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Jersey is my best work to date: Nani- Cinema express

Jersey is my best work to date: Nani

The actor talks about his upcoming sports film, Jersey

Published: 17th April 2019

If there is one thing that sets apart Nani from others, it is his calm demeanour. Since the time he made his debut with Ashta Chemma, Nani has always been the same -- passionate about work, willingness to explore different genres and a strong desire to prove his acting acumen with his every film. The 'Natural Star' is eagerly awaiting the release of his sports drama, Jersey, this Friday 

Excerpts from the interview:

There have been reports that Jersey is the biopic of late cricketer Raman Lamba.

I have heard these reports, but there is no truth in it. Jersey is a fictional sports drama, filled with fun, emotions and family sentiments. Director Gowtam Tinnanuri narrated me a story that was truly original. I even had goosebumps during the narration and agreed to it instantly. Above all, I saw honesty in Gowtam's body language and was surprised to see the way he has woven the layers of human emotions into his story

You seem to have worked a lot for this character

I did undergo extensive cricket training with Daniel (of Daniel's Cricket Academy). He even visited the sets and helped me with the game. As a kid, I remember playing gully cricket and was the 12th man in my school team. I used to get an opportunity only if some other batsman got injured. I was always under an impression that cricket is about hitting the ball and once I started working for Jersey, I realized what the game is all about. In the process, I lost some weight too (laughs).  

The film appears to revolve around a complicated relationship.

I believe you are referring to Arjun and Sarah’s characters. They share a great bond and beyond that, the film also delves into the father-son relationship. Every father wants to be his son’s hero and that dynamics is going to be this film’s mainstay. I’m sure the audience will connect to it emotionally. There are scenes which will make you laugh, and also shed tears of joy. The film gave me immense satisfaction as an actor. I was so emotionally attached to my character that during the last day of the shoot, I felt like bidding a tearful farewell to a loved one. Honestly, I identify Jersey as my best work to date. That way, the film is close to my heart and we are also making efforts to release Jersey in China as Indian sports movies have historically performed well at the Chinese box office. 

Do you choose your scripts differently now that you are an established actor?

As an actor, I’m willing to experiment with different genres. People draw their own conclusions when an actor explores different stories. I don't sign a film based on its genre. I always see how the director turns a story into an engaging two-hour script. If I'm pleased with this script. I say 'Yes'. I don't go with pre-conceived notions. I don't harp on the outcome of a film. I don't let success or failure dictate my mental state

How do you react to criticism and compliments?

Compliments keep flowing in. There were times when I used to feel bad if I come across a negative article about me. I remember a media house calling me a ‘headstrong actor’. If you give too much importance to such stuff, you can’t survive in the show business.

What's the controversy over the title of your next film, Gang Leader?

I got to know through social media that there is opposition from some filmmakers for our film title. We felt that Gang Leader is the most appropriate title for our film. If anyone has an objection and feels it's in bad taste, we don’t mind changing it. 

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