge mere fanbase me, rich people like to stay in their bubble, but jo middle class audience and jo unki taraf se aane wala pyaar hai wo kaafi raw and real lagta hai. When my movie got released, bhot logo ne text kiya ki how it is like a personal win for them jo ki kaafi unconditional love ke jaisa feel hota hai as they are not jealous but genuinely happy for me. Toh ye pyaar bhot important hai.
MM: What's next on your bucket list?
VG: Bollywood ke kuchh projects ke liye baat chal rhi hai toh I'll explore that. Uske alawa I want to start my own series. Ek Gujarti movie ke liye offer aaya hai toh abhi wo bhi chal rha hai. Also I'm starting a new Reel series on my Instagram jiska plan almost ready and we will start with shooting it kuch dino me.
Read the full interview in the January'23 edition of the Social Ketchup Magazine.
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