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Jay Khanna Healed All My Pain, Says Sidhant Gupta of His Breakout 'Jubilee' Role

The breakthrough actor of “Jubilee,” Sidhant Gupta, recalls his days of attempting to break into the film business but failing—a path that partially parallels the journey of his on-screen character—and how Jay Khanna “healed all my pain” and “struggle.”
The Jammu-born Gupta, who made his acting debut in the obscure film “Tutiya Dil” back in 2012 after dabbling with modeling and television earlier, said that only a few years ago “nothing was going” his way.
“I wasn't content. I was against working on television. I wanted to make movies, but I couldn't obtain the supplies I required. I made appearances in a few unsuccessful movies while I was stranded in the wilderness. That was the most difficult time of my life, Gupta said in an interview with PTI.
“I feel like this character kind of cured my sadness and hardships… Through Jay Khanna's story, I could convey all of that,” he said.
The casting of Jay Khanna, a refugee-turned-aspiring filmmaker, as the lead character in “Jubilee” by director Vikramaditya Motwane, Gupta remarked, was a breath of new air. A 10-episode series called “Jubilee” on the beginnings of Hindi film debuted on Prime Video in April.
It is, in my opinion, the most masterfully crafted character I have ever read. Literally, I couldn't believe it. Since I don't believe anybody can say no to something like this, I was thinking, “How has it come to me,” the man remembered.
For his depiction of Jay Khanna, originally a cheerful theater performer who hardens after the Partition yet is determined enough to carve out a niche for himself in the business, Gupta has received accolades.
He has been referred to as a rising star by admirers, reviewers, and directors. Even renowned producer-director Karan Johar referred to Gupta's performance as the “pièce de résistance” of the production.
Gupta said he gave the role in “Jubilee” “everything” he had.
“Jubilee” is close to my heart… The most beautiful sensation is just realizing that when something comes from the heart, everything else falls into place.
Since the show is a period drama based on the lives of historical figures, Gupta's depiction of them has echoes of great actors Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor.
However, the 34-year-old actor said that he did not base his performance on any one particular performer from the past.
“I would view behind-the-scenes film of these renowned performers to discover that one quality that set them apart from other actors. That was my contribution to the effort I put into developing a unique persona from that time period. However, I didn't pursue any one actor.
He mostly used classic Hindi songs to describe Jay Khanna's personality in depth.
“Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi” from “Chori Chori” (1956), “Ina Mina Dika” from “Aasha” (1957), and “Hum The Woh Thi” from “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958) were Gupta's go-to tunes for this activity.
“When these songs are played, all you want to do is dance. I used to do it in my vanity (vehicle) before the takes to prepare for Jay Khanna, he said.
Gupta said that the public and industry have shown “surreal acceptance” and that “it is not about what people are saying, (but) how they are saying it.”
The phrase “Jay Khanna brought the magic back” was his favorite of all the compliments.
“A few days ago, I met a woman; she immediately approached me and embraced me as if we had known one other for donkey years. He recalls her saying, “It is my prediction that you will go a long way.
When questioned about his parents' response to the success, Gupta said that they “don't know how to express” themselves, despite the fact that the who's who of the entertainment industry had taken notice of his performance.
“My mother simply keeps talking, and my father just gave me a voice message with two words. Just don't say it for the sake of saying it, you'll spoil it, I advised. It's all right, he said.

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