Jiya Shankar will soon be seen opposite Riteish Deshmukh in his Marathi directorial debut Ved. She is already a known name in South cinema. The film also stars Genelia Deshmukh and is slated to release on December 30. The Free Press Journal caught up with Jiya for an exclusive conversation. Excerpts:
Tell me a little bit about your journey?
I started when I was 16. It took some time to groom myself. I was an introvert and a shy kid. I am a Maharashtrian. I got my first break when I was 18 in a Telugu film. The response was fine.
What is Ved all about?
Ved means madness. It’s not at all a trio love story. It’s two different love stories and the love is completely different. Riteish is not playing a double role. Yes, I am opposite Riteish and Genelia is also opposite him. The story is very different so I can’t tell you about it.
After establishing yourself in South cinema, you are going to debut in a film in your mother tongue (Marathi). How was the experience?
It was amazing. I never expected it would happen. I guess it was written in my destiny. I got a call one day from the casting director if I was interested. It was Riteish Deshmukh, how could I say no? There were no auditions. I have no idea how I was chosen! I think the casting director must have shown my pictures… Riteish told me about the film and about the story. It just happened.
Elaborate a bit about your role?
She is full of life and she believes in living in the moment. She is bindaas and in a way she is full of life. I am like her, I can totally relate to her. The way she is and speaks about life, all the dialogues I have in the film, every single one of it is beautiful. She is so confident about herself. The way she carries herself, she is also a little old school. She has finished college and loves designing weddings. Yes, I am a wedding designer.
Do you have scenes with Riteish and Genelia?
I only have scenes with Riteish.
Considering she is producing Ved, did you get a chance to converse with Genelia?
We had normal conversations about how people are and how they talk. She used to be present on the sets every day. Whenever we were there together, we spoke a lot. She is really cool to hang around with. I have spoken to her more than I may have spoken to Riteish as he directed and acted in the film. So he had a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. He was always very busy. I never had the opportunity to talk to him a lot except while doing our scenes.
Have you signed a three-film deal with Riteish and Genelia?
I haven’t been signed for a three-film deal. There is nothing for the future yet.
Tell us, which actors/directors from the Hindi film industry would you like to work with?
It is a dream to work with Karan Johar, Imtiaz Ali, Zoya Akhtar. She is my favourite female director. Actors I would love to work with are Varun Dhawan and Amitabh Bachchan sir. I wanted to work with Rishi Kapoor sir. Bobby is my favourite film. I saw this film because of my family. I fell in love with the way he acted and his innocence. It was a dream to at least meet him. His work in Kapoor & Sons has left an undying impression on me.
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