As someone who loves analyzing pop culture and South Asian representation on television, I don’t get to do much of investigative reporting. Obviously. Luckily for me, some of my sleuthing has led me to believe that funny man Vir Das has joined an American TV drama pilot, ABC’s “Whiskey Cavalier.” However, since this hasn’t officially been announced yet, I took my sleuthing a notch further.
But first, why is any of this worth it? If true, this is great news because Das is hilarious, sure, but he’s proven he can do gritty stuff as well with his Bollywood movies like “Delhi Belly” and “31st October.” Plus, it adds to a growing list of talented South Asians getting a chance to show their prowess during this pilot season, especially actors from Bollywood who are bringing it. Priyanka Chopra in “Quantico,” Suraj Sharma in “God Friended Me,” Anupam Kher in NBC’s untitled medical drama to name a few. I don’t mind taking pride in any of these castings, including Das.
The show focuses on FBI agent Will Chase and his new partner, CIA agent Francesca Trowbridge, as the two lead an interagency spy team into dangerous yet delightful missions while forming their own bonds.
There aren’t any details out yet on the character Das is potentially playing but this show certainly has a lot going for it. ABC loves its will they-won’t they procedurals (see “Castle,” “Deception”). Primarily, the “Whiskey Cavalier” pilot has an excellent, in-demand cast. The two leads are played by Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan. Foley recently wrapped up “Scandal” and has notable roles in “Felicity” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Lohan currently stars on “The Walking Dead” with previous appearances on “Supernatural” and “The Vampire Diaries.” In addition to these big names, the cast also includes “Ugly Betty” actress Ana Ortiz and Cohan’s former TWD co-star Tyler James Williams. Whew. Those are some real big names.
Now, besides Das’s name being added to the cast list by Hollywood Reporter, I went and did some more background checks. This pilot is being shot in cities across Europe, mainly Prague. Das, who has recently been touring for his stand-up act in the U.S., posted on Twitter about a secretive project he’s shooting there.
Listen up. I’m gonna be in Prague for a few weeks doing something berrrrry berrrrry special. We got enough people in Prague who wanna see a show? I might organize a one nighter. What say?
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) March 14, 2018
He also recently followed Foley on the social networking site while Foley followed him back, along with Cohen and Williams. Ditto for Instagram. The things you learn from social media sleuthing, eh?
I’m not sure if Das’s role is only in the pilot or he’ll appear throughout the show’s run, provided ABC picks it up to series. Either way, I’m glad to see more actors from India breaking into Hollywood and on TV. We see talent from all over the globe like Australia and the U.K. doing their thing on TV, why not South Asia, then?
Das, who was the first Indian comic to have his own special on Netflix called “Abroad Understanding,” was named as one of top 10 comics to look out for in 2017 by Variety, along with Hasan Minhaj, Tiffany Haddish, and John Early among others. He grew up in India and Africa, performing comedy shows across the country and making a name for himself. His film work includes “Love Aaj Kal,” “Badmaash Company,” “Shivaay.” Das also appeared in the 2006 Hallmak movie “The Curse of the King Tut’s Tomb.”
His role on “Whiskey Cavalier,” if it exists, is a big deal for him. We’re here to support all the South Asian talent there is so, way to go Vir Das! Meanwhile, I’ll hang up my investigative hat… unless Das soon confirms my suspicions and then we both deserve kudos for jobs well done!