Jisshu opens up on OTT release for 'Shakuntala Devi'

It is the new normal: Jisshu Sengupta on 'Shakuntala Devi' not releasing in theatres

Jisshu Sengupta, Vidya Balan in a still from 'Shakuntala Devi'. Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Bengali actor Jisshu Sengupta, who is gearing up for the release of the eagerly-awaited Vidya Balan starrer Shakuntala Devi, says he has no issues with the film premiering directly on Amazon Prime Video (skipping the theatrical route) as it is the 'new normal'. He also says he enjoyed being a part of the movie, which is based on the life of ace Mathematician Shakuntala Devi, and praised the Paa actress for being a terrific co-star.

Also Read: ‘Shakuntala Devi’ trailer: A treat for Vidya Balan fans

(Edited excerpts from an interview with DH)

What encouraged you to take up Shakuntala Devi?

The obvious reason is that Shakuntala Devi has a truly wonderful script. While my character is top secret, I can reveal that (the real) Shakuntala Devi had a unique relationship with her husband. Both of them were way ahead of their time.

How was the experience of working with Vidya?

It was a wonderful experience. I have known her for nearly 10 years and this is my second film with her (the first being NTR Kathanayakudu). She is a lovely and humble human being. She makes people feel quite comfortable and gives them the feeling that they have known her for a long time.
 

What is your take on the film not getting a theatrical release?

This is the new normal and we really cannot help it. In a way, there is no option. Had there been one, we would have released Shakuntala Devi in theatres. Either way, the film is releasing in nearly 200 countries and reaching more people (than expected).

You have mostly been a part of heroine-centric movies in Bollywood.

 
I have played such roles in Bengali cinema too. I have never really thought that I have to play the  'hero' in a film. OTT has changed things and ensured that character acts take center stage.

You have also acted in a few Telugu movies. How did your foray into Tollywood happen?

 

 I was a part of Manikarnika, helmed by Krish. Krish was also directing NTR Kathanayakudu and through him, I got the film. Then Ashwathama and Bheeshma.happened

How was the experience of working with Balakrishna in NTR Kathanayakudu?

It was a truly wonderful experience. Balakrishna stood up and welcomed me on my first day of the shoot. He also said a few encouraging things about me. He is such a humble person despite being a big star.
 

How did you keep yourself busy during the Covid-19 lockdown?
 
I stayed at home and played with my daughter. I also tried my hand at cooking. 

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