Kranti Prakash Jha, has come a long way from being part of Grasim Mr India to being a brand ambassador of Raymonds, to a National award winning film ‘Mithila Makhaan’ and now we see him doing justice to his character in ‘M.S.Dhoni the Untold Story’, as Dhoni’s best friend. He is here with us to share his experience and anecdotes about his journey so far. Read on…

“Whatever I am today and whatever I will be tomorrow, all credit goes to my family and friends”

What was the starting point for ‘M.S.Dhoni the Untold Story’, how did it happen to you?

For my character it happened as it usual happens for an actor, I got a call from my casting director Vicky Sidama, he called me for an audition of a friend, and that time I didn’t know the friend was Santosh Lal so initially I was slightly apprehensive for a friend’s role and I didn’t know and wasn’t sure whether to do it or not. But Vicky told me to do so, so I agreed, and also because it’s a Neeraj Pandey’s film and I have been great fan of Neeraj Pandey’s since work. So, this was an opportunity for me to be a part of this whole set up of Neeraj Pandey sir.  So I just went with the intuition of mine and the confidence of Vicky in the role. Later on, when  I had a reading session with Neeraj Sir; then I realised and got to know the character I’m playing because before that I had no idea which role I was playing so that’s how all this happened.

What all preparation you had to go through for this character?

Preparation was to just be convincing when I was playing the helicopter shot, called the “thappad shot”. Basically for me it was challenging because I was supposed to be the one who is teaching Mahendra Singh Dhoni on screen, so I had to be convincing. So I gave my blood and sweat to it. Neeraj sir also coached with me whenever I got time and in Bombay also we use to practice every hour in the morning. I hope that looks convincing in the film.

How different was it to be a part of a biopic film than a fiction film?

I see no difference as an actor but the only difference to this character was that the real character (Santosh Lal) is no more, so I didn’t have a chance to meet him and the other real characters that actually exist, the reel ones could go and ask how their performance was. But I didn’t get that chance, but yeah I got calls from Santosh Lal’s friends and they were really happy with my acting and appreciated me for my work. So I was really happy and thankful that they liked my work. I also didn’t get a chance to ask Mahendra Singh Dhoni but before the movie, while shooting the film we had small interactions with him; may be just twice or thrice and that was when I met Dhoni for the first time, and he asked me which role I am playing? So I said I’m playing Santosh Lal’s role, so he replied saying but you’re very fair for this role because Santosh was at a darker side so how will you do that? I said there’s always make up for transformation and we laughed over it, so it was a great experience meeting him and also I have his autographed bat with me which I got through courier; which the real Paramjeet and chinttu had send us. (Smiles)

“People learn from every experience whether good or bad; and for me every film has been a learning process”

How was it working with your Co-starts especially Sushant Singh Rajput?

Sushant is a great chap, he’s very hard working and he really inspired us because of his sheer hardworking. He has given his blood and sweat for everything, and apart from that he’s a gentleman. We use to have concessions on singhada, bhalusai rasgula and we also use to eat a lot at that time without even bothering. We also had this Bihar connection; we both are from Patna so we use to have conversations over that. I won’t say he is my too ever friend because whenever we meet we don’t feel that we are meeting after a long time.

How much did the story of ‘M.S.Dhoni the Untold Story’ evolve you as a person?

I would like to say in real life I’m very close to my family and friends because whatever I am today and whatever I will be tomorrow all credit goes to my family and friends. Professionally it has changed in terms of, I have been getting calls from lot of people and calls from my seniors, my friends, they have liked my performance; but I one thing I have observed is that; family and friends are the most important people in one’s life. And the film is all about that.

Now that we see there are many competitors in industry so are you apprehensive in any manner?

No, I don’t think so because everyone has their own place in the industry, in fact in the universe. What you all have to do is work hard and give your 100% without any dishonestly. So just keep doing your work and god shall shower his blessings on you. And in our industry everyone has their place and everyone is giving their 100%. I have no apprehension in doing anything, it just has to challenge me as a performer, it has to be substantial, and I don’t want to be a part of film just like that; definitely not. But if there is something meaningful even for just one minute I would love to do.

Is there any actor you get inspired by?

Well, so many of them. I am a filmy person, so I have watched from Ashok Kumar to Balraj Sahni ji to everyone. Those times we use to hire VCP’s and watch 3 movies constantly, at that period. So there are many people who have inspired me. Sanjeev Kumar, Balraj Sahni, Dilip Sahab, was so natural. There are many in my list and I like everyone.

Is there any particular director you wish to work with?

I’m very greedy in that sense too; I have a long list to mention, from Raju Hirani to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar, R.Balki, Gauri Shinde, Imtiaz sir, I mean the list is long.  I want to work with everyone who wants to work with me. (Smiles)

Is there any particular genre you would like to work on after doing a biopic?

I want to experience the (Nau ras) in my life. I feel these essences are a part of an artist. So in whichever genre these essence come I would love to do. Other than that; action, romance, comedy, I’m open to all.

What is that one thing you will take back from this film? And any such memory you would like to share?

Firstly, I feel we just have to be ourselves, believe in ourselves then everything falls in place we just have to have patience; especially when you’re in this industry. Secondly, the film is all about family and friends so I feel whether one becomes successful or not, one’s family and friends will always be there no matter what. Yes I do have very fond memories of Neeraj sir; there was this one off day at Jamshedpur and we went to Keenan stadium to play match, so there were two teams one of Neeraj sir and one of Sushant. Neeraj sir is a great batsman and he went on batting four’s and sixes. Sushant asked me to do bowling and usually I do spin and medium pace, so Neeraj sir was out in the first ball and he was like amazed and was like what was this Kranti? (Laughs) so such fun kind of memories we’ve shared. Another memory was when my helicopter shot was going to be shot, there was a delay of the scene for 2 hours because my footwear size is 12 and they were not getting my size of shoe over there; so people use to say, my feet’s come before me. But however after 2 hours we got the shoes and then we shot the scene.

How has your journey been so far in film industry?

I’ve been learning something or the other from my films, it’s a learning process. People learn from every experience whether good or bad; and for me every film has been a learning process and also that I’ve matured as an actor, in fact more than me my friends feel so because my friends opinion are very valuable for me and they have told me that they really liked my job in this film, otherwise they didn’t like my work in my other films. So I am happy.

What’s next?

‘Mithila Makhaan’, which won national award and which is releasing in two months time and apart from that, after ‘M.S.Dhoni’ I’ve been getting calls and two projects are in the pipe line so let’s see, soon the announcement will be made.

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