PeepingMoon Exclusive: Did you know Abhishek Banerjee wasn't interested in playing Jana in Stree & wanted the role of Aparshakti Khurana's Bittu?

Abhishek Banerjee immortalised the character of Jana in Stree. It goes without saying that there could have been no better Jana than the actor himself. But, did you know Abhishek didn't want to play the role when it was first offered to him by director Amar Kaushik? 

In an exclusive interview with, Abhishek shared, "Funnily, when I heard Jana’s character, I was not excited. I thought boys don’t go for such characters; they want braver and macho roles. That’s why I wanted Bittu’s (played by Aparshakti Khurana) character. I have a bit of Jana in me and Amar (Kaushik, director) bhai knew it. I am the only child of my parents, hence pampered and I behaved like one for a very long time. Amar saw that side in me when I was working as a casting director on No One Killed Jessica. He observed me closely and was convinced that I can play Jana."

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He further added, "On the contrary, I wanted to play a macho guy. I auditioned for Bittu's charater and the casting directors on Stree wanted me to audition for Jana too. Being a casting director myself, I knew yeh log mujhe bewakoof bana rahe hai, inko mujhse Jana ka role hi karwana hai. I auditioned for both and the minute I came out, I knew I am doing Jana. The audition went really well. The character is innocent and extremely sweet. He belongs to Chanderi, a silent town joh metro cities ki hawa se corrupt nahi hua hai. I was staying in Mumbai and found it challenging to channel Jana’s innocence. I went back home and stayed with my parents for a couple of days."

Sharing a real-life incident, Abhishek said, "There was a scene in Stree where I picked up a stone when the ghost was behind me. A few years ago, I did a similar thing when I though dogs were following me on the street at night. You have to incorporate such experiences to make your character memorable and relatable."

Then how did he get comfortable with them while shooting for Paatal Lok as Hathoda Tyagi was a pet lover? Abhishek promptly replied, "I was scared when I was a child but now, I love dogs and cats. Speaking of Paatal Lok, I can see a bit of me in Hathoda Tyagi. This guy has a different connection to nature. So much so that he is ready to even strike. To play the character, I didn’t look at him as a monster but as a man who was wronged by society. He had a humane side."

When asked which was the toughest character to play- Jana or Hathoda Tyagi, the actor shared, "Honestly, Jana was a tougher character. That’s just because comedy is tough. It is difficult to make people laugh, be in the moment and make it more about the situation. It is easier to be in the moment and a part of the chaos. When you are doing comedy, you need more focus. With Hathoda Tyagi, I could follow a method, but that wasn’t possible with Jana."

Talking about Stree 2 and the possibility of a Tera Suroor sequence in it like Bhediya, the actor added, "You will of course get to see more such hilarious moments. Rajkummar Rao, Aparshakti Khurana and I are a gang and we are reuniting after a long time. We are so close that we don’t need words to communicate. I am excited to be with them and shoot in Chanderi. I am yet to get the script, but I am very very excited."

Is he open to a spin-off film on Jana? "I hope that happens but it is completely the director and producer’s call. If the public demands, I will be more than happy," Abhishek opined.