Jitendra Joshi: I will not play second fiddle to a superstar

Jitendra Joshi is the man of the hour. After his amazing role in Sacred Games, he is part of Betaal, the Netflix Original horror webseries that hits streaming screens on May 24. As IHC reported, Jitendra plays the antagonist in the series. Proving that he isn’t just a flash in the pan, Jitendra becomes part of two big webseries in three years time. I caught up with Jitendra and had a chat with him. Here’s the transcript:

How did Betaal happen for you?

I got a call from Netflix about the series. They told me that Patrick Graham, the writer and director as making a series. I went to the audition and had a couple of scenes.

After Katekar, I was waiting for a role that was entirely different. I wanted a role that didn’t have the K of Katekar This character, along with the name, everything was different, including the characteristics and mannerisms. I had to do the role. It was for Netflix, it was SRK’s company. I’d be mad not to take up the opportunity.

I have a love and hang of languages. I like to listen to music and watch movies in different languages. A lot of people think that I am a Marathi actor and therefore I know the diction. The fact is, I am not Marathi, I am a Marwari. But if you do different things, people realise that you can do those as well, and that’s when the real fun begins.

The most interesting thing is that when I was going to the audition, I asked someone what is the character. So, they told me that this is a Malayali guy. I called up one of my friends, Siddharth Menon. I asked him to translate some dialogues into Malayalam and send me. He send me over some things. The funny part is, very soon Siddharth Menon was part of the cast as well!

What made Jitendra Joshi say yes to play this character in Betaal?

He is pole aparts from Katekar. That was the most important things. He has an incessant greed and a will to retain the position. He will do anything to retain that. That’s what intrigued me. That’s what challenged me as an actor. And with a platform with Netflix, who wouldn’t want to do that?

How was your experience with Netflix this time around?

I had a great experience with Netflix. They are very professional. The production was great. Every department was great. Right from the production, sound to the direction. Each and everyone was professional and it was a great experience.

Will Betaal change the way we look at horror webseries like Sacred Games did for crime/thrillers?

I was unaware about what Sacred Games would do when I was working for it. Everyone works thinking that this will be something novel and new. But it all depends on the audience. I definitely think that they have made this in a very different manner. I can’t say whether this series will change anything, but I had a lot of fun playing this character and working in this series.

What was your most memorable instance from Betaal?

For me, the first day of Betaal was a memorable one. That’s the time when you vibe with the character. Once you get that, its okay. It was a bit difficult to get that vibe. We did a lot of workshops to get ready for the character. Also, when we first met, we had a party. So, everyone gelled and everyone became good friends with each other.

What’s your next?

After Sacred Games, I was getting similar roles. I didn’t want to do that. I waited. Sacred Games came out one and a half years earlier. I waited and today I am in Betaal. I will wait for the roles that I want to do.  Casting directors offered me roles of the villain’s henchman. I am not going to play third fiddle to a superstar. I will do meaningful roles, even if that character exists for just two scenes.

The Jitendra Joshi starrer Betaal streams on Netflix from 24 May.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.