Shahid Kapoor is back on the screens with his latest flick, Jersey, a Telugu remake. In the movie, Shahid plays the role of a former cricketer who returns to the game to fulfill his son’s wish for a jersey as a gift. From romantic comedies, to young college boys, action packed thrillers, and period dramas, Shahid has played various characters, yet this is his first time he plays the role of a father in a film! In his conversation with Lipika Varma, Shahid talks about the film, his son and the reaction of his wife Mira who couldn’t stop crying while watching his film.
The South film starring Nani was a huge hit. Was there a lot of pressure on you for Jersey?
When I had seen the film, the original had already won two National Awards so yes; there was a little pressure! If you take a good story to tell on the celluloid, then people will definitely have a huge expectation. When I had seen this film, I was feeling damn motivated and loved it! The story gives you the strong feeling that you can fight, and had given me loads of strength to fight in my life, under any circumstances. Now, that I have done this film, it’s time for me to see if the audiences feel the same.
Telugu remakes seem to be working in your favor…
I have always done original work.I did not want to do a Telugu remake but from the time I watched it [Telugu version of Jersey] I knew it was story the audience would connect with. Especially after Kabir Singh I did not want to do remakes, as it should not look like I am only doing remakes. However, I felt Jersey was a story I wanted to share and give back love I received after Kabir Singh. After Kabir Singh’s success, I met a few people and heard stories, but this story came into my heart and was on and off my mind regularly and I decided to do it. Many asked me why I would want to to play the role of a father when I just portrayed a young student in my previous film, but I simply went with my gut.
What kind of preparation went into playing this role?
We did four months of training. We started in Bombay and began playing on hard surfaces. We started with throwdowns. I used to spend four-five hours a day playing cricket for four months and then on set also a lot. Not a single special effect has been added in the film, we played proper cricket on proper pitches with state-level players and tried to keep it legit.
How did Mira and Ishaan react after watching the film?
Ishaan and Mira are emotionally attached. I wanted to show them this film as I felt only people in the age group of 30 and over would understand this film. The 20 -25 may not understand. However, they understood and felt the human relationships through the film. …I hope meri family ko chod kar aur bhi logon ko yeh film pasand aaye.
Is it true that Mira in tears after watching the film?
Yes, she did cry, they were tears of happiness though. The film reminded her about her own father and she also understood my struggle. Actually, after we got married three of my films flopped at the box office. She must have had a feeling that ladka star hai… aur yeh kya kar raha hai? When two or three films don’t work it affects you, but as an actor, you don’t show any of it. Even though I may not may not have expressed my pain in words, I’m sure Mira understood my sorrow. She has always seen and noticed my journey. Jersey is all about relationships. Father–son …Father-daughter, which touched her a lot.
Talking about relationships, how good are you with your relationships?
I was very naughty and troubled my mother a lot as a kid! But I’ve had my share of ups and downs in life. For instance when I moved from Delhi I could barely make any friends. The school children here in Mumbai did not want to be friends because I had shifted from Delhi. I was bullied and my teachers weren’t great either. They treated me as an outsider. Even today all my friends are from my college days and are all Delhi dosts.
What about your friends from the industry?
Sab dost hai par aise koi jigri dost nahi hai. [I have lots of friends in the industry but I’m not particularly close to anyone.)
Obsessions: I am obsessed with my hair. However, my stylist is obsessed with styling my clothes. Boys can’t change so many outfits it’s a challenge!
Dad & son: My son is a typical boy and he loves super heroes. I allow him to be playful with me when it’s his time, the father –son duo time.
Marriage gyan: We men can’t remember the small little things that happen. However, women on the contrary remember every little detail. They have such a strong memory! Mira is the same, even if we have a skirmish she will remind me of so many details–you said this, you said that! So, I simply agree to whatever she shares about the past. ( laughs)