New Delhi: Apr 5 For Bengali cinema superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, “Jubilee” presented a good opportunity to not just collaborate with series director Vikramaditya Motwane but also pay tribute to people who built the Indian film industry.
The series marks the actor’s return to a Hindi language project after Dibakar Banerjee’s “Shanghai” in 2012.
“Honestly speaking, Vikramaditya Motwane,” he said, describing why he joined the 10-part Prime Video series.
“I normally want to work with new directors and he is one of those finest directors we have. I’ve been watching his films and when he called, I was pretty excited,” Prosenjit Chatterjee told PTI in a virtual interview.
“Jubilee” also marks the digital debut of the actor, who plays Srikant Roy, a visionary film studio boss, in the show.
“I really wanted to be a part of this project because somewhere we are trying to pay tribute to the people who made Indian cinema. Srikant Roy is a powerful character. This is my OTT debut, and honestly, the platform does not really matter to me. I am so honoured and happy to be working with such young and talented people,” he added.
“Jubilee” chronicles the lives of a studio bigwig, his movie-star wife, his trusted aide, a rising star, a nautch girl and a refugee in 1940s and 50s. Co-created by Motwane and Soumik Sen, the series also stars Aditi Rao Hydari, Aparshakti Khurana, Wamiqa Gabbi, Sidhant Gupta and Nandish Sandhu.
Hydari, who plays Srikant Roy’s wife and co-owner of the Roy Talkies, said the role of superstar Sumitra Kumari was quite a departure from her past roles of “sweet” characters. She credited Motwane and series writer Atul Sabharwal for creating such a layered character.
“She’s so unapologetic about who she is and the position she holds and the respect she commands by just walking into a room. I usually get to play this sweet girl. To be able to say something and watch the other person squirm was fun. I love the stubbornness of this character,” she said.
Describing Sumitra Kumari as “a woman with agency in a man’s world”, the actor said it was liberating in a way to play a character like her.
“I was excited that I had something so polar opposite to anything that I know as a character and just as a human being,” she added.
Prosenjit Chatterjee, who is the son of veteran actor Biswajit Chatterjee, said he has seen characters like Srikant Roy around him who are willing to go to any length to find the right talent.
“His relationship with Sumitra is different. They respect each other and, at the same time, they hate each other. They know it has taken a lot of hard work to build this kingdom. They don’t want to lose this so the adjustment of life is very realistic,” he said.
Not just Hydari, Khurana is also set to surprise his fans with his portrayal of Binod Das and later as superstar Madan Kumar, a complete turnaround for the actor famous for his comedic performances.
Khurana said his character, who hides his burning ambition under the guise of a trusted aide to Srikant Roy, was complex and layered.
“The layering done to each and every character in this series is different from what you’ve seen in the past. The credit goes to Vikram (Motwane), but having said that, the layering opens slowly which is why it was easy to play it,” he said.
The actor said his on-set equation with Prosenjit, known among his fans as ‘Bumba da’, helped him portray the subservient Binod, who is in awe of his boss.
“And, in reciprocation, he (Srikant Roy) is ready to make you a star. It was an interesting give and take, it reflected in real life… People were not trying to scare me but they were like, ‘All of your scenes are with Bumba da’. It becomes slightly easier when you are already in awe of the actor in real life and you have to be like that on the screen as well,” Khurana noted.
Gupta stars as a happy-go-lucky theatre artiste Jay Khanna, who gets displaced after Partition but the tragedy only strengthens his resolve to make it big as a director.
The actor, whose credits include films such as “Operation Romeo” and Prime Video series “Inside Edge 3”, said he knew he had stumbled upon something special when he read for the character.
“When this character came to me, I was like, ‘Who’s this because I am not like him but why am I not like him?’ My journey started from there and eventually I became this character. What I loved about him the most was his (inner) child is alive and his (inner) child is always playing. He is with his heart and he knows that his heart is at the right place,” he added.
“Jubilee” will start streaming on Prime Video from April 7, followed by the second part, also consisting of five episodes, releasing on April 14. PTI BK RDS RDS
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)