First Role: Comedy sketches with The Viral Fever in 2012
Standout Act: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and Panchayat (Prime Video)
Jitendra Kumar had never harboured any dreams of being an actor. Theatre and acting happened by chance when he was pursuing civil engineering at IIT Kharagpur. After that, there was no looking back. A fellow student Biswapati Sarkar pushed Kumar, facilitating his entry into the world of online content in 2012-13. As his videos went viral, Kumar became a familiar face. The year 2020 looked promising with two big releases — as the romantic lead opposite Ayushmann Khurrana in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan (the film, directed by Hitesh Kewalya and Rohit Sharma, released in February), and the web-series Panchayat (released on Prime Video this April). Both got him to rave reviews. As Kumar was prepping for more work, the pandemic struck. “The highlight of the year for me has been the national lockdown. It brought all my thoughts in perspective. Caring for people and their health, also caring for one’s own health, I am looking at all of that in a new light, not taking anything for granted,” says the 30-year-old, who hails from Kairthal, a small town near Alwar in Rajasthan.
His boy-next-door “hairan-pareshan” persona has become a sort of calling card for him after the two roles he has been cast in. “In the beginning, I would worry about playing the same roles again and again. But then, I realised that even with the same premise, I can play each role differently,” says Kumar, “I enjoy it now and I push myself to see how I can play each character differently.”