Jitendra Kumar of Chaman Bahaar, small-town India’s new hero

Nonika Singh

As the insider-outsider debate rages on, right here stands an outsider, actor Jitendra Kumar aka Jeetu, assured in his pores and skin and grateful for the alternatives which have come his means. This viral sensation and actor of many a movie, together with Chaman Bahaar, which is at present streaming on Netflix, places every little thing, together with nepotism, in perspective. Earnest on display, he sounds equally honest off it, not a splash of artifice, whether or not he talks about his private journey or The Viral Fever (TVF), which supplied him the platform to showcase his expertise. On the proliferation and penetration of digital tradition too, he, the face of TVF, affords a deep perception.

An integral a part of a number of profitable TVF tasks, corresponding to TVF Pitchers, Tripling, Kota Factory and Permanent Roommates, Jitendra can solely see the upside of digital revolution within the leisure trade. To start with, TVF might need been one of many pioneers within the discipline which is at the moment dominated by large gamers, however he says, “Even back then we knew that Amazon and Netflix would be coming to India and when they do, we would not be competing against but collaborating with them.” Today, his a lot acclaimed sequence, Panchayat, produced by TVF, is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Talking of Panchayat, he provides, “The series which had the ’90s feel came at a time when lockdown had just started. We knew that whoever watches the series will like its light-hearted tone, but didn’t realise it would reach so many people.” Lockdown could also be a grim reminder of the hostile occasions that we live in, however one large benefit he can see from artistes’ perspective is that “people have been voraciously consuming content digitally.”

Hence, although Chaman Bahaar, by the way the primary movie he signed, might have been created for cinema halls, he’s blissful its digital premiere occurred at a time when increasingly individuals are more likely to watch it. But is the undisputed star of digital world lured by cinema? “It is a medium that all actors want to experience,” he frankly says, however insists he’s not discounting the ability of digital leisure. After all, hundreds of thousands are rooting for him on social media solely due to that and obtained him films like Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

In enjoying a homosexual character and romancing (kissing too) a person, he says he had no qualms. “Once I read the script, I knew it would work.” Interestingly, on the units if he feels one thing is just not understanding, he instantly turns to his co-actors or administrators for steerage. It is similar set of individuals whose criticism, constructive or destructive, he values. He doesn’t observe evaluations. “At the end of the day, a critic too watches like an audience.”

Of course, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan opened to beneficial evaluations and field workplace success. However, earlier than it might translate into tangible features, the lockdown was introduced. Thus the doorways that might have opened didn’t actually. But he doesn’t fairly agree that Bollywood slams its doorways on these with no household title. He explains, “See, if tomorrow I were to make a film and my friend was an actor, my first choice might be him. If another actor were to reach me, it would be challenging for him. It is the same hurdle we all face.” The trick, he asserts, lies in detaching oneself from one’s work, not consider it on a regular basis and never get swamped by the nepotism, outsider debate.

“Every actor gets an opportunity to prove himself,” he says. Skeptics might imagine he has been caught in some sort of a stereotype, enjoying a small-town character every time, however he counters by saying: “I think all my characters are very different from each other. Besides, there are so many stories of small towns that need to be told.” Who is aware of that higher than a small city boy from Khairthal in Rajasthan whose actual life story too reads like a movie script?

An IIT engineer, he was bitten by the appearing bug in his scholar days. The actor in him has now leapfrogged into digital house with a splash and drive. Even as he says “I can’t change my face”, he has worn many faces, together with that of Arjun Kejriwal (parody model of Arvind Kejriwal), Jeetu bhaiya of Kota Factory, Aman Tripathi of Shubh Mangal Zyada… Jitendra has mastered the knack of stepping into the pores and skin of his characters and feels relatable but completely different every time.

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