Mumbai/ New Delhi | Mukul Sharma: In Voot’s ‘Illegal’, as much as one wanted to hate JJ aka Janardhan Jaitley, actor Piyush Mishra’s treatment to his character left you wanting for more. Janardhan’s razor-sharp political ambition made him the mind of law and mastermind of ‘Illegal’.

As the leading man of country’s top law firm, actor Piyush Mishra reckons while speaking to Jagran English that JJ ‘anyhow wants to achieve his political ambitions by utilising Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed tactics’.

However, when one thinks of legal dramas on global scale, ‘Boston Legals’ or ‘Suits’ are likely the ones to top the head. When asked if the latest season of ‘Illegal’ touches that mark, Piyush Mishra says that he is yet to watch the show for that matter. “But obviously the quality of the show is really good and the kind of hard work and production value that exists in the show, it will be an internationally acclaimed show,” Mishra reckons quickly.

Neha Sharma is ‘Neha Khaas’: Piyush Mishra

When asked which is the most captivating character in ‘Illegal’ apart from his own, Neha Sharma is Mishra’s response within a blink. “Obviously, it’s Neha,” he says. “In ‘Illegal’, she is my (Janardhan Jaitley’s) rival, protégé, disciple who later on ends up standing up against me,” says Piyush Mishra.

“Apart from that she is a really good and accomplished actress. She is beautiful, hardworking and resilient. All these qualities make her the one that I could name her ‘Neha khaas’ because she is portraying such a ‘khaas’ (special) character,” Mishra adds.

JJ becomes more cruel and ambitious in second season: Piyush Mishra

Asked about how Janardhan Jaitley’s character develops in the second season of ‘Illegal’, Piyush Mishra indicates that his character as leading antagonist of the show becomes so blindly ambitious that he cannot see anything but his ambition. “One may find such people in real life but I haven’t seen any person like him in my life who would go to such extremes to get what he wants,” Piyush Mishra says. “Such people do exist in society but it is very difficult to imagine them on such scale,” he adds while crediting the screenwriters for bringing such difficult-to-imagine character alive.

‘OTT is primarily a medium for writers’

The 58-year-old actor, also an alumnus of National School of Drama, finds OTT platforms primarily the medium for writers. When asked if OTT platforms are emerging as medium where investments are made on writers the most, Mishra says he finds it to be the case in current context. “OTT is primarily a medium for writers. It’s a boundless medium for writers, in a way that you can write the content which could be five hours long. You cannot do that for feature films. So writers find the opportunity to explore themselves more expansively in the OTT. Because OTT is a medium for the writers that’s why furthermore it becomes an exploratory medium for actors as well,” Piyush Mishra says.

Further asked if given the diversity of characters one sees on streaming platforms, if talent is prioritised over connections in the streaming world, Mishra tilts towards the former. “Here the talent gets more chance to explore itself because too much detailing goes in the making. That’s why there is more scope for talent here (in OTT),” he says.

Legal character in ‘Illegal’ and ‘Pink’ different: Piyush Mishra

Piyush Mishra, who was also praised for his hallmarked antagonism as lawyer opposite Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Pink’, says that the two characters are different in terms of nature of their ambition. “In ‘Pink’, my character was again an ambitious character. But that ambition was to prove the side of his client. For him his client was his god and he thought it was his duty to protect his client. There he was blindly ambitious to protect his client and here Janardhan is blindly ambitious to become the Chief Minister. Both characters are different like that,” Piyush Mishra says.

‘OTT will continue to grow but Cinema won’t die’

Piyush Mishra exemplifies with an American example and points out that though the OTT is set to grow it won’t cause any harm to conventional Cinema. “Cinema has its own audience and that number won’t decrease. If you take the example of America, it has been long since the OTT shows are in prominence in the US. But did the Cinema die there? No, it didn’t,” Mishra tells Jagran English.

“Similiarly here (in India) as well, we have people who want to spend 400 rupees to discretely and silently watch Cinema. And these people exist in great numbers. For instance, if a Salman Khan film releases today, will people skip watching that movie? They won’t. It won’t work on OTT. Sooryavanshi came and upon Akshay Kumar’s entry there was huge round of applause. You can’t give that experience of 70mm screen on OTT. So OTT will continue to grow but Cinema won’t die,” Piyush Mishra adds further.

Speaking about legal precision in the scenes and backdrops of ‘Illegal’, Piyush Mishra says that the makers have taken care of legal precision in the show with utmost sincerity. “The highlight of Illegal 2 is that it has really been researched well. All due attention has been given in the series to ensure the legal precision. When you’ll watch it, you’ll see that precision coming out alive. That part has been very well taken care of,” Piyush Mishra completes.

Illegal Season 2 will start streaming on Voot Select from November 25, 2021.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma