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Jisshu Sengupta: Kajol said shut up, that broke the ice

Updated on: 07 July,2023 07:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Priyanka Sharma |

Initially hesitant to play a husband’s role, Jisshu says he came on board The Trial only to share screen space with Kajol

Jisshu Sengupta: Kajol said shut up, that broke the ice

A still from The Trial

Jisshu Sengupta was certain he would not play a husband on screen again. From Rani Mukerji’s Mardaani franchise to Vidya Balan-led Shakuntala Devi (2020), and Criminal Justice: Behind Closed Doors (2020), the actor had essayed the role of the spouse one too many times. But luck had other plans, he realised, when 
creator-director Suparn S Varma approached him for a part in The Trial. “When I met Suparn for the show, I didn’t know which role I was about to play. Then he said, ‘Husband!’” he laughs.

In The Trial, which is the Indian adaptation of The Good Wife, Sengupta’s character is put behind bars after his wrongdoings come to light. This compels his wife—essayed by Kajol—to begin her life anew. Early on in the narration, Sengupta understood that his role, with its complexities, was 
different from the husband roles he had played in the past. “My character is grey and has got so many layers. I believe there is so much to do with negative shades in a character, something that a positive role [does not offer you].”

Jisshu SenguptaJisshu Sengupta

That said, it was neither the temptation of the layered part, nor the joy of collaborating with Varma on the Disney+ Hotstar offering that sealed the deal for him. It was, in fact, the prospect of sharing screen space with an actor he has admired for decades that did the trick. “The moment Suparn mentioned Kajol’s name, I said, ‘Done deal.’ I am a huge fan of her work. Acting opposite her was a dream come true.” 

The actor has no qualms admitting that he was a bundle of nerves before their first shot. “On the first day, I told her, ‘I am very nervous.’ She said, ‘Shut up, just shut up!’ That actually broke the ice,” he laughs, before heaping praise on Kajol. “She put me at ease. She doesn’t have the airs of a superstar. Once the camera rolls, Kajol pushes you to be better. Because she is giving her all, you feel like pushing your boundaries.” 

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