‘Younger girls don’t want to work with me…’ says the JugJugg Jeeyo star

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Anil Kapoor is seen opposite Neetu Kapoor in the recently released JugJugg Jeeyo. The film also stars Varun Dhawan and Kiara Advani and is directed by Raj Mehta. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for an exclusive tête-à-tête. Excerpts:

How do you keep the momentum high by constantly doing different genres, Thar and now JugJugg Jeeyo?

Thar was received so beautifully since it is one of its kind. I still get messages on social media about how much people loved Thar, and with JugJugg Jeeyo, it feels that I have made the right choices. It was my son Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor, who got me Thar, and I shot it alongside JugJugg Jeeyo. I finished one schedule of JugJugg Jeeyo, and then Varun and Neetu got Covid. It was good to shoot a comedy and then come back on the sets of a serious film.

Do you believe that we need family entertainers like JugJugg Jeeyo to revive the industry after the pandemic?

Films like Gangubai Kathiawadi, RRR, and KGF: Chapter 2 also did well. I don’t go as to what film is getting audiences back to the theatres. I didn’t do JugJugg Jeeyo because it is a family entertainer. I liked the idea and the story of it. Karan (Johar) narrated it to me in 5 minutes, and the moment I read it, I decided to do it.

We hear you had the youngest energy on the sets…

I have known Karan, Varun and Neetu for ages. I worked with Kiara for the first time, but there was a comfort level. There were several sentiments attached to Neetu. Today, people love her a lot. She didn’t work post-marriage, but I am glad, with JugJugg Jeeyo, she is back on the screen, and at least now I have her to cast opposite me since younger girls don’t want to work with me.

You have an image of a family man. How was it shooting a film at the backdrop of infidelity?

I have done quite a few films like that earlier, but JugJugg Jeeyo is a clean family entertainer. Also, it’s been a long gap since I have done such films, and I am sure people are loving JugJugg Jeeyo.

You have been a part of so many pan-India films even in the 90s. How do you take the ongoing debate?

The only formula is that anyone who makes a good film, people will connect to it. I don’t see any relevance in the current debate. Films like Chhota Chetan, Ram Aur Shyam, Ek Duuje Ke Liye have done so well and connected all over India. It all depends on the scale of the film. If a film does well and later comes on television, the actor becomes pan-India.

How was it to work with Tisca Chopra?

It was lovely. We have worked together in 24 television series, where she played my wife. However, in JugJugg Jeeyo, she plays my girlfriend (laughs).

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