While Jitendra Kumar continues to bask in the success of Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan and Panchayat, his first film Chaman Bahar has made its way to Netflix. Calling it his ‘most special’ outing, Kumar is excited that his first project as a lead will finally reach the audience.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Kumar opens up about the film, gaining recognition in Bollywood and the digital medium.
Excerpts from a conversation:
As an actor, one grows with time. How satisfied and confident are you about your performance in Chaman Bahar?
It’s my first film and so it is very special. I think I gave more than my 100 percent to it. Having come from the digital medium, I was excited to star in a big film. I wanted everything to be right, especially my Chattisgarh dialect. Also, since I have played urban roles, I wanted to justify the part and not look like a forced character. I was happy that the team from the start liked my work. It’s a fun film and I am happy that people will be able to enjoy it.
Being your first film, was it disappointing that it could not make it to the big screens?
Not just me, but everyone really worked hard on the film. They were all quite experienced people and they have made it for theaters. Yes, it’s always a personal experience to watch a film on the big screen. However, right now, it wouldn’t have been possible. So for me, I am happier that at least people will get to see my film.
Tell us something about Chaman Bahar and your role in it.
It’s a weird analogy (laughs) but my director knew that I moved out of IIT to pursue acting, and even fought with my father for the same. Similarly, in this film, this boy is working as a watchman in the jungle, filling in for his father. However, he is scared of bears and so wants to do something else in life. He realises to be famous and friendly with people, he should open a pan shop. And he fights with his father to do that. On the other side, we also see a sweet love story which is completely one-sided. Now I can’t give out the entire story but yes you will see how the innocent first love has been romanticised in the film.
Do you have a one-sided love story to share?
I think anyone who says they don’t have one is a liar. We all have gone through it, especially in school. Sadly, then you did not even know how to express and it all just became part of your memories. While in college, you do learn how to express but might even face rejection. Chaman Bahar celebrates the first kind of romance, where you don’t even know what to do.
In recent times, we are seeing a lot of Bollywood stars venturing into the web space. As someone who started his career in the digital space, what’s your take on the same?
I think it will only get better with time for content creators and actors. As for Bollywood stars, I think everyone wants to be a part of cool things, and since they too also consuming the same kind of content, it’s a fair deal.
But do you feel that will add to the competition?
Personally, I believe that one should just focus on their content. One tends to get competitive but you cannot only be doing that. You can either create or keep proving yourself. You can’t be doing both together. So whatever comes to you, just do it with full conviction. Also, competition is a never ending process and you will end up running behind it forever. I believe my family and friends are my life, and work is only a part of it.
Earlier this year, you had two big successes- Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhan and Panchayat. How has life changed post that?
Itna success hua ke lockdown aagaya (laughs). I am really happy that these two projects came my way. The kind of response we got for Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan made us realise how important it was to make that film in modern times. And the wide reach of Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan helped me in Panchayat. More and more people came in to watch the show. Also, earlier I had a younger audience but now the whole family sits to watch my performance. I received immense love and appreciation even from the industry. Some personally called and few even met me to laud my work. Sadly, the lockdown came in, and now I am waiting that all the meetings turn into projects.
Also starring Ritika Badiani, Bhuvan Arora and Alam Khan, Chaman Bahar is streaming on Netflix.
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