Being scolded by Neena Gupta made me and Gajraj Rao look slimmer, says Manu Rishi Chadha

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRuchi Kaushal
Feb 29, 2020 12:51 PM IST

Manu Rishi Chadha has shared some interesting anecdotes from the making of Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan and how it was a joyride working with Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao.

Manu Rishi Chadha, who played Gajraj Rao’s brother and Neena Gupta’s brother-in-law in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, claims he treated them like his real relatives even on the sets of the film. The actor is now out with his new film, Doordarshan, even when his last week’s release continues to run in theatres.

Gajraj Rao and Manu Rishi Chadha in a still from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.
Gajraj Rao and Manu Rishi Chadha in a still from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

Manu, just like Gajraj and Neena, comes from a theatre background. Sharing about his bonding with the two on the sets of the film, he said, “Despite being just one year older to me, Gajraj used to behave like he was 12-15 years older to me. I also had to respect him accordingly. This went well with our characters of two brothers and we used it as a method. Neena ji was my much older sister-in-law in the film and I used to treat her on the sets accordingly. There never used to be a day when I wouldn’t run to bring up a chair for her when she would arrive on the sets.”

Manu also shared a funny memory from the making of the film. He spoke about being scolded by Neena on the sets and how that would make them look slimmer. He said, “People who go to gym regularly often have a sharp jawline. I and Gajraj often used to get tense and told each other ‘we ate too much last night, now our faces will look bigger during the shoot’. But we used to do something or the other and would end up getting scolded by her which used to reduce our faces to the original. We used to be happy with the results.”

Ayushmann Khurrana and Manu Rishi Chadha in a still from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.
Ayushmann Khurrana and Manu Rishi Chadha in a still from Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

Manu says working with Neena brought a massive change in his outlook for life. “She is the most senior among us but she is the youngest when it comes to her ideology. We got inspired by her youth. After observing Neena ji during the shoot, even I started styling myself. People have started wearing colours after spending time with her. She has taught us we should take out time for ourselves. What is the fault of these colours if we have turned old. She has the same ideology in life. She knows how to live life. She had a very powerful journey but the way she presents herself is wonderful. Unko dekh ke lagta hai – wah, kya baat hai and that we must follow her on her footsteps.”

“Neena ji called us Gajraj ji and Manu ji, maybe because we behaved and looked much older than our real age. She used to call everyone else by their names,” he added.

Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is about a same-sex love story picturised on Ayushmann Khurrana and Jitendra Kumar. Speaking on why the older generation is still averse to accepting their children for who they are, he asserted, “They never got so much exposure. The media never talked about it nor there was any social media. Things will eventually change through articles, conversations and films. Our parents are humans, if they are made to understand through love, articles or films, they might understand one day. Right now, it’s still difficult for them to understand it completely. It’s unfortunate that one is afraid of understanding love. People are afraid to love a person of a different religion, caste or social status. The way we have overcome many other fears, we will overcome this fear of love as well. Love is a human tendency and the world thrives on love. The film is an effort to eradicate homophobia.”

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