An open internet source for public information defines Hacking as a technique “to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.” But for those averse to the tech terms, an upcoming light-comedy will do the trick. Overtly, a film based on the life of a hacker, Mickey Virus, is touted to be a comic-thriller starring Manish Paul, Elli Avram, Manish Choudhary, Varun Badola, Puja Gupta and Nitish Pandey.
Manish Paul, who became a household name with the reality shows he has hosted, now debuts in Bollywood as Mickey Virus. A lean, lazy, street-smart, tech-wiz is summoned by the cops to help them solve a case involving hacking, how does this lead to the changes in Mickey’s life, forms the story of the film. Sharing his thoughts on the character, Manish Paul says, “Mickey Virus and I are quite similar. Mickey is my nickname and like the character, I too belong to Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. The only difference that exists between me and Mickey is that he is lazy yet tech-savvy, whereas I am not.” Having the same name and the same origins, Manish became the first choice for the film, “I happened to meet the director, Saurabh Varma. In a casual chat, he narrated the character and the story to me and I told him that coincidentally, I share my name and origins with the character of your story. Our conversation although ended there, yet, a week later Saurabh asked me if I was willing to do the film.” Elated to have gotten this role, Manish will be seen doing some action along with his forte, comedy. However, the comedy he does in this film will be poles apart from what we have seen him doing till date. “People perceive me as a prankster, but with this film, a lot of perceptions will change because in the film, the central character is seen doing comedy and romancing Kamayani (Elli Avram), but there are lot other colors like action, drama, thriller which makes this film all the more interesting.” Talking about hacking, Manish likes to explore the possibilities of hacking into Katrina Kaif’s account, “I’ve already hacked Madhuriji’s (Madhuri Dixit) heart so I would like to hack into Katrina Kaif’s account.” He laughs.
Differing on the opinions of his co-star, Varun Badola says, “Hacking is a talent one acquires and it can be ethical and unethical depending on the way you use your knowledge. But it is always good if you use your talents to do something constructive,” Badola speaks like an honest police officer he portrays in the film. “Street-smart, honest and a tad naïve when it comes to technology, is the character of the cop that I portray.” Badola says that the film is a family entertainer, the basic energy of the film and the script will definitely attract the masses as also there is a lot of attention paid to the direction. “Saurabh Varma is a debutant, but he has worked on minute details, be it our performance or handling a delicate subject like hacking.”
The film has a Chutney as well… a little spicy… and a little sweet. After her hit-and-miss role in Vicky Donor, Puja Gupta will be seen playing Chutney, a tom boy-ish neighbor of Manish Paul. "People will see me doing comedy, action, and also little-bit of a thriller. The audience will see me in different situations," says a chirpy Puja. Being a total Delhi girl, Puja is super-excited about her role as Chutney, "I am playing the character of "Chutney" and it is something to which I can pretty-much relate to. I am from Delhi and the character is also based in Delhi. I grew up in West Delhi and it wasn’t very hard for me to get into the skin of the character. The character "Chutney" has got a lot of flavors to it, just like the name. I always wanted to showcase my acting skills and through this movie, I’ve got a chance to do it." Talking about her on-screen partner-in-crime, Mickey, Puja is full of praises for her co-star, "Manish is really amazing. He is a sweetheart and everyone loves him. Who doesn’t love him? The whole industry adores him. He is very funny."
Besides acting in movies, Puja also does theater. She started off her career in acting by doing theater. She acted with Paresh Rawal in Kishan v/s Kanhaiya and also in Dear Father. When asked about her journey so far in Bollywood, a very exhilarated Puja says, "Bahut maaza aa raha hai yaar! I think I was made for Bollywood. My mother told me that, she was seven months pregnant with me when she came to Mumbai, and she is like maybe that’s why you are in Bollywood today." Commenting on her next film, Puja says, "I am not limiting myself to anything. In my next film, Badlapur Boys, the audience will get to see me as a very subtle and simple girl. So whatever script I like, I will continue doing it."
Having starred as a noteworthy character in Rocket Singh, Manish Chaudhary will be seen as a cop trying to capture a gang of lethal hackers in Mickey Virus. Chaudhary plays a serious character in the movie, the absolute opposite of Manish Paul’s character, which helps in creating a charm in the character’s relationship. When asked about how it was working with Saurabh and Manish Paul, he replied, "It’s been great. Both of them are happy-go-lucky. Manish is jovial and very enthusiastic. Same goes for Saurabh too. It has been a great ride." He also adds, "Saurabh and I could never understand for the longest time when each of us was joking. When he would crack a joke I’d think he was serious and whenever I cracked a joke he thought I was very serious. That actually created some really funny moments and it kept on happening for the first couple of weeks." Talking about his performances, Chaudhary says, "I am extremely critical of my performances, but I think this is actually the best time for actors. It is all about acting. Films that are being made nowadays are focusing on actors’ skills and hence, it is really a good time for the actors. All the work I have done, is all about acting and nothing else. I think Ranbir Kapoor is a very good example for this."
Having started his acting career at the age of 15, Manish Chaudhary has come a long way. He will be next seen in Anurag Kashyap‘s “Bombay Velvet” which is slated to release in December 2014. Badola will soon return to the small screen with an upcoming TV show while Manish will bring forth another laugh-riot, a sequel to “Tere Bin Laden.” Puja has geared up for her next, “Badlapur Boys”, yet with a promising trailer of Mickey Virus, the cast vows to entertain the masses of the Indian terrain.
By Siddhi Palande and Tanaya Ramyani