Director Gowtam Tinnanuri garnered praise for his 2019 film Jersey that starred Nani in the lead role. The director has now taken up the task of making the film in Hindi, and this time his lead hero is Kabir Singh actor Shahid Kapoor.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Tinnanuri spoke about the success of Jersey and his collaboration with Shahid Kapoor for the Bollywood version.
One year after its release, people are still talking about Jersey. How do you feel about it?
It makes me very happy. Even when I was writing Jersey, I just wished for minimum success at the box office. But, I never expected this movie to garner so much appreciation. It really feels good as it’s very rare that a film is liked by everyone.
Do you feel any pressure now that everyone expects another blockbuster from you?
I am just two films old. So, more than pressure, I was overwhelmed by the questions about my next project. A month after Jersey’s success, I decided that I would make my next film with the sole purpose of telling a good story and not to impress anyone or score another hit. When I was working on my next one, I got the offer to direct the Hindi remake of Jersey.
How did the Jersey remake materialise?
Ten days after Jersey got released, I met Shahid Kapoor. Kabir Singh had not released yet. He watched Jersey. He liked it very much and expressed his interest to work in the remake. At that time, I had no idea, whether this project will happen or who will produce it. I was not even sure whether I will get to direct the Hindi remake. Later, I sent him a message appreciating his performance in Kabir Singh. He called me back and told me that Jersey Hindi remake was happening. I enjoyed working with Shahid Kapoor. He is a very dedicated actor.
Have you made any significant changes to the script of Jersey for its Hindi remake?
Story-wise, I have not made any change. But, the performances of the actors in the remake makes all the difference. I am really enjoying this process.
How did Shahid Kapoor get injured while filming?
Yes, he was injured while shooting for a cricket practice session scene behind the Mohali Cricket Stadium. While Shahid was batting, the ball hit him on the lower lip causing a deep cut. After more than 15 days break, we resumed the shoot. Even Nani suffered an injury while shooting for Jersey.
Tell us about other cast members as well.
Mrunal Thakur (Super 30) is playing the female lead. She has already completed shooting for her portion. She has done a good job and her scenes have come out quite well. We have completed almost 70 per cent of the shooting. A 30-day schedule is pending that includes the major portion of cricket matches.
Tell us about your experience in Bollywood.
I had my doubts in the beginning. But, it turned out to be a very nice experience and a very good exposure. The way Bollywood makes movies is not very different from what we do in the south. But, Bollywood filmmakers have the practice of documenting all the progress of the production.
After Jersey, will you focus more on Bollywood?
I will do my next movie in Telugu. I am badly missing the fun of writing lines in Telugu.
Do you have any actors in mind for your next?
I don’t write movies keeping an actor in mind. I finish a story first and approach an actor if I think he fits in just right.