I don’t look back and regret: Jeet
Not many know that Jeet always carries a diary and pens his thoughts whenever he gets time. No, he has no plans of publishing it as a book as of now, but who knows? The actor also doesn’t believe in being self-obsessed. When we meet him at his office in Kolkata, he starts the conversation by narrating a story about Gautama Buddha and ego. Unlike other stars, Jeet also doesn’t believe in giving interviews if he doesn’t have a release. And unlike many he isn’t seen at premieres and film parties. “I keep getting this complaint. Let’s see if I can change myself. I think my work should speak for me,” smiles Jeet. Presently, the actor is busy promoting his upcoming puja release, Abhimaan, starring Subhashree and Sayantika. Over tea, Jeet speaks to HT City on refusing Srijit Mukherji’s next, ego and more:
You are one of the producers of Abhimaan, your upcoming puja release. Is there an added pressure?
You have to own the film. When you play a protagonist, there are a lot of added responsibilities. And going by the expectations of the audience, living up to their expectations and monitoring everything in your best capacity, is tough. I just keep trying.
Unlike other actors, you are not in news unless you have a release. You hardly attend film premieres or parties.
My work should speak for me. I am on social networking sites and follow every tweet. I know a lot of people complain that I don’t party enough. Let’s see if I can change myself. I also scribble my thoughts in a diary. Maybe, some day I will share them with the world.
So, do you plan to publish it in the form of a book?
I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. But I like penning down my thoughts whenever I can. Of late, I have been writing less.
In the last few years, most of your films — Bachchan, Besh Korechi Prem Korechi, Power and Badshah - The Don, had adequate dosage of comedy. But Abhimaan looks like a family drama.
This film too has comedy. We have actors like Kharaj Mukherjee, Biswanath Basu and Kanchan Mullick, who have awesome comic timing. The basic idea is to give the audience a product which has all the basic ingredients of entertainment such as comedy, action, romance and drama, if not in that order. Abhimaan is essentially about family bonding and egos.
You teamed up with director Raj Chakraborty in Dui Prithibi in 2010 and you also did a cop film, Shatru (2011) with him. What took you five years to do another film together?
You need the right kind of subject to team up with any director. I felt Raj would be the best person to handle this subject. It’s just instinct and belief.
But why not director Ravi Kinagi who has done eight films with you?
(Cuts in) Why not any other director? You can’t put a question like this. For the past one year, Raj and I have been discussing on various subjects. This film happened at the right time for both of us.
Apparently, director Srijit Mukherji had approached you to play the titular role in Zulfiqar, an adaptation of Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra. Why did you refuse it?
I believe in giving my services to people. It didn’t happen this time. Fine.
Srijit is one of the most sought-after directors in Tollywood and Zulfiqar stars some of the biggest names of the industry such as Prosenjit Chatterjee, Dev and Jisshu Sengupta.
The whole idea was to come up with a film during Durga Puja. I didn’t want two films of mine releasing on the same day.
Was that the only reason or you didn’t want to part of an ensemble film?
(Cuts in) I have done ensemble films before. There were other reasons too. We had some logistic issues.
Or did you charge more?
No, I am very flexible with my fee. People have the perception that I charge a lot. That’s not true. There are plenty of instances when I didn’t even talk about my remuneration. I am grateful to all the producers, directors and the audience for making me what I am today. So, if there’s a buzz in the market that Jeet charges a lot of money, then I have earned it. I go by relationships and values of my present situation, keeping my humanity intact.
Watch the trailer of Abhimaan
The trailer and songs of Srijit’s film, Zulfiqar, are being appreciated. Do you now regret not doing the film?
I don’t look back and regret. I don’t practice it. I wish them all the best and hope all the films releasing this puja should do good business.
Have you spoken to Srijit after the film didn’t happen?
Yes, Srijit and I are very much in touch. We might not chat everyday but we do keep talking. We have mutual respect for each other for our body of work.
Do you have any anguish towards anybody in the film industry?
If I harbour any such feelings for my near and dear ones, I can easily walk up to them and clear the confusion. I am a human being at the end of the day. I do have my negatives. I have certain expectations from people, and if at times, the ones who are really close to me don’t meet them, I can go to any extent and plead in front of them. And if I fail to do so, I leave it on time to mend it.
What does ego mean to you?
It is unwanted pain which we hold within ourselves.
Are you an egoist?
I am human. I also have ego but I always practice to tone down my egos.