After appearing in television shows like Bharat Ka Veer Putra – Maharana Pratap, Peshwa Bajirao and Thapki Pyar Ki, actor Vishal Jethwa marked his Hindi film debut with the Rani Mukerji starrer Mardaani 2 (2019). What many referred to as an unconventional launch pad, the film saw him playing a ruthless and menacing kidnapper and won him wide critical acclaim. And now, he is all set for the release of his upcoming film titled Salaam Venky. Based on a true story, he plays actor Kajol’s on-screen son, who is a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy survivor.
In an exclusive conversation with News18, the 28-year-old reveals what drew him to the emotional drama. “One of Revathy (director) ma’am’s assistants called me. I was just very happy knowing that Kajol ma’am is also going to be a part of the film,” he says.
While he’s elated to have shared screen space with Kajol in Salaam Venky, Vishal feels that it was important to control his excitement while at work. “The fan in me will always be alive but if I talked and behaved on the set as a fan and not as an actor, Kajol ma’am would have slapped me really hard and that would have hurt me (laughs). Plus, acting like a fan would have affected my performance,” says the Human actor.
He continues, “I usually channel my inner fan boy only after I finish working on a film and then meet them. In case of Salaam Venky, we recently went to a reality show and performed for Kajol ma’am. That’s how I lived my moment as a fan. On set, an actor shouldn’t behave like a fan and if they do feel like fangirling or fanboying over someone, they should learn to control themselves because that’s really important.”
Quiz Vishal if the film – which revolves around a mother and a son - helped him cherish his relationship with his own mother even more, and he says, “It’s not like Salaam Venky helped me realise how important my mother is. I’ve always loved her a lot. I’ve seen her journey – up, close and personal. There’s not one just thing that inspires me to love her. She’s a living goddess for me and I truly believe that. I try to make her realise that through every gesture I make.”
He further adds, “After I lost my father, I realised that I should learn to value and respect my loved ones who’re still with me so that I don’t regret not loving them enough after they leave. Maine hamesha se hi yeh cheez apni dimaag mein baitha liya tha.”
Shedding more light on the relationship he shares with his mom, Vishal elaborates, “It probably comes from a place of a son’s bias towards his mom but I always scold my brother and sister to always listen to her and agree with her to make her feel important. My mom might not always be right about everything but I’m always very supportive of her.”
But has there been a change in their dynamics after kick-starting his career as an actor? “In families, it usually happens so that when a parent is the sole earning member, their power supersedes everyone else because they become the decision makers. And ever since I started earning, my mother might also have felt that her power is fading away. But I always say a yes to whatever she says and thinks,” remarks Vishal.
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