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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Angad Bedi On Inside Edge 2: “It’s About Arvind Vashishth Rising Like a Phoenix”

Angad Bedi is a handsome, charismatic actor who has ‘clean-bowled’ us by his talent. After trying his hand at cricket, Bedi found his passion and calling for cinema in which he has made a space for himself.

Interestingly, his formidable outlook has seen him play army/action-oriented roles in ventures like 24, Ungli and Tiger Zinda Hai.

At the same time, his diverse filmography also cements his connection with sports in projects such as Soorma and Inside Edge. 

In fact, Bedi’s Amazon Prime Original series Inside Edge was nominated for an Emmy and now, season 2 is here, which sees his virtuous character fight back corruption and toxicity. 

Angad exclusively talks to Filme Shilmy about his character Arvind Vashishth returning with vengeance on Inside Edge 2, his acting career and fatherhood.

The first season of Inside Edge left on a dramatic and high note. What can we expect from Arvind Vashishth this time?

The whole second season is about Arvind Vashishth rising like a phoenix. In the first series, he went down fighting despite he is the only good-spirited man in this entire corrupt universe of PPL.

Cricket is a team sport, he built that team and played with that spirit.

He had a lot of faith in his team-mates and owners but they all let him down. His faith and confidence were crushed, despite the team, Mumbai Mavericks looked up to him as the leader.

Arvind instilled a lot of faith in several players including Prashant Kanaujia (Siddhant Chaturvedi) and Vayu Raghvan (Tanuj Virwani).

He disciplined Vayu a lot of times when he needed to because he valued the talent, but he also knew that if Vayu didn’t, then he wouldn’t get anywhere.

Despite doing so much, they all let Arvind down. There was a whole conspiracy against one man and they all worked together for this.

In the second series, my character is back with a vengeance. He’s still the same guy who loves his sport and stands up for what is right but the circumstances are different now.

He is now the captain of the Haryana Hurricanes and once again instils faith in his teammates. This time, he’s not coming back just for the love of sports. He returns to avenge Niranjan Suri (Sanjay Suri).

Apparently you received mental training from mind coaches. What did you learn from this experience?

When you play a professional sport, you think very differently and your focus is always on that very moment. It’s a very challenging thing.

Like everything in life, there’s success and failure in sports too. So how does one maintain the equilibrium?

Even as actors, we have a tendency to rest on our past glory and count on previous successes. We should be grateful for our failures as it teaches us as human beings.

It’s a similar thing for active sportspeople who are representing our country at the highest level. They train and work had every day.

The people who buy tickets to watch them are not worried about how they are feeling. They’re only worried about ‘am I getting my money’s worth’?

That experience helped me with understanding their psychology, it was extremely important because dynamics of the game itself has changed. There’s a lot of hype around cricket. 

As such, Inside Edge happens to be that one drama where entertainment is at the backdrop of cricket. It’s a perfect marriage of cricket and politics in our country.

You played a cricketer in The Zoya Factor and get again on Inside Edge. To what extent has playing these on-screen characters help continue your father Bishan Singh Bedi’s legacy?

There are many chapters in life which are left open. When I was young or whenever a kid is born there is always that aspiration to either become an Indian cricketer or act in films.

Even I aspired to play for the country. I was not fortunate or talented enough (in that field). My passion was in cinema, filmmaking and acting.

I feel fortunate enough to live the emotion of cricket through my character on Inside Edge. I love the sport. My heart and soul belongs to cricket.

For me, it’s an honour to play Arvind Vashishth because he’s a virtuous man, who glues people together. 

I believe that I learnt such qualities from my dad and (as much as I could), I’ve tried to embody my father’s thought-process in the role.

The love and support I’m getting from playing the character are so wonderful. To be given such a big tag of an honest and man trying to live up to expectations, it’s overwhelming.

Congratulations on becoming a father. How has maturity from parenthood helped you in becoming the actor you are?

My father always told me that “you can only have a happy work environment if you have a happy home. Build on that and that will translate at work.”

So, I owe it all to my girls – wife Neha and daughter Mehr. I feel blessed because I have a very happy home. 

Everybody requires a change in their life and this happened to me at the right time. I think everything has fallen into place well.

We’ll also be seeing you next in Kargil Girl, where you’ll be playing the brother and army officer. What can we expect from your and Janhvi Kapoor’s camaraderie?

Kargil Gil is a beautiful emotional story, about a brother and sister in Lucknow. How a girl aspires of becoming a pilot and ends up becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. 

Gunjan Saxena is the first-ever female fighter pilot from India. Her brother is already in the army and the father keeps motivating her to live her dreams.

The brother is a mirror to the society where he shows that not everything is always hunky-dory. Given that the film is set in the 90s, it also highlights the chauvinism of the small town. 

There’s nothing stereotypically ‘heroic’ in the film, despite being set amidst the Kargil war.

Although the brother is protective of his sister, he has to let her go to find herself and fly with her wings. 

Directed by Aakash Bhatia, Karan Anshuman, Gurmmeet Singh, it is executively produced by Farhan Akhtar & Ritesh Sidhwani.

Joining the cast lead cast in Season 2 are Aamir Bashir, Sapna Pabbi, and Markand Deshpande. 

Inside Edge 2 streams on Amazon Prime Video from 6th December.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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