Jisshu Sengupta and Suparn Varma on The Trial
The Trial, adapted from The Good Wife has Kajol playing the lead role
When life gives you a lemon, just make lemonade out of it, drink it and move on. That’s what filmmaker Suparn S Varma believes in. The maker of the superhit franchise series The Family Man was in the city to promote his latest series, The Trial, that’s streaming on Disney+Hotstar from today. Starring Kajol in the lead the courtroom drama with loads of emotions also has actor Jisshu Sengupta in it, who plays Kajol’s screen husband and an undertrial in the series.
We had a hearty chat with Jishhu and Suparn about the series and more.
This is the first time that you are doing an adaptation of a series in Hindi…
Suparn: We adapted the soul of The Good Wife but it’s very different because all the cases are completely new. Also, we don't have a jury system here and Noyonika Sengupta played by Kajol is an Indian woman unfortunately, in our society when a woman suffers, she is the first one to be victim shamed -- it’s all her fault -- so her trials and tribulations are very different from a Western woman. That changes the trajectory of a lot of things.
Also, The Trial is not just a courtroom drama, it’s about life, and relationships and the idea is to examine relationships in an adult fashion. We live in a world where sex is easy and love is hard, it’s a world full of lonely hearts and misunderstood people suffering from ‘what if’ syndrome or wanting to move out or make different choices and The Trial examines that world where choices in life are not easy.
Jishhu, tell us about your role.
I play a man who made a few choices that seemed right for him and thus for his family and he never thought it was a crime. How the rest of the story unfolds with him is to be seen.
You have played Kajol’s husband and previous to this, you have played husbands top Vidya Balan and Rani Mukherjee too. What made you say yes to this one?
Yes, initially I was reluctant about it when my manager came up with the proposal since I have played husband a lot many times. But after meeting Suparn and hearing the storyline, I was hooked and the dealmaker was, of course, the fact that I play Kajol’s husband. I could never have said no to that.
How was it working with Kajol?
Suparn: She is one of the most professional actors who come with such integrity and raw honesty to the set and with so much enthusiasm that working with her every day was sheer joy. She was literally with us every single day on sets because she is there in almost every single scene. She is on the top of her game and we are blessed as audiences and makers that now, we live in a world where roles, shows and films are written around senior female actors and we are at a stage when we are not losing talent but rather making them grow and because of that our cinema and art form across languages are getting richer.
Is The Trial also full of emotions as The Family Man?
I have given emotional touch to The Family Man in season 2 which revolves around a father misunderstood by his child and wife though he is always trying to do the right thing albeit failing at times. The Trial too examines relationships in a similar fashion.
Jishhu: Suparn is a sweetheart and a terrific filmmaker. I always want a little space and scope from filmmakers to show how I want to play out a certain character and he is one such director who lets his actor perform and gives him a lot of creative liberties.
Suparn: Actors are magical creatures and they should be let loose, my job is just to ensure that the tune is correct.
Jisshu: I have worked with many directors right from Shyam Benegal to Rituparno Ghosh but there are very few directors who let you be who you are and show what you can do. I want to work with Suparn again.
Suparn: Next time I want to turn him nastier.
Jisshu: You know at this age, I want to be an actor who can play out roles with any shades. The only thing is it has to be interesting and important to the storyline.
Among Rani, Kajol and Vidya, whom did you enjoy working with most?
Jisshu: Definitely Vidya and Kajol. They are the sweetest people and very confident about their skills and make you feel at home instantly. The way they perform in front of the camera, it will push you to deliver better.
Your upcoming projects?
Suparn: The Family Man season 3 is on the anvil, there’s Looterey based on Somalian pirates, and a period piece called Sultan of Delhi based on a book by Arnav Ray
Jisshu: I have a couple of films in Telugu and I will be filming for Srijit Mukherji’s Dasham Abatar. Also, I have two more series in Hindi that will be coming up soon.