“I’m A Shahid Kapoor Fan” – Abhishek Madrecha tells JYOTHI VENKATESH
Abhishek Madrecha proves how perseverance, skill and talent can take you places beyond big godfathers and connections in tinsel town. He started his acting journey years ago by featuring in ad films and made his presence felt across prominent works of cinema including Laal Captain (2019), The Zoya Factor (2019), Kaushiki (2018) and Kaabil (2017) to name a few.
The much-awaited release of the delayed Shahid Kapoor’s film Jersey has met with an overwhelming response from fans who are in awe of the Hindi remake. While the Udta Punjab and Kabir Singh star has nailed it yet again with his performance, the film also features some interesting faces who are like a breath of fresh air. One such is actor Abhishek Madrecha, known for his roles in Laal Kaptaan (2019, Kaabil (2017), The Zoya Factor (2019) among others. Essaying the role of ‘Virendra’ aka ‘Viru’ who is the Vice Captain of the team, Abhishek opens up about his experience and working with Shahid Kapoor!
Tell us about your role and what intrigued you about the role
My character in the film is ‘Viru’ aka Virendra. He’s the Vice Captain of the Punjab Cricket team. He’s the cool kid who at first acts smart around Shahid’s character Arjun and later their equation evolves through the film. I remember when I read the script I instantly related to my character. Growing up in school and college I used to always be around a big group of friends and often we used to have our share of ups and downs but we all stuck around like one team. That’s exactly what Jersey was all about. It was about brotherhood, sportsmanship and most importantly about family.
How was your experience with Shahid Kapoor?
Shahid is such a gentleman who’s so warm to you that you’re instantly comfortable in his presence.
I’ve always maintained that I’m a Shahid Kapoor fan first and I’ve been in awe of his work across Udta Punjab, Kaminey, Jab We Met and more. I’ve even admired his dance skills growing up. So, as a fanboy myself at first I was on nerves before meeting him but that completely went away soon as we first met. I still remember it was during peak winters in December in Chandigarh and I was shivering with the cold and that was the first time I saw Shahid. He instantly looked at me and said, ‘please cover up with some hoodies’ and gave a warm smile that made me super comfortable. From thereon there was no looking back.
How was your experience with Pankaj Kapoor?
Pankaj Sir is a legend. I’ve grown up watching his work and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and learn from the maestro. When I first saw him, I was really intimidated but throughout our filming he was so encouraging and motivating that I grew comfortable. Before every shot, all he would say is ‘simply go for it’ and those words coming from a legend like him were truly something.
What was the prep involved?
I had auditioned for the role back in 2019 and after the shortlisting and look test the entire team of actors had to undergo an intensive training. It was two months of rigorous prep on field to get every shot right. That’s when I realised that knowing and loving cricket is one thing and playing cricket is another. At the end of it, my admiration and respect for all sportspeople has grown immensely.