In her upcoming series, Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke, Regina Cassandra plays the role of a courageous IPS officer Kavya Iyer who battles against the militants and re-establishes the faith of the common man in law. Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Srijit Mukherji, the show sheds light on the complexities officers must bear in order to fulfil their duties for the country.
As seen in the trailer, the show also stars Sumeet Vyas, Barun Sobti, Chandan Roy, Mita Vashisht, Deepika Amin, and Sandeep Dhabale. It also sees Sobti in the role of a public servant and also Cassandra’s husband, The two have a strained relationship as Iyer struggles to balance her professional and personal life, said Sobti in an interview with SheThePeopleTV.
Cassandra and Sobti further opened up about their characters, their inner struggles and why is it important for our stories to portray the vulnerable side of our officers.
Regina Cassandra interview
Regina, the trailer sees you as a dedicated on-duty officer, while Barun mans the desk presumably as a minister. While this composition is not uncommon in real life, it is unconventional to see them in our stories. What are your thoughts on it?
R: I am not too sure about having seen such couples on-screen, it was interesting to play a character where both husband and wife are power-driven and also in a sense have a lot of similarities. For example, they have chosen jobs to serve the country, to serve the people. But as much as they are similar, they also have quite different approaches to this life. However, they are also a mature couple. When the show starts, there is a change of dynamics, and a lot of it revolves around Kavya, her family and the choices she makes for herself.
B: Definitely, unconventional. Also, it is interesting the way these characters are placed professionally. How dysfunctional, you will figure out once the show comes out.
Regina, the trailer sees you tackling baddies, and performing some high-action sequences. While the prep for it must have been very difficult, did it ever take a toll on you emotionally?
R: You know, the show itself is high-octane. We wrapped the entire shoot in 50 days and it was all brilliantly put together by the team. And it did take a toll on me as an actor because I have had days when I had fallen sick, but when you see an entire team working towards this, it doesn’t really matter. You just want to give your best. In fact, Barun also landed on set one day not being able to talk, and sometimes as an actor when you see your co-actor doing something like this (I am not advising as you should do it), but when I saw him on the set that day, my respect for him as an actor also increased.
Because at the end of the day, we are 100 people on the set and every one of us has to put in maximum effort. Hence, on days when you can’t do it anymore and reach a breaking point, you see your co-actors, and team and instantly feel charged up to take things into your hand. And yeah no shoot is easy, shooting for something like this was never going to be easy. There was a fight scene that I did on a speedboat, which I never in my life thought I would be able to do. It is a balance even when you are feeling down, there is always something to remind you why you love your job. Shooting for Jaanbaaz has been a great learning experience, right from working with Sreejit to playing Kavya, and actually seeing the show come out.
Barun, you previously said that you are very happy to be a part of the series that is showcasing the work of govt officers. Was that why picked up the role?
B: That is the only brief I got (laughs). Mine is not a big part and that is what I have been telling everyone. But the show sounded like a formidable idea and I was happy to be a part of it.
There was only some that I could capture from the trailer, but a specific thing that captured my attention was the dialogue at the very end: ‘Hume tanka milti hai, but its not just a job for us.’ I think it was high time we showcased the other side of bravery, the vulnerability of our civil servants, especially after what the country went through the pandemic.
B: The idea of this show is actually positioned something like that. Action is upar upar se, but the show’s characters have a lot of depth. They talk about real stuff, and that is why you see the vulnerable side of Kavya when she’s back home, she has these relationships with her mom, her kid, and a strained relationship with her husband, so it is about vulnerability and that is what makes heroes. People who are strong enough to face their vulnerabilities.
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to interview a CRPF female officer based in Srinagar. During our interaction, she said, “Women need not self-impose a glass ceiling. They have people to do that, instead, they should just carry on with their work.’ Has your perception of public officers changed after this show, Regina?
R: As a woman, I know what it feels like to be in a high-strung job, but I probably don’t know what it is like to have this whole family dynamic as shown through this show. None of us is perfect, and everyone is trying to be their best. I think officers have it too tough because you are not just being a police officer, you are somewhat also filling in the shoes of what was for the longest time a male-driven job. It is so important for a woman to not self-impose a glass ceiling. But I also feel that how much ever are you willing to sacrifice, there is a certain amount of guilt that society will throw at you, and there is the amount of scepticism that you would be shown at work and sometimes it comes from women, so there are so many dynamics. But the biggest job is to serve, and it is really admirable how are these women able to shut it all down and be able to crack at their job. I do believe women have it harder because of the different dynamics and I have the most respect for them.
Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke will be available to stream on ZEE5 on January 26.
Suggested Reading: Regina Cassandra Starrer ‘Jaanbaaz Hindustan Ke’ Trailer Out Now
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