Gunjan Saxena, which dropped yesterday on Netflix, has opened to very good reviews and a positive response from the audience. And one of the highlights of the film that has been widely appreciated is Janhvi Kapoor chemistry with Pankaj Kapoor who play the reel-life eponymous character and her father, Anup Saxena. Now, Pankaj, who has absolutely nailed his character, has opened up on the special bond that Janhvi and him have developed over the course of the film and how her biological father, Boney Kapoor, feels that the former has become a better dad to his daughter.
In an interview to Indian Express, Pankaj Tripathi said, "Janhvi and I met on a flight six months before we started work on Gunjan Saxena. We were going to Goa. This girl walked in and greeted me. She then told me that when I was sent the script for Gunjan Saxena. She prayed and pledged to God that she will become a vegetarian so that I agree to do the film. The day I agreed, the director called her to share that I was onboard. I had gone to my village where there’s little internet, so it took me around 10 days to respond to the director’s message. I told her she should’ve informed me about her pledge before. I would’ve then said a yes without even reading the script (laughs)."
"Janhvi was the one who kept running after me. I used to return home from a shoot and see Janhvi already sitting there, chatting with my daughter or doing something with my wife in the kitchen. I would give more credit to her for developing that bond. She is a very sincere and hardworking girl. She has a different level of maturity and sensitivity. And this bond is for real, not for the film. Now, if I get to work with her again, where I need to be harsh on her, or trouble her or harm her, I’ll need to reboot myself," he added.
Revealing the sequence he enjoyed shooting with Janhvi Kapoor the most and how he would see her as his own daughter once the camera rolled, the actor par excellence elaborated, "I liked shooting the training montage. We used to run around the Gomti river, then go to some park early in the morning. I also liked the lawn scene. I loved all the scenes actually. When I was playing Anup Saxena, Jhanvi wasn’t Janhvi Kapoor for me when the camera rolled. To me, she was Gunjan, my daughter. And as true as that phone call would be for any father, it was for me too. Being an Army man, he knows where his daughter is going even if she isn’t revealing."
Finally, Pankaj also disclosed Boney Kapoor's reactnig after watching the film, stating, "Boney Kapoor called me at night after watching the film. He said, 'You are a better father to Janhvi than me.' He said he hasn’t ever seen a father-daughter movie that’s so truthful. He was very emotional and I could completely understand his state of mind. So many of my fraternity friends also told me that after watching the film, they went and hugged their daughters."
Gunjan Saxena also stars Angad Bedi, Vineet Kumar Singh and Manav Vij.
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