Jitendra Kumar on his kiss with Ayushmann Khurrana: Daadhi thodi chubhti hai
From imitating Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic vibrato hum to impersonating a muffler-draped politician in various web clips, actor Jitendra Kumar aka Jeetu Bhaiyya of Kota Factory fame has been in the limelight for some time now. And his blink-and-miss kissing scene with Ayushmann Khurrana in the trailer of the upcoming film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan has taken this up a notch.
While onscreen intimacy between actors of the opposite sex took a long time to gain normalcy in Bollywood, it is but obvious for actors to be nervous and sceptical about doing same-sex kissing scenes. However, this was not the case with Jitendra.
“As soon as I heard that the film was about a gay love story, it was obvious [to me] that there would be romance. The concept of two guys falling in love and their feelings towards each other was important to be portrayed. So, I was not very hesitant regarding the script and the kissing scene. But the anticipation of the scene and the question of my comfort doing it, for sure, were on my mind. However, Ayushmann and the entire crew created a very comfortable space for me,” shares the actor, who says that this was his second onscreen kiss and the very first with a male actor.
Ask him how the kiss turned out to be and Jitendra is quick to answer, “It was not very different from kissing a girl. Daadhi thodi chubhti hai (laughs), but yeah, it is the same.”
The film, which is about a homosexual couple who fight all odds for their love, will raise important questions on the topic of same-sex relationships. It also promises a lot of laughter, which, in turn, highlights the trend in Bollywood of using humour to talk about serious issues. For instance, while the critically acclaimed film Fire (1996), which also talked about homosexuality, couldn’t connect to the audience, films like the John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan-starrer Dostana (2008) and now Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan are lauded by the audience. “I am a very big fan of Fire... But I feel that Fire, and any movie in that tone, will only resonate with people who are already cool about homosexuality... When bringing such a topic to the regular audience, one needs to make it a family entertainer, and comedy helps with that… We want everyone to enjoy the film, while getting across the message that such love is normal,” he explains.
The actor was earlier seen in the Shweta Tripathi-starrer Gone Kesh (2019), a film about a medical condition alopecia, and his next also deals with a social subject. While actors would be afraid about getting typecast doing similar roles, Jitendra has a lukewarm attitude about it. He says, “I haven’t done much work in Bollywood. I won’t get typecast so soon. I feel one should see how unique the script is and whether it speaks to the audience or not... But I hope I get different types of films and I get to play different roles...”
As far as his future plans are concerned, the actor is very clear. “I am looking for promising scripts, both in Bollywood and on the web. All I hope for is good roles and good people to work with,” he concludes.
Author tweets @scriblaniac
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