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Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo’s Jimit Trivedi: People’s attention span has become a 30-second dream, so you need to be remembered

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the actor spoke about his fruitful journey so far as an actor, why he thinks that OTT has blown the door open for talent from across the country, and more

Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo’s Jimit Trivedi: People’s attention span has become a 30-second dream, so you need to be remembered
Jimit Trivedi

Last Updated: 08.52 PM, Jun 01, 2023


He’s played a talkative, funny, and mostly loveable Gujarati man in most of his films. But Jimit Trivedi got an eagerly-awaited break from that stereotype with Homi Adajania’s web series, Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo.

A theatre artist whose debut films in Bollywood and the Gujarati film industry were superhits, Jimit agrees that it helped his career take off. And he kept the momentum going by being choosy when picking scripts and roles. 

Confident of his craft and not one to falter even in the presence of stalwarts like Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, Jimit is only going to be more picky, considering that he is finally getting to explore different kinds of roles after playing ACP Proshun Jain on Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo. 

As he summarised it, "I am waiting for the right project because I know that it will come to me. In the meantime, I am waiting to say no to a lot of offers and yes to many."

In a freewheeling chat with OTTplay, the actor spoke about his fruitful journey so far as an actor, why he thinks that OTT has blown the door open for talent from across the country, and more.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Gujarati actors have always had an important role in Bollywood. And you have joined that list. What makes Gujarati actors so special?
There is a culture of theatre in Gujarat, just like in Maharashtra and Bengal. Look into any department of art, and you will find at least one Gujarati. If not there, you will find one in the finance department at least (laughs). Art and Gujarati culture are woven very strongly together. We are always ready to celebrate. The contribution of Gujarati actors is still strong, but I feel that we should not be labelled as ‘Gujarati actors’ but be identified as talented actors. 

You’ve worked in films, television, web series, and theatre. Which medium is the most satisfying for you as an actor?
Every medium has its own beauty, but if I had to choose, it would be theatre. You get instant reactions in theatre, and you have the scope to perform independently. An actor always wants to grow and wants one more opportunity to do better. 

Apart from theatre, you don't get the chance to do the same scene or play the same character over and over again. I once did 350 shows for one play, and the challenge was different every day. The 360-degree growth of an actor can take place in theatre because you have to perform at a set time and give your all regardless of what is going on in your personal life. 

There was a time when I was doing two TV shows and a play at the same time. With the TV show, I was on a 9 am-9 pm shift and a 6 pm-6 am shift. My grandfather, who was unwell, passed away. I attended his funeral, went to the crematorium, and was at NCPA (National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai) at 4 pm to perform for the play. 

It was a comedy play, and I had to make people laugh on the same day that I lost someone close to me. So, theatre makes you stronger as a person, and you are constantly challenging yourself. 

Your debut in Bollywood (Bhool Bhulaiya, 2007) and Gujarati films (Gujjubhai The Great, 2015) was with hit films. How do you think this helped propel your career?
It helped me a lot. I will not call them stepping stones since, for me, they helped my career take off. Many people don't get the kind of chance that I did. Debuting in Hindi films with a film like Bhool Bhulaiya was a dream come true for me. I was working with a bunch of talented actors, and the impact of my role was such that people still remember and know me as Goti, my character in the film. 

Gujjubhai… released just when the Gujarati film industry was going through a massive change and Gujarati films were being released in multiplexes. I feel so proud of myself for that film. It’s a film that can be watched even today on repeat, which I am told is still happening after all these years. 

You worked closely with film stalwarts like the late Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in 102 Not Out. Were you ever intimidated by them on set?
The director and writers of the film also thought that I might become nervous around them. Throughout my career, I have heard people tell me about how some actors forgot their lines, got nervous, or were intimidated in the presence of legendary actors. I used to wonder why people said this. I feel that those who don’t give enough time, focus, and discipline to their work end up forgetting their lines and getting all up in their heads around big actors. I might sound rude, but I’m being very honest. 

