TVF star Jitendra Kumar: Parents call me on hearing of job openings
Despite Cheesecake's success and a Bollywood film in his kitty, TVF star Jitendra Kumar on how it's a long road ahead to fame.
After Kota Factory, Pitchers, Truth and Dare With Dad, Jitendra Kumar, the poster boy of TVF, released a five-episode series, Cheesecake, with co-actor Akanksha Thakur. The MX Player show revolves around a couple who reignites the spark in their marriage as they welcome a dog into the family. In conversation with mid-day, Kumar talks about finding an unlikely co-star in a dog, his Bollywood debut and meeting his family's expectations.
Edited Excerpts from the interview.
How did you come on board for Cheesecake?
The concept belongs to Palash [Vaswani, director] and he is a pet lover. He got writer Gautam Ved on board, and along with Sameer Saxena [executive producer], the project began to take shape.
Are you pet-friendly?
Not really [laughs]. Despite my fear of dogs, I insisted on doing the show. The track of the married couple was interesting and different from the projects Akanksha and I have been part of. We trained with the dog to make it seem natural. Since she loves dogs, the training was essentially for me. It was fruitful because I gradually got comfortable with Aryan.
Was it difficult to shoot with a dog?
I think Aryan is more experienced than us. He has done several commercials and films. After his shot, he would immediately be taken to his vanity van because he couldn't bear the heat [laughs].
There were rumours about Pitchers 2 going on floors. Is it still on the cards?
The concept of start-ups is no longer fresh. We had started work on the script but realised that there is not enough material to play with. So, it's currently on hold.
You are making your Bollywood debut with the same-sex love story, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhaan. What was it like to romance Ayushmann Khurrana?
Romancing a girl comes easily because you've done it before; that's not the case here. Initially, it was awkward, but we got comfortable as we did readings, [understood] our characters and the situations they face. Before filming a romantic scene, the director [Hitesh Kewalya] would come to us and say he wants to see the chemistry between us. Thankfully, it flowed naturally when the camera rolled.
Has your family finally accepted you as an actor?
They are supportive of my decision. But whenever there is a vacancy in a government office, they call me, asking me to interview for the job. This happens especially when I'm going through a low phase.
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