Sanaya Irani: Not enough is spoken on cyber crimes

Taking a step back from TV, Sanaya Irani on learning about the perils of the digital world with her debut series

Sanaya Irani doesn’t deny that television put her on the map, but it is time for her to explore new avenues. The actor, who had been a permanent fixture on the tube for 13 years, is foraying into the web with Cyber Vaar that studies different cyber-crime cases. From being disillusioned by the television content, to adopting a natural style of acting to suit the realistic tone of web offerings, the actor talks about making the switch.

Edited excerpts from the interview.

Are you more vigilant of your digital footprint after the series?
I have always been cautious [online]. I may not know a lot of things that happen online, but I ensure that I am using my accounts securely. I don’t click on unnecessary links. Many assume that such things [internet frauds] will not happen to them. But it is important to be aware of what happened to other people and how they [became victims of online frauds].

Also Read: Khatron Ke Khiladi 11: Sanaya Irani opts out, Aastha Gill on board

Among all the stories tackled on Cyber Vaar, which one surprised you?
Our stories have been taken from real incidents, and [dramatised] with different characters. While shooting, I discovered that identity thefts, sextortion, and revenge rapes have happened to people. That came as a shock.

A few years ago, Channel V’s Gumrah had a season dedicated to online scams. So, how does Cyber Vaar stand out?
Gumrah was ages ago. I wanted to take up Cyber Vaar because not enough people have spoken about it. We have a lot of crime thrillers, but hardly any cyber-crime thrillers. We have not tried to make the show swanky; instead, we’ve kept it real. The police station is understated. I liked the realistic [treatment]. I love that our villain doesn’t have a face — that’s exactly how cyber crime is.

People are used to binge-watching. Will dropping two episodes at a time deter audiences from watching the show?
This is not the kind of series that can be binge-watched. Every two episodes tell a different story. When I used to watch Friends, I would wait for each episode. So, I believe if you like something, you will wait for it. Those who like to binge-watch, can watch it after all the episodes are out.

Also Read: Sanaya welcomes friend Barun on Instagram; shares a hilarious post

What made you take a step back from television?
On TV, if your show becomes a hit, the makers follow the same story that they had [offered] you. But if the show doesn’t do well, they start changing the storyline. When that happened to me on a show, I realised they were going to [change my character]. That was what made me step back. I don’t want to do anything based on pressure. Being an actor, I can choose to not be a part of a show when I see the writing go haywire. That said, I am happy that I have been a part of Indian television. Whatever I am today, the full credit goes to television.

When you quit TV, did you worry about out of sight being out of mind?
I don’t take these pressures. If I have made a decision, I stick by it. I’m not flustered by what the world is thinking about it. I want to do a lot of good work on OTT, which I haven’t seemed to find so far. I hope this series leads to more opportunities for me.
Do you feel more liberated as an actor, on the web?
I had done a film that probably nobody watched. But the film gave me an important learning. I learnt about a different acting style, and I have adopted that approach in Cyber Vaar too. [The idea] is to keep it natural, and not go over-the-top. Television has its own beauty. Having done it for 13 years, I have moved on to do something which is more real and up-to-date. As an actor, I want to explore more.  

Do you feel people still typecast you?
As a TV actor, you are very much typecast, but I am not here to fight that battle.

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