Singer Sanjeeta Bhattacharya made her big Bollywood debut with Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan. She was a part of Azad’s gang of six girls who help him on his missions. In a chat with Hindustan Times, Sanjeeta revealed she wasn’t aware of the film title or even the film lead while auditioning for her first film.
Directed by Atlee, Jawan stars Shah Rukh Khan alongside Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi. Besides them, Shah Rukh’s girl team consisted of six– Sanjeeta, Sanya Malhotra, Priyamani, Lehar Khan, Girija Oak and Aaliyah Qureishi. Deepika Padukone also appeared in a special role as Azad’s mother and Vikram Rathore’s wife.
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya on Jawan audition
Sanjeeta first auditioned for Jawan in August 2021 and had no expectations. She said, “I had no idea that it was for Jawan. I just knew it was for a film but didn’t know the cast. Not only did I act but also sang, it’s more than a dream come true. It’s a massive film.” Sanjeeta was always sure about the film.
Jawan is smashing records at the box office. So far, the film has crossed the ₹531 crores at the gross worldwide box office on its fourth day since release. In India, the film minted around ₹81 crore nett in India on Sunday, as per film trade reports. Looking at the numbers, Sanjeeta said, “There’s no room for it to go wrong. I know the film has an important message for the society. The actors are genuinely good people. I am nervous for myself but other than I am overwhelmed. Everything I see on the news is quite historic.”
Casting director Mukesh Chhabra was the one to get Sanjeeta on board with Jawan. The actor narrated the process. “I was in Kolkata when I got a call. All I knew was that it could be my first film audition and I was excited about it. I went to Bombay and after a week of auditions, I was offered the role. Then I asked them about the film. They said that it was for Red Chillies and the lead was Shah Rukh Khan. My jaw just dropped.”
“I was over the moon after knowing about the rest of the cast. I just auditioned for it nonchalantly. Jo hoga dekha jayega (we’ll see what’s next). I think it worked out or else I would have been a nervous wreck.”
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya looks up to to Nayanthara
When asked about Nayanthara who is the leading lady of the film, Sanjeeta shared her delightful experience. She said, “She is such a force to reckon with. She is a woman who knows what she deserves and asks for it. She is very self-aware. I have a huge sense of respect. She is an icon. I look up to her not only as an actor but also as a woman in a male-dominated industry.”
Besides Nayanthara, Sanjeeta had a blast while filming with her Jawan girls. She recalled, “The rest of the girls are literally like sisters. We have spent so much time together, that we have become like a family. Whenever I was overwhelmed with anything I could reach out to them. We have been out. Mukesh Chabbra and Atlee sir did a great thing by bringing us together.”
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya on Shah Rukh Khan
But, what about her time with Shah Rukh Khan on the sets? Sanjeeta Bhattacharya smiled big and revealed she was initially nervous. She explained, “I knew when Shah Rukh would walk in everyone’s going to know. I didn’t know what to expect because personally, I have been a fan but I didn’t know the man. Who doesn’t know the icon right? But I was very curious to know how is he as a person, and he gave an example as soon as he stepped on sets.
“He greeted us with bear hugs and a kiss on our foreheads. That was our first interaction. All the intimidation and nervousness immediately melted away. That’s a very fatherly, kind thing to do, to be like ‘Hey we are all on the same boat’. There was no divide; us and them. My respect for him immediately went from 100 to beyond.”
She continued to heap praises on the superstar. “Everything Shah Rukh Khan says has a passing wisdom. You just want to sit and listen because he is so wise. He is so witty and charming. He deserves all the love that he gets.” “I had not much to talk with him about films because I actually don’t come from the film industry. We spoke about Delhi and Delhi ki chaat. We bonded over coffee. I asked him kaunsi coffee pi rahe ho aap, mujhe bhi chahiye (I asked about his coffee preference),” she laughed.
Shah Rukh Khan loves his black coffee
So, what kind of coffee does Shah Rukh like? Sanjeeta reveals, “Completely black coffee. He drinks a lot of coffee throughout the day. We also spoke about music and he asked me to sing. He brought a guitar for me to play.”
Following a successful debut, Sanjeeta has a lot more stored in for her fans. For starters, she will be soon releasing some of her own music. Sanjeeta is the daughter of the famous painter Sanjay Bhattacharya.