Jersey's Geetika: ‘On sets of Kabir Singh, I believed Shahid was arrogant man’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

Jersey's Geetika Mehandru: 'On sets of Kabir Singh, I believed Shahid Kapoor was an arrogant man'

Apr 11, 2022 06:34 AM IST

Chotii Sardarni actor Geetika Mehandru has worked with Shahid Kapoor in two films, Kabir Singh and Jersey. She talks about her experience and what all she learnt.

Actor Geetika Mehandru has said in an interview with Hindustan Times that when she first worked with Shahid Kapoor in the 2019 film Kabir Singh, she believed him to be an arrogant man. However, she added that it was just him being in the character. Shahid played a hot-headed alcoholic in Sandeep Reddy Vanga's film. (Also read: Surya Kasibhatla, who has cerebral palsy, shares acting tips he got from onscreen mom Vidya Balan during Jalsa)

Geetika Mehandru opens up about working with Shahid Kapoor in two films, how TV shows often show stuff that makes her laugh and more.
Geetika Mehandru opens up about working with Shahid Kapoor in two films, how TV shows often show stuff that makes her laugh and more.

Geetika played Shruti in Kabir Singh. She will now be seen as Jasleen, a journalist, along with Shahid and Mrunal Thakur in Jersey. Apart from films, Geetika has also featured in the popular show Chotii Sardarni.

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In this interview, Geetika shared that she wants to play a negative character as it brings out the best in an actor. She also defends violent relationships showcased in both her recent films. Excerpts from interview:

You have worked with him in Kabir Singh, and now Jersey. What was your experience of Shahid as a co-star?

I was a fresher and he'd always help me. I was a fresher in the industry in 2019 when I got Kabir Singh. I remember he used to ask me 'this is the scenario and this is what we are going to do. Are you okay with this?' He used to ask me, and make sure I am comfortable with all that is going on. He always asked for my opinion, and did not treat me like ‘you are a fresher and I will not ask you at all’.

There are many actors who are self-oriented, if not selfish. After completing their part, they believe it is over. Shahid is not like that, he even used to chip in with his inputs when the director would explain things to me.

How was your first shot with him while working on Jersey?

On my first day on the sets of Jersey, Shahid looked at me and he was like ‘I have seen you somewhere’. I had missed the Kabir Singh success party and it had been a long time since we shot the film. Also, I was this chapti si, moti si ladki (fat girl with oily hair) in Kabir Singh, and I was 10-15 kg down at the time of Jersey shooting. After some time, he was like ‘Shruti!’ And then he started telling everyone ‘Oh we worked together in Kabir Singh, she was there in Kabir Singh’. I played Preeti's (Kiara Advani's character in Kabir Singh) roommate so, I loved the fact that I had a small role, but he still remembered me. And, he was very comfortable that this girl went from a supporting character to a parallel lead (in Jersey).

What did you learn from Shahid as a person, and as an actor?

I have seen him be in the character throughout the movies. During Kabir Singh, I thought he was arrogant and moody. But he is not. He just is in the character even when the camera is not on. On sets of Jersey, he used to be very soft…that is how his character is. That stuck with me, I am now always in my character when on sets.

Because of Jersey, I spent more time with him and got to know him better. I realised he is not somebody who is arrogant or something. If he liked something about me, he told me and I would go ‘You made my day, made my month, my year’. Shahid praising me for my work was unexpected and big deal for me.

What was the best, funniest and craziest part of working on Jersey?

When 20-25 kids came for a selfie with me when we shot in Chandigarh, just 100m away from my place. And, Shahid telling wife Mira Rajput, ‘you know what, she is Shruti from Kabir Singh’.

From popular TV show Choti Sardaarni, to big films such as Satellite Shankar, Kabir Singh and Jersey - you have worked across platforms. How differently do TV and film industries work?

If I drink water for TV, I will hold it and I will go slow, speculating whether this has poison. Sometimes I feel ‘this logic does not make sense and why are we even doing it’, but we are puppets of our writers, we do what we are told. Even directors will simply read (the screenplay) and go like ‘okay fine, do it’.

Do you have fun with actors, admitting how illogical the stuff is?

Yes! We have fun and crack jokes while shooting such scenes. For example, when shooting a crying scene for a film or web show, I will cry and be genuinely emotional before and after the shot as well. For TV, we cry and then we laugh, and cry again for the shot. Everything is so much stretched in TV, you start feeling like ye bahut zyada ho gaya (this is too much). But I guess the audience also loves such things.

To deliver 20 minutes (episode) every day is tough, for films we do just two scenes a day. So, movies are easier and that is why we get better acting in films as well. The stress is high working for TV. In TV, we also have dupes - if person is not available or unwell, the dupe is used. For movies, we wait till the time person can come back and that makes it better. People connect more with films. But I know TV has its own audience, they love us and as actors we should do what comes our way. I am happy about it. I love doing it, people know me for TV.

Kabir Singh was widely criticised for promoting mysognistic views and critics do not expect much better from Jersey. In fact, the trailer of Jersey showed Shahid getting slapped. How do you see that kind of message coming across in your film?

The scene that you saw, that is kind of violent. But, there is something very emotional, real and passionate attached to that scene.

But, domestic violence is a lot about passion.

But there is nothing like that (violence) in the movie. Our parents, when they want us to get married, they want the groom better than their daughters. And, the guy is supposed to do certain things, if the guy is not earning, and woman is running the house (it becomes a different equation) Why is the man dominating? Because of the finances? That scene only indicates that, the scene is about the misunderstanding between the two (Shahid and Mrunal's characters).

Jaha pyar hota hai, waha haq hota hai, jaha haq hota hai waha bahut si cheesein hoti hain (If there is love, there is a right and with a right, many things come along). Not each relationship is same, even the same person will have different kinds of relationships with different people. There are always flaws. Kabir Singh is the best movie and pros and cons are there in everything. While promoting Kabir Singh, Shahid never asked anyone to do such things. That was a script and we did it.

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