Rather than feeling unnecessary fear, I was happy and thrilled to get the opportunity to be in a film with Amitabh sir and Rishiji. I thanked God for the chance I got, and then I told myself that not everyone gets this kind of opportunity, so I have to be very disciplined and focused. I told myself that I didn’t have any scope for asking for retakes, so I had to be on my toes. 

I ensured that I knew my lines and theirs. I was that prepared, so I was not intimidated because I did not allow that thought to come to me. I got an opportunity that most people who have worked for 20 years haven’t had. So, I was very clear that I would make the most of it and not fumble. I am not boasting, but in that film, I shot all my scenes in one take. 

Was it as much fun on the set of the film as we had watching it?
It was a lot of fun on set. Both Amitabh sir and Rishiji made me feel very comfortable. Their aura is such that you will be disciplined in front of them. But they never made anyone feel their stardom. I actually spent a lot of time speaking with Rishiji during the filming of 102 Not Out. We shared a great equation.

Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo is quite a gutsy show. Did you have any apprehensions before agreeing to do it, considering it is so different from everything else that you have done?
I was thrilled that I didn’t get another character who is a Gujarati, who talks a lot, eats a lot, and is overall a buffoon. I have rejected many characters just because they were stereotyped. So, I was very happy when I got the call for Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo. I was very clear that whether I am selected or not, I will perform well in the audition and enjoy it because at least someone thought that I could do something different. I was very happy when I was picked.

The audience got to see you in a completely different look in Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo as ACP Proshun Jain. Were you hesitant about the transformation? What was the process like?
I was very happy with the transformation and quite excited about it. The entire process was a lot of fun. I have a friend who works in the Narcotics Department, and right from the costume to the way that Homi sir explained my character to me, it was exactly like my friend. I was very impressed with how real the character is.

Do you think that this role has opened up more options for you as far as roles are concerned?
It has started; a crack has developed. Everyone has been praising me and telling me that they had never imagined me in such a role. They are eager to see me as different characters, and I hope that more people offer me diverse roles. 

As of late, several regional actors have been making a name for themselves on OTT platforms. Your contemporary, Pratik Gandhi, is a good example of this. Do you think that OTT has opened doors to talent from across India?
Yes, vastly. When it comes to OTT, you have to deliver content, and to give proper justification to the content, you need good actors. Not a window, but the door for talent to enter has been blown open. Now, there is a flood because the demand is like that. Every talented actor has a chance now. 

The new generation of audience consumes OTT content, not TV or daily soaps. Of course, there will always be an audience for TV, but a majority of people are on OTT because they can see a new world. 

How important is it for you to have a presence on social media?
It is important, of course, because you need to market what you are doing. As an actor, I see myself as a product. But I need to have personal control over my social media. And I don't feel the need to constantly post something about myself, like when I am having tea or going for a walk. 

I want to post something interesting or about my work. I want to be recognised for my work. People’s attention span has become a 30-second dream, so you need to be remembered. Even to tell people to take a break from social media, you need to be on social media. So, it's an endless loop. 

What kinds of shows or films do you personally enjoy watching?
I like watching something that is real, performance-based, and can give a new perspective on life or a certain situation. And I like watching something that is futuristic, like Black Mirror, for instance. I couldn’t complete the first season of the show because I found it very scary; it gave me the jitters. 

What is Jimit Trivedi like at home with his nearest and dearest?
I am very chilled out. I’m a man of extremes, so either I speak very little or I will be the only one speaking. But with friends, I am a fun-loving guy who likes to crack jokes and discuss the future. My family likes to watch daily soaps, and I am into OTT, so if you ask my mom, she will tell you that no one even realises when I am at home. But when I am with my friends, you will definitely know that I am around. 

What do you have lined up next in films and web shows?
There are some projects in the pipeline, but they are not a done deal on paper yet; they will take some time to materialise. I have been very choosy, and I am waiting for the right project because I know that it will come to me. In the meantime, I am waiting to say no to a lot of offers and yes to many.

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