Full-length interview: Tolly superstar Jeet describes his role in Pavel's Asur
After almost 17 years in the industry and over 51 films, Tollywood superstar Jeet is still raring to go, bubbling with the energy of a teenager. A successful mainstream hero with blockbusters such as Sathi (his debut film in 2002), Champion and Nater Guru (2003), Premi (2004), Yuddho (2005), Josh (2010), 100% Love and Awara (2012), Boss (2013), Game and Bachchan (2014) and Boss2 (2017) to his credit, Jeet has indeed been a raging hit on-screen.
The handsome artiste, with over 6.9 million followers on Facebook and over a million followers on Twitter, had his 50th release, Shesh Theke Shuru during Eid this year and is super excited about the fabulous response he is getting for his film Panther that released last week — the story of a RAW agent, where Jeet exhales in the role of a patriot. “In each film, I try to look different since I am portraying a different role and every year, I try to do around three to four good films,” says Jeet, looking fitter than ever in cool casuals in shades of white, olive and black. “In Asur, that will release this Christmas, I play yet another very different character,” he adds.
Directed by Pavel of Rosogolla fame, Asur — starring Jeet, Abir Chatterjee and Nusrat Jahan — will see Jeet play Kikan, an extremely talented, weird and careless character who is leaning toward all kinds of addictions. “This role requires more of mental preparation than a physical one and we are doing a lot of workshops for this,” he says without revealing too much more. So is he a director’s actor? “Well, it depends,” he responds. "At times, I completely surrender to a director and other times, I share my inputs since I feel there’s no harm if an actor shares his ideas since that further refines and uplifts the character". As a producer, too, Jeet plans to make meaningful cinema and launch new stars through his production house Grassroot Entertainment. “There will be a few films from our house, in which I will not act. Besides, we also would work with more directors, both old and new,” he elaborates.
He is eager to foray into the digital streaming platform both as a producer and as an actor soon. So, after all these years in the film industry, what are the realisations of this erstwhile state-level carrom doubles champion? “There are so many that your article won’t be able to contain all of them, it calls for a book to be written,” he says on a lighter note. “I feel filmmaking is a process, where you have to start on a clean slate with every new film, forgetting the past ones. I find happiness in all sorts of situations and try to keep away from controversies. We are all here to work and make a difference, isn’t it?” he asks.
When it comes to controversies, we couldn’t help but ask him for responses to the other superstar Dev’s statement, that Jeet leaves no dates for others to release their films. Both the stars’ films, Sesh Theke Shuru and Kidnap, released on Eid this year. “All I would like to say is that he (Dev) has a different level of maturity to handle things than I do,” states Jeet. Is there any movie that he feels embarrassed about or regrets doing? “I don’t like naming films but maybe Notty K produced by us is one of them if you still insist,” says the actor, before heading for a special screening of Panther organised for defence personnel.
Fashion, fitness and diet
“I like to follow European fashion trends and love the way the Italians dress. I buy most of my clothes from Europe and have a collection of over 100 pairs of designer denim. I am open to experimenting with all colours but tend to lean a bit more towards black, blue and white. I feel if you have a great physique, anything will look good on you. So, it’s imperative to stay fit and I work out regularly besides having a good eight hours of sleep. I normally do not eat out at all and my food comprises mainly steamed, grilled and boiled items. I love grilled meat and fish, especially salmon.