‘Junglee was physically and mentally demanding’

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Debutante actress Asha Bhat talks about Junglee, her co-star Vidyut Jamwal and director Chuck Russell

Model-turned-actor Asha Bhat is playing a pivotal role in Chuck Russell’s Junglee. Set to release on March 29, Junglee is an action-adventure film about a man and an elephant. 

Talking about her role, Asha says that she plays an ambitious wildlife journalist. “Though Junglee is a commercial film, it’s very relevant. There is a strong message, not just for kids but for adults too. Humans are taking over everything. We are cutting down trees, moving further and further into the jungles. So,  where will these animals go?,” she says. 

Junglee also stars Vidyut Jamwal, Pooja Sawant, Atul Kulkarni and others. Because of her background in NCC, Asha says that she bonded well with her health freak co-star  Vidyut. “It was fabulous working with Vidyut. We bonded over food, martial arts and boxing. He is very giving as an actor. He has lots of patience and keeps on motivating others. Before every scene, he would say, ‘You are doing good’. It’s good to have such energetic and humble person around,” Asha says, adding, “Vidyut would motivate me to exercise and do all these physical games and activities. He taught me new techniques and even corrected me on various occasions. It was fun.” 
 
The actress says that overall Junglee was physically and mentally quite demanding. “We have been shooting since 2017 and started preparing for the role much before that which was really hard. We had to shoot according to the convenience of the elephant, who is the real star of the film. It was kind of difficult but once we developed a bond with the animal, things became smooth,” she says. 

Junglee is the Bollywood debut of filmmaker Chuck Russell, who has directed Hollywood flicks like The Scorpion King, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and The Mask among others. “Chuck understands emotions. He is very sensitive and sensible. He is bang on when it comes to emotions. I am extremely blessed to get directed by him because whatever I have learnt on the set, is from him,” Asha says before signing off. 

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