Shahid Kapoor tasted huge success with Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Kabir Singh (2019), which turned out to be his career’s biggest commercial hit. After a long gap of almost three years, the actor is currently seen in his latest film Jersey (2022), which opened to great response on April 22.
BollywoodMDB recently caught up with Shahid Kapoor at the iconic Mehboob Studio in Mumbai to talk in detail about Jersey, what led him to sign the film on the dotted line, how it was to play a father in the film right after playing a college student in Kabir Singh, and much more.
Jersey faced several setbacks before finally finding its way into cinemas. What do you have to say about it?
Yes, it took a long time. The film was earlier scheduled to hit theatres in December, and then it was pushed to April 14. It was delayed again by a week. So yeah, I had to wait a long time for this film to come out. Had it been some other film, I would have probably felt tired of waiting. Or I would have felt a tad bit negative. But this film is very close to my heart. What this film tries to tell has changed me from within.
Jersey is the official remake of the successful Telugu film of the same name. When did you watch the original film?
I watched the original Jersey a week before the release of Kabir Singh. The film touched my heart and motivated me a lot. When Kabir Singh released, almost a month went into celebrations. It took me some time to observe what was happening. Then I started listening to new scripts. However, I always found myself drawn to Jersey. No other script could make me feel what I felt after watching Jersey.
You played a father in Jersey right after playing a college boy in Kabir Singh.
In fact, some people even asked me why I wanted to play a father after playing a college boy in Kabir Singh. But what I wanted to do was to take this story to a wider audience. If the audience could feel what I felt while watching the film, I thought my job was done as an actor. That’s one of the primary reasons I did this film.
Were you so invested in this film just because you yourself is a father to two kids?
It’s not just the father part. Of course, the father part is a very big part. The climax of this film just blew me away. It is very important to understand that not only an aggressive, testosterone-filled hero but also a hero playing a normal man, a family man, can reach a wide audience. One of the reasons I wanted to see this film released in theatres was to find out. I wanted to know if I should stick to characters like Kabir Singh or if I should also explore characters like Arjun Talwar.
We see your character in Jersey chasing his dreams at a very late age. What is your take on that?
Everybody can make it big at the age of 25. The challenge is to make it big at the age of 35. That is something special. The film should be made on that person who does it late in life, right?
Is there a scene in the film that you particularly relate to?
A lot of scenes, I would say. In particular, the scenes depicting the relationship between the father and the son, the latent desire to prove yourself in your mid-30s is something that I could connect with deeply. The people who are young spike up very fast. They can very easily become the flavour of the season. As you do more and more work, you are not new anymore. People are used to you. That’s not necessarily a good thing when it comes to movies. You feel that many times in your life, you know, that I have been around for a while, have I become boring for people? That’s why I always try to find different characters because I want to surprise people. And I think that’s the challenge. Even though they have seen you so many times, you should still be able to surprise them. That’s a fun game to play.
How does this film’s performance at box office matter to you, especially after the thunderous success of Kabir Singh?
Box office has mattered to every actor whether they accept it or not. Of course, it matters.