It was the 2001 hit Marathi TV show ‘Ghadlay Bighadlay’ that proved to be a turning point for Jitendra Joshi. After working for 16 years in several popular Marathi TV shows and films, Jitendra became a household name in the country with the massive success of the Netflix series ‘Sacred Games’.
In this interview, the actor talks about his new show ‘Cartel’, why he thinks the digital revolution proved to be a boon for the entertainment industry, refusing to get typecast and more.
How would you describe Madhu, the character you play in ‘Cartel’?
Madhu is extremely unpredictable. He is a very emotional person who can get violent at any given time. He follows his heart and doesn’t use his brain. What makes him different from the other characters in the show is the fact that he has a good understanding of human nature and he is somebody who never causes harm to good people.
Your look in the show is quite interesting and different from any of the characters you have played so far.
I have also tried to act differently (laughs). Whenever I am about to play a character, I make an effort to understand its mindset and worldview. I don’t do a lot of research and let the director guide me. For an actor, it is very important to get the mannerisms of his character right.
The show will be streaming on both Alt Balaji and MX Gold.
Yes, it’s the first show to stream on MX Gold, MX Player’s SVOD platform. Being available on two big streaming platforms should help it reach out to a very wide audience.
You were a part of ‘Sacred Games’, the first major digital show to have been made in India. In the last three years, the digital content creation space has grown tremendously.
Yes, when the first season of ‘Sacred Games’ came out, things were just opening up. In the last few years, there has been a huge influx of content. I think in the next couple of years, people will get a better idea or understanding about the pros and cons of this medium.
As an actor, what do you think are the pros and cons of this medium?
I haven’t found anything negative about this medium so far. During the pandemic, OTT platforms served as the only medium to entertain the audiences. This is a very good time for actors. The definition of stardom has started changing. OTT platforms played an important role in actors like Manoj Bajpayee getting their due.
Though you had done Hindi films before, do you think ‘Sacred Games’ helped you introduce yourself to people who watch Hindi cinema?
I think the lines between Hindi cinema and regional cinema are blurring. As an actor, I always strive to be a part of good content. Language has never been a barrier for me. I am not from Kerala but I have been a huge fan of Malayalam cinema. I want to work across different film industries. I pick the best of what I get. I didn’t want to play a constable again after ‘Sacred Games’ and therefore, many projects that came my way. I try my best not to get typecast as an actor. I try to ensure that I don’t get bored of my work. Therefore, I make it a point to be a part of projects that excite me as an actor.
‘Cartel’ starts streaming on Alt Balaji and MX Gold from August 20, 2021.