Actor Sharib Hashmi is just as excited about the release of The Family Man 2 as the audience. “We loved making it, and I know people will love watching it too,” he said. Sharib returning as JK Talpade in the new season of the spy action thriller.
The Family Man 2 is a sequel to the Amazon Prime web series that debuted in 2019. In the Raj and DK-created and directed show, Manoj Bajpayee plays the title role of undercover spy Srikant Tiwari, while Sharibs JK is his subordinate.
In a candid conversation with indianexpress.com, Sharib spoke about how he reacted when the season two script came to him. “If your first season is such a hit, things are on the brink. I was just as curious about a lot of things at the end of season one, as was the audience. But they will get all the answers. Season’s script two was so captivating, I read it in one sitting. The exciting element is very fast this time with more action scenes. My hopes soared after reading the script and I knew then and there that we had a new winner. Like how the first season has revived my career, the second season will take it to newer heights,” he said.
At the end of The Family Man, Srikant Tiwari shot down Moosa Rahman (Neeraj Madhav). But whether the terrorist is alive or dead has not yet been confirmed. On the other hand, Moosa’s ‘Mission Zulfiqar’ is almost a success. In the final scene of the series, poisonous gases leaked from the hijacked chemical plant that will kill everyone in New Delhi within two hours. Srikant’s team members at TASC, Zoya (Shreya Dhanwanthary) and Milind (Sunny Hinduja) are also caught in a crossfire at the chemical plant. If they manage to flee is another plot point to watch out for.
“The show is going to live up to all viewers’ expectations. You will find out what happened to Zoya and Milind, what happened in Lonavala, what is the current relationship status of Srikant and Suchi, and more tracks and layers will be added. Just like that hospital sequence of one hospitalization in season one, you get another brilliant sequence in season two. So much so that you forget what you’ve seen before,” Sharib said, hinting at a more exciting season.
While we glimpsed in the trailer of The Family Man 2 JK’s shenanigans taking it up a notch, Sharib explained, “You’ll get to see more of JK this time around. Although I may not resonate with JK, because I’m not like he’s in personal life. He’s rough and tough, street smart and laid back. He leads a relaxed life that mostly revolves around Srikant Tiwari. Unlike him, I keep looking at things.”
So what was it like coming back to the sets with Manoj Bajpayee? “We had a ‘Bharat milap’ (laughs). Even our on-screen bond has grown stronger. There will be more chatter between us. When you perform a scene, small nuances are added organically. Manoj sir improvises a lot. It is a challenge to match him and his input. He even improvised the FOMO, LOLO, ROFLO dialogue. He thinks until the last minute how to improve a scene. That’s a tremendous quality as an actor and I’ve tried to absorb that,” Sharib said.
The Family Man 2 also marks the digital debut of Telugu star Samantha Akkineni. Sharib said he was already impressed by her hard work. “When I first saw her on set, she played an intense scene. She had come fully prepared and soaked into her character. I’ve seen her work before and I admire her. She did a great job in Super Deluxe. But I realized she surpassed even that when I saw her with Manoj sir. Although I didn’t have many scenes with her, everything I did was an unforgettable experience.”
In the trailer, we see Srikant and JK arriving in Chennai to arrest a rebel group that includes Samantha’s character Raji. According to Sharib, director duo Raj and DK were completely on the same page. “You’ll never feel like you’re working with two directors. Their coordination is so organic and seamless. They’re on the same page, even if one gets stuck, the other knows what to do,” the actor revealed. He also added that the two are filmmakers in charge, so “will never do anything to hurt one community.”
Sharib referred to the controversy that The Family Man 2 faced days before its release when a certain section demanded a ban on the series for portraying the Eelam Tamils in a “highly objectionable manner”.
“People are annoyed by everything these days. Anyone who has objected after seeing the trailer should watch the entire series and then decide. Raj and DK did a lot of research this season, a lot of creative back and forth for the region where they based the story this time around,” Sharib clarified.
The Family Man 2 was first scheduled for release in February this year. But in light of Amazon Prime Video getting into trouble over a lawsuit against another show Tandav, the streaming platform is said to have pushed the date for this show.
Speaking about what went on in his head at the time, Sharib said: “I felt heartbroken when our show was pushed in February. To the public it’s just a show. But we put our sweat and blood into it. You automatically become vigilant for what we say or do in the future, after everything that has happened in recent months. We can’t please everyone.”
While he accepted that social media was still abuzz with excitement ahead of the release, he also said some fans have been demanding a spin-off from JK. “I hope we get a season three because I’m not done with JK yet. I just want to stay with Manoj, sir.’ He concluded by sharing how the whole team is waiting for the release: “We share the memes and excitement of fans in our WhatsApp group.”
The Family Man 2 premieres on Amazon Prime Video on June 4.