Virus is a local Tamil medical series that aired on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH202) in April.

Directed by local filmmaker Vathani Kunasegarran, the 22-episode revolves around a group of medical staff combating the spread of Enza-R virus that causes patients to suffer from insufficient oxygen levels.

Astro spoke to the director and the cast members, including Theeban Govindasamy and Dishaaleny Jack, to find out about their experience working on the show.

Vathani Kunasegarran, Director:

What is your inspiration behind Virus?

Many of us have faced numerous struggles during the pandemic and the obstacles encountered by the medical frontliners are difficult to aptly describe, and I was inspired to showcase the challenges faced by medical frontliners with Virus.

Please share your significant memories while directing Virus

I would say the final day of the shoot was significantly memorable as the entire shoot was scheduled for 44 days and consisted of many ups and downs. Although the stress is over, I will surely miss everyone involved in the shoot. Screaming “it’s a wrap for the series” was the hardest relief to me.

Theeban Govindasamy & Dishaaleny Jack, Cast:

Please tell us about the roles you played in Virus

Theeban: I played Dr. Krish. He is a law abiding doctor who came from humble beginnings. Dr. Krish’s father is a single father who made numerous sacrifices to enrol him in medical school. Growing up in a challenging environment made Dr. Krish dedicate his life to help the needy.

Dishaaleny: I played Dr. Avanthika who represents the dedicated frontliners who fought the invisible enemy, the virus. She is a bold, confident, rebellious, caring, fearless, responsible, and rational person. Apart from playing the role of a doctor, playing the lead character in a series with strong female roles made me feel like there was more load on my shoulders.

What was your experience like acting in Virus?

Theeban: Where do I even begin? Virus is my debut drama. Vathani, our director, was a huge influence in my decision to take up this role. I thought this project would be a little nerve wracking! However, everyone on set was so welcoming. I also had another shoot for a different film while on my shoot for Virus.

Although my schedule was very tight, Vathani and her team were very helpful and accommodated the shoot schedule for Virus to ensure I had enough rest. There were moments that I was involved in a shoot for two continuous days without much sleep in between. Josh and Darren, the make up artists were very helpful in preparing a comfortable spot for me to rest my eyes while waiting for my scenes. It was a lovely experience.

Dishaaleny: I had a very different experience compared to my previous projects. It was very challenging to play the role of a doctor in a medical series and it required tons of preparation. We had certified doctors during the pre-production and shoot, to guide and train us on using medical instruments, executing procedures, communicating with patients, body language, donning and doffing of PPE suits, wearing N95 mask for hours and more, to ensure the characters were impactfully portrayed.

These certified doctors also educated us on common mistakes that were widely portrayed in films such as rubbing the electrode gel on defibrillator before placing it on a patient, and more. Director Vathani Kunasegarran, writer Rajhashuryen Kunasegaram, and certified doctor Dr. Dhivya Dhyna continuously guided me to ensure I did justice to the role of Dr. Avanthika.

Other casts of Virus include Ravin Rao Santheran, Thevaguru Suppiah, Vemanna Appannah, Chandhine Kaur, Jayshree Vijayan, and Parvin Nair Surendran.

You can catch up on the series anytime on Astro GO or On Demand.