Viraf Patel Exclusive Interview: “The Verdict Brings The Most Sensitive Portrayal Of Prem Ahuja"

Mohnish Singh |Sep 23, 2019

Viraf Patel, often regarded as one of the most handsome men working in the Indian television space, plays a pivotal part in the ALTBalaji series “The Verdict - State vs Nanavati”.

Viraf Patel is often regarded as one of the most handsome men working in the Indian television space. The tall and charming actor has won millions of hearts over the years.

After winning the title of The Grasim Mr India in 2005, he has done a series of commercials and shows on Indian television, establishing himself as one of the most sought-after actors in the business.

However, Viraf Patel is not the one who would do something just for the sake of it. He is pretty choosy that way.

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Image source: Instagram

The television heartthrob is gearing up for the premiere of his much-awaited web-series The Verdict - State vs Nanavati. As the title suggests itself, The Verdict - State vs Nanavati is based on the 1959 Indian judiciary case, K. M. Nanavati v. State of Maharashtra where an Indian Naval Command Officer, Kawas Nanavati is accused of the murder of Mr Prem Ahuja. Viraf Patel plays Prem Ahuja in the ALTBalaji original.

Ahead of the premiere of The Verdict - State vs Nanavati, STARBIZ caught up with Viraf Patel to know more about his character, what led him to come on board to play Prem Ahuja, his working experience with the gorgeous actress Elli Avram who plays the character of Sylvia Nanavati, and much more. Excerpts…

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Image source: Instagram

Tell us about your character in The Verdict - State vs Nanavati.

I play the character of Prem Ahuja in the web The Verdict - State vs Nanavati. He gets killed for having an illicit relationship with Sylvia Nanavati. Her husband Kawas Nanavati, a character played by Manav Kaul, shoots him with three bullets, and that is where the entire story takes off from. To know what happens next, you will have to watch The Verdict - State vs Nanavati.

When you read the script of the web-series for the first time, what appealed to you so much that you agreed to come on board?

I think this is the most sensible and sensitive portrayal of Prem Ahuja. Before The Verdict - State vs Nanavati, there have been 3-four stories on the same case. In all of them, Prem Ahuja is portrayed as a villain. Our society looks in a certain way at people who are involved in illicit affairs. That is not the case here.

That has not been shown in our web-series. His character has been portrayed as just any other human being. Why did he do what he did? I think, for the very first time, the audience would know the real truth of Prem Ahuja. So, that is something which really got me excited to be a part of this series.

Is he portrayed as an out-and-out positive character?

Positive or negative depends on the audience’s perspective. When a character does something, in that particular moment, you may feel that what he or she did was wrong. But if you think about the same situation after some time, you realize, ‘Oh, what he or she did was perhaps right.’

So, whether his character is positive or negative is something the audience will decide. I just focused on delivering the kind of portrayal of Prem Ahuja that works for my script and my director.

As you clearly mentioned that there have been some films exploring the same topic. How The Verdict - State vs Nanavati is going to be different from them?

See, when a film is made on a certain subject, you have to keep certain aspects in mind. It has to be commercial. It has to have a hero and a villain. So, you have to weave your story in a certain way, keeping all those aspects in mind. But when you do a web-series, you have at least 10 episodes with each episode of minimum 30 minutes.

Whereas in a film, you have only 120 minutes or so to tell your story and show everything. But when you tell the same story on a digital platform, you have the opportunity to do so many things. Apart from focusing on the heroism of your hero, you can also show his shortcomings.

The truth is that nobody is perfect. Everybody is a mix of both: The good and the bad. Everybody has some positives and negatives. The same we have tried to show in our series also. No one is pure white here. Everybody has some black blotch also. So, our web-series shows that.

What do you have to say about your co-star Elli Avram?

I think once The Verdict - State vs Nanavati is out there, people will start looking at Elli in a different light. Today, when you think of Elli Avram, you think of a beautiful girl who can speak a little bit of Hindi and can also dance well. But after watching The Verdict - State vs Nanavati, you will realize that behind that beautiful face, there is a solid actor also. I am proud of her for that.

What are the next projects in the works for you?

I have done a film which will be coming out next year. I have also done a digital film.

Also starring Manav Kaul, Elli Avram, Sumeet Vyas, Makrand Deshpande, Soni Razdan, Saurabh Shukla, Swanand Kirkire, Angad Bedi, Kubbra Sait and Pooja Gaur, The Verdict - State vs Nanavati starts streaming on 30th September.


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